Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits south of Lombok, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits south of Sumbawa, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the northwest Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm (ts) 02w (Surigae), located approximately 89 nm northwest of Kayangel, Palau, is tracking west-northwestward at 09 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Colombia – Flash floods have caused severe damage in the municipality of El Carmen de Bolivar in the department of Bolivar in northern Colombia. Local authorities have declared a state of disaster. Flooding struck on 12 April after hours of heavy rain. Local media said the downpour caused the overflow of the Alférez stream which runs through the municipality. As many as 30 neighbourhoods were affected. Estimates suggest around 70% of the municipality was under water. Colombia Civil Defence reports that around 900 homes were damaged. Civil Defence also reported flash flooding in parts of the southern Putumayo Department from 11 to 13 April 2021.

Global Warming

Sea Level Rise Is Killing Trees Along the US Atlantic Coast

Sea level rise is killing trees along the Atlantic coast, creating ‘ghost forests’ that are visible from space.

Throughout coastal North Carolina, evidence of forest die-off is everywhere. Nearly every roadside ditch is lined with dead or dying trees. This flooding is evidence that climate change is altering landscapes along the Atlantic coast. It’s emblematic of environmental changes that also threaten wildlife, ecosystems, and local farms and forestry businesses.

Large patches of trees are dying simultaneously, and saplings aren’t growing to take their place. And it’s not just a local issue: Seawater is raising salt levels in coastal woodlands along the entire Atlantic Coastal Plain, from Maine to Florida. Huge swaths of contiguous forest are dying. They’re now known in the scientific community as “ghost forests.” Rapid sea level rise seems to be outpacing the ability of these forests to adapt to wetter, saltier conditions. Extreme weather events, fueled by climate change, are causing further damage from heavy storms, more frequent hurricanes and drought.

Environment

Plastic Winds

The scattering of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways and atmosphere is now resulting in the “plastification” of the planet, with the debris “spiraling around the globe” in the wind.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that smaller microplastics can remain in the atmosphere for nearly a week, which is long enough for them to be carried across an ocean or a continent. A lot of the airborne particles are from decades-old, broken-down items such as plastic bags, wrappers and bottles.

But the biggest sources are roadways, where the tires of large trucks and other vehicles degrade into tiny bits as they rumble along and are picked up by the wind.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.2 degrees Celsius) in Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 95.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70.6 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

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.

Space Events

Space Dust

The Earth gains quite a bit of weight each year as dust from comets and asteroids rains down on the planet.

Writing in the journal Earth & Planetary Science Letters, researchers say their 20-year study collected samples of the space debris, ranging from 30 to 200 micrometers in size, near the Franco-Italian Concordia research station in Antarctica. The scientists from France’s National Center for Scientific Research then calculated that Earth receives about 14 tons of the micrometeorites each day. They believe 80% comes from comets and the remainder from asteroids.

Disease

Covid-19

The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Dengue Fever – Mauritius

In a follow-up on the Dengue fever epidemic in Reunion Island, officials report 994 additional confirmed cases from March 29 to April 4. The circulation of the virus continues to intensify with surveillance indicators (confirmed cases, emergency room visits, weekly hospitalizations) on the increase in Reunion Island.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 7 April 2021 – 13 April 2021

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that at 0641 on 5 April and explosion at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) produced an ash plume that rose as high as 3 km above the crater rim and ejected material 800-1,000 m away from the crater. Five explosions were recorded during 9-12 April. The highest ash plume rose 2.1 km and bombs were ejected as far as 900 m from the crater. Crater incandescence was visible nightly. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono – Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 6-10 April ash plumes from Dukono rose 100-700 m above the summit and drifted E, SE, and S. Weather conditions prevented visual observations during 11-12 April. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 2-9 April that sent ash plumes to 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu – Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 6-13 April gray-and-white ash plumes from Ibu rose 200-1,000 m above the summit and drifted mainly N, E, and S. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater and 3.5 km away on the N side.

Kilauea – Hawaiian Islands (USA) : HVO reported that the W vent on the inner NW wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater continued to supply the lava lake during 31 March-6 April. Lava flowed at a low rate from the main vent into the lake through crusted-over channels and submerged inlets. The total depth of the lake measured about 226 m and lava continued to circulate in the W part; the E half of the lake remained solidified and expanded toward the W. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 1,200 tons/day on 1 April. HVO field crews observed weak spattering from two areas at the W vent during 1-2 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the Strombolian eruption at Lewotolok continued during 6-13 April. Gray-and-white ash plumes rose as high as 750 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. Incandescent material was ejected 300-500 m above the summit on most days and 500 m SE on 8 April. Incandescent material was ejected to the E during 9 and 11-12 April. Rumbling was occasionally audible. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 4 km away from the summit crater.

Merapi – Central Java (Indonesia) : BPPTKG reported that the lava dome just below Merapi’s SW rim and the lava dome in the summit crater both continued to grow during 1-8 April. The SW rim lava-dome volume was an estimated 1,098,000 cubic meters on 7 April, with a growth rate of about 12,800 cubic meters per day, and continued to shed material down the flank. A total of 13 pyroclastic flows traveled a maximum of 1.5 km down the SW flank. Incandescent avalanches, recorded 119 times, traveled as far as 1.1 km down the SW flank. The summit lava dome had grown to 75 m tall. Minor ashfall was reported in Ngipiksari (8 km SSW), Klangon (4 km S), and Deles (3 km SE) on 3 April. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay 5 km away from the summit.

Raung – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that daily gray-and-white ash plumes rose 50-600 m above Raung’s summit during 6-13 April and drifted mainly N, E, and S. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Semeru – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 7-13 April, though weather conditions often prevented visual confirmation. Gray-and-white ash plumes rose as high as 500 m during 9 and 11-12 April. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 1 km and extensions to 5 km in the SSE sector.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 2-9 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Sinabung – Indonesia : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Sinabung continued during 6-13 April. Weather conditions sometimes prevented visual observations of the volcano, though white fumarolic plumes were visible almost daily rising as high as 700 m above the summit and drifting in multiple directions. An eruptive event on 7 April produced a gray ash plume that rose 1 km. Two eruptive events the next day generated ash plumes that rose as high as 700 m. Avalanches traveled as far as 1.5 km E and SE during 8-11 April. Ash plumes rose 500-1,000 m high on 10 April. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 3 km and extensions to 5 km in the SE sector and 4 km in the NE sector.