Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

5.4 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 26p (Gina), located approximately 64 south-southwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking south-southwestward at 03 knots.

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Environment

Pollution Kills

Approximately 1 in 10 premature deaths worldwide during 2019 were linked to pollution, according to a new report by the Lancet Commission. It says 9 million people died during the year due to breathing toxic outside air and from lead poisoning.

Pollution is an “existential threat to human health and planetary health, and jeopardises the sustainability of modern societies,” the report concludes. While pollution rarely kills immediately, it does trigger heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, diarrhea and other serious illnesses, according to the report.

Deadly Heat

South Asia’s blistering heat wave worsened, with temperatures soaring to above 51 degrees Celsius in parts of Pakistan. The heat is evaporating water supplies and causing misery among those who have to work outdoors.

“It’s like fire burning all around,” Jacobabad, Pakistan, labourer Shafi Mohammed told AFP. Farmers in the Cholistan Desert report that some of their sheep have died from heatstroke and dehydration. But relief could be on the way, with cooling monsoon rains predicted to initially reach southern India earlier than normal on May 27.

Global Warming

Four Critical Climate Change Indicators Broke Records in 2021

Humanity’s over-reliance on fossil fuels and ecological damage has released historic levels of greenhouse gases to the point that four critical indicators of climate change broke records in 2021, according to a new report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The world smashed records for all global indicators: greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean temperatures and acidification. Carbon dioxide and methane – a potent planet-warming gas – emissions have soared to unprecedented levels in 2021 despite worldwide pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions, the State of the Global Climate in 2021 report found. CO2 concentration has also reached 50% higher than pre-industrial levels.

Wildlife

Nature’s War Victims

The coastlines, forests and wetlands of southern Ukraine have suffered untold destruction and contamination by Russia’s war on the country.

The bombardments and missile attacks have inflicted damage to wildlife and the environment that will take decades to recover once the war ends, according to Yevhenia Zasiadko of the Ukrainian environmental organization Ecoaction. “We are seeing a frightening amount of landscape damage,” Zasiadko told Spain’s RTVE.

Russia’s military has targeted many of Ukraine’s mines, refineries, fuel depots and chemical plants, polluting the surrounding areas.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 51.0 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees F) at Jacobabad, Pakistan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 76.0 degrees Celsius (-104.8 degrees F) 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Texas, USA

In Texas, the Texas A&M Forestry Service said the Mesquite fire that has burned dozens of homes was still only 5% contained Thursday afternoon after charring more than 15 square miles of juniper and mesquite brush 18 miles southwest of Abilene.

Disease

Covid-19

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

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Japanese Encephalitis – Australia

In a follow-up on the Japanese encephalitis situation in Australia, the Department of Health now reports 42 human cases in Australia, including four fatalities.

Monkeypox

Canada – Health authorities report 17 cases of unusual oral and genital ulcers possibly linked to monkeypox in Greater Montreal.

Sweden – A person in the Stockholm region has been confirmed infected with monkeypox, Folkhälsomyndigheten, the Swedish Public Health Agency reported today.

USA – Massachusetts state health officials today confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with recent travel to Canada. This is the first monkeypox case reported in the US this year.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week 11 May – 17 May 2022

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that a very small eruptive event was recorded at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 9-13 May. An eruptive event at 1141 on 15 May generated a plume that rose 1.2 km above the crater rim.

Etna – Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that at around 1900 on 12 May new vents opened along the N flank of Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) and produced ash emissions that rose to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. Lava flowed from the vents and traveled to the N base of the crater. Lava effusion continued over the next several days, and by 17 May the flow had descended ENE into Valle del Leone, reaching 2,300-2,400 m elevation. Discontinuous Strombolian activity of variable intensities occurred at SEC; during more intense phases ash emissions were visible, though the plumes dissipated rapidly.

Fuego – South-Central Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that 2-9 explosions per hour were recorded at Fuego during 10-17 May, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim. The ash plumes drifted 10-15 km E, SE, S, and SW causing daily ashfall in areas downwind including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, Finca la Asunción, El Zapote (10 km S), Ceylon, Yucales (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Alotenángo (8 km ENE), San Miguel Dueñas (10 km NE), San Sebastián, and La Rochela. Daily shock waves rattled structures in communities around the volcano and occasional rumbling was heard. Block avalanches descended the flanks in all directions, but most commonly were visible in the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Honda, and Las Lajas (SE) drainages. Daily explosions ejected incandescent material 100-350 m above the summit.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that minor advancement of the lava flows at Great Sitkin indicated continuing slow lava effusion during 10-17 May. Daily elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite data.

Ibu – Halmahera : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Ibu continued during 11-17 May. Daily gray-and-white ash plumes of variable densities generally rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted mainly W and N. Eruptive events at 0903 and 1807 on 14 May and at 1759 on 15 May produced ash plumes that rose 0.8-1 km above the summit and drifted W and SW. At 1646 on 16 May dense gray ash plumes rose around 2.5 km and drifted W.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images during 6-13 May. Explosions on 12 May generated ash plumes that rose as high as 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. by 1120 local time and drifted about 30 km NW. Explosions on 14 May produced ash plumes that rose to 5.7 km (18,700 ft) a.s.l. by 0940 local time and drifted 28 km NE.

Katmai – Alaska : AVO reported that on 13 May strong winds in the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes blew unconsolidated ash SE towards Kodiak Island at an altitude up to 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. The ash was originally deposited during the Novarupta eruption in 1912.

Kilauea – Hawaiian Islands (USA) : HVO reported that lava continued to effuse from a vent in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater during 10-17 May, entering the active lava lake and flowing onto the crater floor. By 10 May the total volume of erupted lava was an estimated 77 million cubic meters, and the lake which had risen a total of 106 m since 29 September 2021. The surface of the lava lake was active all week, though the height of the lake was high and relatively stable. Breakouts of lava occurred along the NE and NW margins of the lake during 10-11 May, and more notably from the E margins the rest of the week.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 10-17 May. An increase in gas emissions along with continuing ash emissions was observed on 14 and 17 May. The ash emissions rose to 1-2.4 km above the summit and drifted W, N, and NE.

Manam – Northeast of New Guinea : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-16 May ash plumes from Manam rose to 2.4-3.7 km (8,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, SW, and W based on satellite images and weather models.

Merapi – Central Java : BPPTKG reported no significant morphological changes at Merapi’s summit lava dome during 6-12 May, though the height of the dome below the SW rim had increased by around 2 m. As many as 92 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km, mostly down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank. Two pyroclastic flows traveled 2 km down the Bebeng drainage. Seismicity remained high.

Pavlof – Alaska Peninsula, Alaska : AVO reported that the eruption at a vent on Pavlof’s upper E flank was ongoing during 10-17 May, and seismic tremor persisted. Daily elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images consistent with the effusion of short lava flows on the upper flank.

Reventador – Ecuador : IG reported that a high level of activity continued at Reventador during 10-17 May, though cloudy weather conditions sometimes prevented visual observations, particularly during 14-15 May. Gas-and-ash plumes, often observed multiple times a day as reported by the Washington VAAC, rose as high as 1 km above the summit and drifted mainly NW and W. Incandescence from the crater and incandescent blocks rolling 600 m down the flanks was visible during 10-13 May. During the morning of 17 May a new lava flow descended the NE flank.

Rincon de la Vieja – Costa Rica : On 13 May OVSICORI-UNA reported that 23 small phreatic explosions at Rincón de la Vieja were recorded during the previous week. Eruptive events at 2328 on 10 May and 0700 on 11 May were recorded by the seismic network through darkness and cloudy weather conditions prevented visual confirmation. Tremor levels decreased significantly on 12 May.

Ruapehu – North Island (New Zealand) : On 17 May GeoNet reported that elevated unrest at Ruapehu continued, though at reduced levels. During the previous two weeks the level of volcanic tremor declined from strong to moderate. The lake water temperature decreased from a peak of 41 degrees Celsius on 8 May to 37 degrees Celsius. A gas measurement flight on 13 May confirmed continuing high levels of gas emissions, though at values lower than measured two weeks prior; sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide flux rates at 179 and 1,658 tonnes per day, respectively. Lake upwelling over the northern vent area was also visible during the overflight.

Sangay – Ecuador : IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 10-17 May. Weather clouds and rain often prevented visual and webcam observations of the volcano, though almost daily ash-and-gas plumes were identified in satellite images by the Washington VAAC; plumes rose as high as 1.5 km above the volcano and drifted W. Almost daily, multiple daily thermal anomalies over the volcano were visible in satellite data. The seismic network detected signals indicating lahars or possible lahars during 13-17 May.

Santa Maria – Southwestern Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that the eruption at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex continued during 10-17 May. Incandescence from Caliente crater and the lava flows on the W and SW flanks was visible nightly and during some early mornings. The lava flows continued to advance in the San Isidro channel, and produced block avalanches from the ends and sides of the flows that descended the S, SW, and S flanks. Ash from these avalanches fell in areas on and around the volcano.

Semeru – Eastern Java : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 11-17 May. An eruptive event at 0608 on 14 May generated an ash plume that rose 200 m and drifted N. Another event recorded at 0634 on 17 May produced an ash plume that rose 300 m and drifted SW.

Semisopochnoi – Aleutian Islands (USA) : AVO reported that low-level eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi’s North Cerberus cone continued during 10-17 May. Seismicity continued to be elevated with intermittent tremor detected by the seismic network. Several daily explosions were recorded in infrasound and seismic data. Daily low-level ash emissions were visible in clear satellite images and webcam views.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 6-13 May, and lava-dome extrusion continued.

Sinabung – Northwestern Sumatra : During 1 January-17 May gas emissions were frequently visible and detected by instruments; daily averages of sulfur dioxide emissions from passive degassing were below 250 tons per day, though a high value of about 4,000 tons per day was recorded in January, and white plumes of varying densities rose as high as 500 m above the summit. During the previous four months deformation data showed a downward trend and indicated deflation, and the number of deep and shallow volcanic earthquakes signals generally declined. Growth of the SE part of the lava dome continued at a low rate as indicated by low numbers of earthquake signals caused by fluid movement. Avalanches of material were indicated by seismic signals though not visually confirmed.

Stromboli – Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported that during 9-15 May activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing explosions from three vents in Area N (North Crater area) and two vents in Area C-S (South-Central Crater area). During 9-13 May explosions from Area N vents (N1 and N2) averaged 2-4 events per hour; explosions from the N1 vent ejected lapilli and bombs mixed with ash 80-150 m high and those at two N2 vents ejected material less than 80 m high. No explosions occurred at the S1 and C vents in Area C-S; low- to medium-intensity explosions at the two S2 vents occurred at a rate of 0-5 per hour and ejected coarse material 80-150 m high. A sequence of six major explosions occurred at S1 and S2 in Area C-S during 1643-1647 on 13 May. The first, and most energetic, occurred at 1643 and ejected an abundant amount of coarse material 300 m high. The material fell in areas to the E and SE, and at Pizzo Sopra la Fossa (an area atop the volcano about 100 m above the crater terrace). The second explosion was lower in intensity but also ejected coarse material. The third through the sixth explosion all ejected ash. Deposits from the explosions seen during a field visit the next day were found as far at 450 m elevation, and impacts from ballistics were found along the switchbacks up the Liscione between 700 and 830 m elevation. Decimeter to meter-sized bombs were observed near 850 m elevation. Elongated tephra, centimeter to decimeter in size, was seen near Pizzo Sopra la Fossa. The CS vent area had deepened and the vents were elongated towards the central part. After the sequence of explosions on 13 May, through 15 May, explosive activity at N1, N2, and Area C-S was low.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that eruptive activity continued to be recorded at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 9-16 May. Eruption plumes rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and material was ejected 400 m above the vent; no explosions were recorded. Ash fell in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW) during 13-16 May.