Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits the southern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Two 5.1 earthquakes hit the southern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Atacama, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 04b (Four), located approximately 104 nm south-southeast of Kolkata, India, is tracking northwestward at 05 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Cameroon – At least five people died and many others were injured following a landslide in the North West Region of Cameroon. Meanwhile around 100 people have been left homeless after floods destroyed homes in the South West Region. Heavy rain has impacted southern and western parts of the country for some time. Over 200 mm of rain fell in 48 hrs to 11 August 2022 in Douala, the coastal city in southwest Cameroon. The rain triggered a landslide in Widikum, North West Region, on 11 August 2022.

India – Officials in Odisha, eastern India report that flooding in the state has affected almost 500,00 residents, with some 60,000 displaced from their homes. Flooding began after a period of heavy rain from around 13 August 2022. Around 215 mm of rain fell in Ersama in Jagatsinghpur District in 24 hours to 14 August. The flooding has affected 467,000 people in 1,757 villages in 10 districts. Over 60,000 people were displaced and had moved to safer areas.

China – At least 16 people have lost their lives in flash floods and landslides in north-western China. This is the third severe spate of flooding in the country in the last few days. Flooding and mudslides raged down slopes in mountainous areas of Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in Qinghai Province after heavy rain late on 17 August 2022. According to Xinhua News Agency, 6,245 residents of six villages in the area were affected. The nearby city of Xining, capital of Qinghai province, recorded 39.3 mm of rain in 3 hours. This is the third spate of severe flooding in the country in the last week.

Environment

Geothermal Energy

The dream of tapping the unlimited geothermal energy a few miles beneath the surface may be a little closer to reality, thanks to the same new laser technology developed to spark nuclear fusion.

Efforts to drill down the 7 miles or so have been blocked by layers of granite or basalt that are five times harder than the sedimentary rock just below ground. But Quaise Energy has plans for a test project in 2024 that will use millimeter-wave beam technology to vaporize those hard layers into glass boreholes. The startup says that if successful, the technology could be deployed on a global scale. It adds that if wells were drilled beneath existing coal or gas plants, their steam turbines could easily be retrofitted to generate deep geothermal energy as cheaply as 1 cent per kilowatt-hour.

African Drought

The deaths of more than 7 million head of livestock due to the worst East African drought in four decades is causing a humanitarian disaster to unfold. The World Health Organization warns that more than 80 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia now suffer from food insecurity.

Beyond the loss of livestock, vast swaths of cropland have been parched, and communities are being torn apart as families migrate in search of food and grazing. Even Kenya’s nomadic Masai now struggle to preserve their way of life as they are forced to travel farther than before in search of grazing land and water.

Wildlife

Rewilding the USA West

A new study suggests that increasing the numbers of wolves and beavers in federal lands across the western United States could help reestablish habitats lost during the past two centuries. The proposed Western Rewilding Network would cover nearly 190,000 square miles in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Only a small fraction of the former wolf and beaver populations still exists across the region, with no beavers left in many waterways. Lead author William Ripple of the Oregon State University College of Forestry says that by felling trees and shrubs to construct dams, beavers enrich fish habitats, increase water and sediment retention and maintain water flows during drought.

Cyclone Victims

A subtropical cyclone swirling off the coast of southern Brazil washed ashore hundreds of Magellan penguins that were migrating northward to breed. Most of the 620 penguins driven onto the sandy beaches along the Santos Basin were found dead.

“Penguins can’t fly and ended up drowning since the wind and waves were too strong,” said Andre Barreto, head of the cleanup operation. “We underwent a cyclone with gales of over 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) along the Santa Catarina coast.” The cyclone also caused flooding and wind damage.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 49.0 degrees Celsius (120 degrees F) at Death Valley. California.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 73.0 degrees Celsius (-99 degrees F) at the 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 – Algeria

Wildfires in Northeast Algeria have killed at least 38 people according to reports by local journalists and the fire service. Most of the fatalities have occurred in the El Tarf province near Algeria’s border with Tunisia within about 20 miles of the Mediterranean Sea. Officials said that 39 fires were spreading through parts of northern Algeria, and they warned that hot, dry winds could worsen the situation. Approximately 16 fires are near the city of El Tarf. About 90 people are thought to have died in fires last year when more than 250,000 acres of forests burned.

Wildfires – Spain

Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as more wildfires sweep across parts of Spain. Climate change and lightning strikes have seen fires break out across the land in recent days, causing damage to countryside and populated areas, as firefighters try to control the situation. In one hair-raising incident, a train service was caught up in a sweeping wildfire near Valencia, which left three passengers seriously injured.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week 10 August – 16 August 2022

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that nighttime incandescence at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible during 8-15 August. The seismic network recorded 33 eruptive events and 12 explosions. Volcanic plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the crater rim and material was ejected large ballistics as high as 1.7 km above the summit.

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : KVERT reported that moderate activity at Ebeko was ongoing. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E) explosions generated ash plumes that rose up to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions during 4-5 and 7-8 August. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was identified in satellite images during those same days.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin continued during 9-16 August; no changes to the flow margins were visible but the lava had deepened around the vent. Weather clouds often obscured satellite and webcam views during most of the week. Seismicity was low and occasional local earthquakes were recorded. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images on most days.

Ibu – Halmahera : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Ibu continued during 9-16 August. Gray-and-white ash plumes of variable densities generally rose as high as 1.5 km above the summit and drifted in multiple directions.

Kadovar – Northeast of New Guinea : Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 August an ash plume from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that the eruption at Karymsky continued during 4-11 August. A daily thermal anomaly over the volcano was identified in satellite images. Explosions during 5-9 August produced ash plumes that rose as high as 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 550 km in multiple directions.

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 9-16 August, entering the lava lake and flowing onto the crater floor. Part of the lake was continuously active. The lake level mostly remained within the bounding levees, though daily breakouts were visible along the margins.

Krakatau – Sunda Strait : PVMBG reported that cloudy weather often prevented visual confirmation of the ongoing eruption at Anak Krakatau during 9-16 August. Incandescence at or near the vent was seen in nighttime photos on most days.

Merapi – Central Java : BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi continued during 5-11 August and seismicity remained at high levels. As many as 43 lava avalanches traveled down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank, reaching a maximum distance of 1.5 km.

Pavlof – Alaska Peninsula, Alaska : AVO reported that a minor eruption at a vent on Pavlof’s upper E flank was ongoing during 9-16 August, though cloud cover often prevented visual confirmation. Seismic tremor persisted and multiple small daily explosions were detected in local and regional seismic and infrasound data. The explosions may have produced minor ash emissions that rose no higher than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and dissipated quickly, though on a few of the clear views none were seen. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images on most of the days.

Popocatepetl – Mexico : CENAPRED reported that there were 19-204 steam-and-gas emissions, sometimes containing minor amounts of ash, rising from Popocatépetl each day during 9-16 August. A minor explosion was recorded at 0839 on 10 August and a moderate explosion was detected at 1528 on 11 August. Minor ashfall was reported in the municipality of Ecatzingo, State of Mexico. An explosion at 1952 on 13 August was followed at 2125 by minor amounts of ashfall in Tetela del Volcán.

Sangay – Ecuador : IG reported that a notable increase in seismicity at Sangay began at around 1000 on 12 August and was followed by the effusion of a lava flow that descended more than 1 km on the SE flank. Strombolian activity was visible at the summit. Ash plumes rose as high as 3.5 km above the summit and drifted 500 km W and SW, past the coastline, and caused daily ashfall in the provinces of Chimborazo and Guayas during 12-16 August.

Semeru – Eastern Java : The eruption at Semeru continued during 10-16 August. The Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-16 August ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.3-4.6 km (14,000-15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and W based on satellite images and wind models. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4).

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that the ongoing eruption at Sheveluch was characterized by explosions, hot avalanches, and lava-dome extrusion during 4-11 August. A daily thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images, and gas-and-steam plumes containing some ash were visible drifting 70 km E and SE during 8-9 August.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that the number of daily explosions at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater began increasing on 2 August and remained elevated through 7 August; their frequency began decreasing on 8 August. About 11 explosions were recorded during 8-15 August. Eruption plumes rose as high as 2 km above the crater rim and large ballistics were ejected as far as 800 m from the crater. Incandescence from the crater was often visible at night.

Taal – Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that sulfur dioxide emissions at Taal averaged 3,802-6,844 tonnes per day during 9-10 and 12-15 August; a high of 13,572 tonnes per day was recorded on 11 August causing significant vog around the caldera and a sulfur odor reported by residents of Banyaga, (Agoncillo), Poblacion 5, Boso-boso, and Gulod (Laurel), and Poblacion (Talisay). Upwelling volcanic gasses and fluids in the lake were visible, along with voluminous steam-rich plumes that rose as high as 3 km above the lake and drifted mainly NE, SE, and SW.