Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.7 earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

6.1 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.3 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm 03w (Three), located approximately 132 nm west-northwest of Manila, Philippines, is tracking westward at 12 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Russia – Disaster authorities in Russia report that homes have been inundated and residents evacuated after flooding from the rising Amur river in Khabarovsk Krai in the Far East region. TOn 10 May the levels of the Amur River in the Khabarovsk Territory were rising as a result of snow melt and ice jams. On 10 May the Amur reached 6.3 metres at Takhta, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. Danger levels are 5.5 metres. As of 12 May, over 60 homes were flooded in Nikolayevsky District, prompting some evacuations.

DR Congo – Long-term heavy rainfall has caused severe flooding in parts of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, with as many as 13,600 households affected according to the UN. Flooding has destroyed 4,240 houses and affected as many as 13,600 households in the province of Tanganyika, Democratic Republic of Congo. Thousands of families are homeless: some are living in public places (churches, schools), others are staying with host families. Over 100 schools have been destroyed, affecting nearly 39,600 pupils.

Wildlife

Adapting Butterflies

Western monarch butterflies from the Pacific Northwest to California may not be going extinct as earlier feared, but are instead changing their breeding habitats and adapting to climate change.

A Washington State University expert says last winter’s count of the colorful insects revealed a sharp drop, especially across much of Southern California, where the number plunged from about 300,000 three years ago to just 1,914 in 2020.

But entomologist David James says large populations were observed by citizen scientists in metropolitan Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, where they had seldom been seen wintering before.

Environment

Radiation – Chernobyl

Fission reactions appear to be occurring in an inaccessible chamber of Ukraine’s crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which exploded 35 years ago.

Scientists say they don’t know if the slow rise in neutron emissions will fizzle out or increase, forcing them to find ways to prevent another catastrophe. “It’s like the embers in a barbecue pit,” said nuclear chemist Neil Hyatt of the University of Sheffield. He says the new rates of fission are very low and believes they probably will not lead to an explosion. But scientists on the scene say they are not sure since there is no direct way to monitor what is happening inside the sealed and intensely radioactive chamber.

Global Warming

Forest Recovery

Areas of felled forest around the world, collectively the size of France, have regrown naturally during the past 20 years, potentially soaking up more carbon emissions than the United States creates each year.

But the World Wildlife Fund, which led the survey, says far more areas of forests are being lost each year through deforestation than are recovering. “The data show the enormous potential of natural habitats to recover when given the chance to do so,” said John Lotspeich, executive director of Trillion Trees, the coalition group behind the study.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) in Kufra, Libya.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 111.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 79.4 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.

Disease

Covid-19

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

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Gastro-Intestinal Infection – Armenia

The Armenian Ministry of Health reports an outbreak of intestinal infections in the country’s Sisian community. To date, the ministry has recorded 370 cases with diagnoses that are characteristic of intestinal infections.

Syphilis – Texas, USA

The city of Houston health Department is reporting a congenital syphilis surge. Preliminary data indicate that fetal deaths in Harris County (including Houston) increased from four in 2019 to 14 in 2020, a 250-percent increase.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 5 May 2021 – 11 May 2021

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 3-10 May incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. There were four explosions and four non-explosive events during 3-7 May, producing ash plumes that rose as high has 2.5 km above the summit and ejecting bombs 0.8-1.1 km away from the crater. Very small eruptive events were recorded during 7-10 May. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 1,300 tons per day on 19 May. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale), and residents were warned to stay 2 km away from the crater.

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 4-6 May that sent ash plumes to 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and SE. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite data on 5 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that 5-12 explosions per hour were recorded during 4-11 May at Fuego, generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim. Shock waves sometimes rattled buildings around the volcano. Ashfall was reported daily in several areas downwind, including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). Block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. Explosions ejected incandescent material 100-450 m above the summit during 4-8 May.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images during 29-30 April and 1 May; weather clouds prevented observations during 2-7 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

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 at a low rate during 5-11 May through a submerged inlet. The depth of the lake was 229 m by 11 May. Lava continued to circulate in the W part, though the active area continued to shrink. The E half of the lake remained solidified and comprised about 93 percent of the total area, based on thermal measurements acquired on 16 April. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 200-300 tons per day during 5-7 May, and 150 tons per day on 10 May, continuing a downward trend that began in mid-April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja – Iceland : IMO reported that the fissure eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, continued during 5-11 May. On 2 May pulsating high jets of lava from crater 5 prompted authorities to widen the restricted zone because; ash and lava could be deposited several hundred of meters away. Cycles of lava jetting and effusion periodically continued during 3-7 May, with lava steadily enlarging the flow field. By 4 May the area of the flow field had grown to 1.41 square kilometers, and the total volume erupted was 23 million cubic meters. Activity was quiet for a period of time during 8-9 May, though IMO noted that fountaining quickly resumed during the morning of 9 May. High jets of lava occurred every 10 minutes, sometimes with jets rising as high as 300 m. Tephra (a few centimeters in diameter) was deposited as far as 1 km from the vent and small amounts of tephra were reported in Gríndavík. Hot deposits have caused small vegetation fires within a few hundreds of meters around the eruption site. On 10 May gas plumes rose higher than 2 km a.s.l. The eruption area was closed due to local wildfires and unfavorable wind conditions. Very high fountains were visible in Reykjavik. On 11 May lava fountains again rose up to 300 m tall and were seen from the capital. The cone had grown to about 50 m high. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange due to the lack of ash and tephra emissions.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that mostly white plumes from Lewotolok rose as high as 600 m and drifted SE, W, and NW during 4-11 May. Gray-and-white plumes rose 500 m and drifted W, NW, and SE on 6 and 8 May. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 3 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 extrude lava during 30 April-6 May. The SW rim lava-dome volume was an estimated 1.1 million cubic meters on 2 May, with a growth rate of about 17,000 cubic meters per day, and continued to shed material down the flank. A total of 12 pyroclastic flows traveled a maximum of 2 km down the SW flank. Incandescent avalanches, recorded 74 times, traveled as far as 2 km down the SW flank and twice went 600 m SE. The volume of the summit lava dome was 1.7 million cubic meters on 2 May, with a growth rate of about 14,000 cubic meters per day. Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) data showed a distance shortening between points in the NW at a rate of 0.6 cm per day, indicating minor inflation. 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.

Pacaya – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 4-11 May the lava flow on Pacaya’s N flank continued to advance, lengthening from 2.1 to 2.4 km, and spreading laterally in some areas. Incandescent blocks detached from the flow, especially along the flow margins and steep slopes. Occasional explosions at the vent (near Cerro Chino) ejected incandescent material as high as 100 m. Around 0600 on 6 May explosions at the summit produced ash plumes that drifted S. Dense ash plumes were visible drifting W and SW during 7-9 May. On 11 May an advancing lava flow on the SW flank was 2.3 km long.

Sangay – Ecuador : IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 5-11 May. Seismicity was characterized by 3-28 daily explosions, long-period earthquakes, lahar events, and signals indicating emissions. Weather clouds and rain sometimes prevented visual observations of the volcano, especially during 8-9 May. Based on the Washington VAAC and occasional webcam images, ash plumes were visible during 4-8 and 10 May rising as high as 2 km above the summit and drifting mainly NW, W, and SW. Eruptions during midmorning and again around noon on 7 May produced ash plumes that rose 2.3 km and drifted WSW; higher plumes rose 5.4 km and drifted NW. Notable ashfall was reported in multiple places in the afternoon; in Guamote (40 km WNW), in Riobamba, and Alusí. A lava flow descended the SE flank. Minor amounts of ash fell in parts of the Guayas province in the morning of 8 May. The seismic network recorded lahar signals during 7-10 May.

Santa Maria – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 4-11 May daily explosions at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the summit and drifted W, SW, and S. Collapses of blocky lava from Caliente dome sent avalanches down the SE, S, SW, and W flanks, sometimes reaching the base, and causing minor ashfall around the volcano. Ashfall was also reported in San Marcos (8 km SW) and Loma Linda Palajunoj (6 km WSW) during 5-6 and 10-11 May.

Semeru – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that Semeru continued to erupt during 4-11 May. Avalanches of material traveled 200-300 m SE down the Kobokan drainage on 6 May. Gray-and-white plumes rose 200-500 m above the summit and drifted S during 8-9 May. Avalanches of material traveled as far as 700 m down the Kobokan drainage. 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.

Semisopochnoi – Aleutian Islands (USA) : AVO lowered the Aviation colour Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory for Semisopochnoi on 7 May, noting that no ash emissions had been observed nor explosions recorded since 26 April. Sulfur dioxide emissions were recorded on 1 and 5 May, signifying continued unrest. Steam plumes were visible rising from the N crater of Mt. Cerberus on 7 May.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 30 April-7 May. 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 4-11 May. Weather conditions sometimes prevented visual observations of the volcano, though white fumarolic plumes were visible almost daily rising as high as 500 m above the summit and drifting in multiple directions. Daily avalanches descended 500-1,500 m down the E and SE flanks. At 1119 on 6 May an ash plume rose 2 km above the summit and drifted E. At 0908 and 1519 on 7 May ash plumes rose 3 km and drifted E. Ash plumes rose 1-2.8 km and drifted E, WNW, and W at 1044, 1656, and 1841 on 8 May; plumes were also seen on 9 May. At 0747 on 10 May an ash plume rose 2.5 km and drifted SW. Ash plumes on 11 May rose 700 m and drifted W at 0712, and rose 1.5 km and drifted E at 1428. 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.

Soufriere St. Vincent – St. Vincent : On 6 May government authorities lowered the Alert Level to Orange for Soufrière St. Vincent (often simply referred to as “La Soufriere”) based on recommendations from University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC). The public was allowed to return to their homes in the Yellow and Orange zones, though access to the Red Zone remained restricted. UWI-SRC noted that over the previous few days continuing lahars had mobilized boulders 5 m in diameter and were steamy in areas where they contacted hot deposits. A small lahar signal was recorded at 0740 on 7 May. Sulfur dioxide emissions were measured from a boat near the W coast, yielding a flux of 208 tons per day on 9 May. Seismicity remained low through 11 May with only a few long-period earthquakes recorded by the seismic network.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that 35 explosions at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater produced eruption plumes that rose as high as 2.4 km above the crater rim during 30 April-7 May. Large volcanic bombs were ejected 700 m from the crater. Crater incandescence was visible nightly. The Alert Level remained at 2 and the public was warned to stay 1 km away from the crater.