Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits offshore Bio-Bio, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Pacific: Tropical depression 02w (Two), located approximately 203 nm south-southeast of Andersen AFB, is tracking west-southwestward at 09 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 07s (Cebile), located approximately 1177 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking westward at 13 knots. This is the final warning for this long-lived system.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 09p (Gita), located approximately 110 nm west-southwest of Avata, Samoa, is tracking eastward at 14 knots.

Newsbytes:

Borneo – The flood situation in Selangau is the worst in 15 years, with over 1,000 people displaced from their homes. The hardest hit area are Nanga Tajam, Batang Mukah and Ulu Arip, with longhouses severely inundated and road access cut off.

Argentina – Heavy flooding across parts of South America claimed at least six lives after a deluge lasting days. In footage that has emerged from Argentina, a man narrowly escaped death when the ground he was walking on collapsed just a second after he stepped over it. The incident happened on the banks of the River Pilcomayo in northern Argentina as the waters rose to seven metres in places. The deluge has affected more than 60,000 people in the region, said Argentinian authorities. Meanwhile, Bolivia’s Deputy Minister of Civil Defence said that at least 50,000 people in seven of the country’s nine departments have been left homeless. The worst-affected areas are near the southern border with Argentina and Paraguay.

Wildlife

Plastic Threat

Scientists warn that tiny bits of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and other bodies of water are putting filter-feeding marine animals like whales and manta rays at great risk of contamination. That’s in addition to the nearly 600 other species thought to be harmed by the pollution.

“Marine filter-feeders are likely to be at risk because they need to swallow hundreds to thousands of cubic meters of water daily in an effort to capture plankton,” researcher Elitza Germanov of Australia’s Murdoch University explained in her findings. “They can ingest microplastics directly from polluted water or indirectly through contaminated prey.”

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (42.8 degrees Celsius) in Twee Riviere, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 60.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 51.1 degrees Celsius) at Verhoyansk, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

Viral Winds

Scientists have for the first time determined that astounding numbers of viruses are being swept up from the Earth’s surface and blown around the world in the planet’s atmospheric circulation.

Researchers from Spain, Canada and the United States believe there are at least 800 million viruses per square meter from just above the surface to the stratosphere.

The global winds are spreading them, as well as bacteria, for thousands of miles, possibly from one continent to another.

The scientists say the bacteria and viruses become airborne after winds pick them up in dust and sea spray.

South Sudan declares end to cholera outbreak

A cholera outbreak was declared in South Sudan in June 2016 and resulted in 20,000 suspected cases and 436 deaths through Dec. 2017–the longest and largest cholera outbreak the country has seen. After not reporting any cholera cases in more than seven weeks, South Sudan declared the end of the outbreak this week.

Listeriosis: South Africa

The listeriosis outbreak in South Africa, of which the source still remains elusive, grew by 32 cases since last reported one week ago – the total is now 852 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases through Feb. 5 with 107 deaths.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 31 January – 6 February 2018

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that very small events occurred at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) on 1 and 3 February. Crater incandescence from the summit crater was visible during 2-3 February. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that unrest at Cleveland continued during 31 January-6 February, though nothing significant was detected in seismic or infrasound data. Moderately elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 30-31 January; cloudy weather prevented observations the rest of the week. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 31 January-6 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, and ESE.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Based on observations by volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions during 26-27 and 29-31 January generated ash plumes that rose as high as 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk on 29 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that an ash plume from Karymsky was identified in satellite images drifting 80 km NE on 27 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : During 31 January-6 February HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. Webcams recorded incandescence from a small lava pond in a pit on the W side of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. Surface lava flows were active above and on the pali, and on the coastal plain.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : Servicio Nacional de Geología and Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) reported that growth of the lava dome in Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater was 2,540 m3/day, determined by photos taken during overflights on 23 and 31 January. The total volume of the lava dome was an estimated 106,700 m3. A small area of deposits from collapses of the dome walls was observed. Temperatures on the surface of the dome were 305 and 480 degrees Celsius, mainly from a crack which generated the explosions. A larger explosion from a possible partial dome collapse was recorded at 1202 on 2 February, generating a gas-and-ash plume that rose about 2.5 km above the crater rim. Shock waves from the explosion were reported in the community of Las Trancas (10 km) and at the Gran Hotel Termas de Chillan (5 km). Explosive activity continued through 6 February. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-colour scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 4-km radius.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosive activity at Sabancaya decreased compared to the previous week; there was an average of 22 explosions recorded per day during 29 January-4 February. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events, with signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 3.5 km above the crater rim and drifted 50 km NW, SW, and S. The MIROVA system detected two thermal anomalies. The sulfur dioxide flux was high, at 3,388 tons per day on 31 January. The report noted that the public should not to approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images on 1 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that an event at Turrialba at 0830 on 5 February generated a plume that rose 200 m above the crater rim and drifted SW. An event at 0730 on 6 February generated an ash plume that rose 1 km and drifted SW. Ashfall was reported in Goicoechea and Heredia.