Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Fiona is located about 125 mi…200 km n of Bermuda and about 730 mi…1175 km s of Halifax Nova Scotia with maximum sustained winds…125 mph…205 km/h. Present movement…nne or 30 degrees at 25 mph…41 km/h.

Tropical Storm Gaston is located about 135 mi…215 km nnw of Faial island in the central Azores with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…ese or 120 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

Tropical Depression Nine is located about 615 mi…985 km ese of Kingston Jamaica and about 1105 mi…1780 km ese of Havana Cuba with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 290 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 15e (Newton), located approximately 959 nm south-southeast of San Diego, is tracking west-northwestward at 07 knots.

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Tropical Depression 17w (Talas), located approximately 212 nm southeast of Iwakuni, Japan, is tracking north-northeastward at 13 knots.

Tropical Storm 18w (Noru), located approximately 556 nm south-southeast of Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan, is tracking westward at 08 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Niger – Long-term rainfall and flooding have taken their toll on the population of Niger, where as many as 168 people have lost lives as a result. The UN said the number of flood-affected people has increased from 140,000 to 226,000 within the last week. “Time is of the essence and we must scale-up assistance now to save lives,” the UN said.

Guinea a- At least 3 people have lost their lives after heavy rain and flooding in Conakry, capital of Guinea in West Africa. Meanwhile flooding in areas of the eastern Kankan Region has destroyed homes, crops and livestock. According to the United Nations, severe floods ravaged Conakry on 17 September, killing three people – including two by electrocution – and affecting 2,576 people, including 137 children. The National Agency for the Management of Emergencies and Humanitarian Disasters is carrying out damage assessments.

Pakistan – The devastating flooding affecting Pakistan has killed over 1,300 people, damaged over 1.7 million homes, and is disrupting food production. Over 33 million people have been affected so far. The destruction caused by these so-called “natural disasters” is often accepted as largely unavoidable and unpredictable. Climate change is also blamed for the alleged increased frequency of disasters. However, decades of research explain that disasters are instead caused by sources of vulnerability rather than by the climate or other environmental influences. Sources of vulnerability stem from a lack of power and resources to prepare for hazards. This includes poorly designed infrastructure along with social marginalisation and inequity, which restrict access to education and other key services. A disaster is where the ability of people to cope with a hazard or its impacts by using their own resources is exceeded. Where resources are scarce or inadequate, a hazard often adversely affects people. Consequently, framing a flood as a “natural disaster” deflects from the reality that vulnerability must exist before a crisis can emerge. The failure of governments to suitably prepare people for these hazards is a root cause of disaster. No matter the severity of the flooding event, a disaster can be avoided.

Nigeria – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Nigeria reports that more than 300 people have lost their lives in flooding in the country, 500 have been injured and 500 000 affected. Further heavy rain and dam releases are likely to worsen the situation. The UN reported a cholera outbreak in parts of north-east Nigeria attributed to the widespread contamination of water sources by flooding.

Global Warming

Lakes Melt Earlier

Winter ice on more than 117 million lakes at higher latitudes is melting about eight days earlier due to global heating. Iestyn Woolway of Bangor University in Wales says the earlier melt is affecting plants and wildlife while altering the local climate.

Ice currently forms on more than half of the world’s lakes, with 90% of them located north of 30 degrees in latitude. Woolway says lakes will eventually be free of ice somewhere between 15 and 45 days earlier, which will bring local warming of between 2 and 6 degrees surrounding the lakes.

Spike in Amazon emissions linked to lack of law enforcement

Carbon emissions in the Amazon region in 2019 and 2020 more than doubled compared to the average of the previous eight years, according to a new study. Deforestation for agriculture and fires were the main drivers of the increase, according to the authors. The scientists say that a “collapse” in law enforcement in recent years has encouraged forest clearing.

Environment

Rising and Sinking Cities

A new study finds that parts of many coastal cities are sinking more quickly than the rise in sea level. The finding means that those communities are now doubly threatened, and not just from the rising tides caused by glacial melt and the thermal expansion of the waters due to global heating.

An international team of researchers used satellite-based radar to measure how much the land is sinking around 48 of the world’s largest seaside cities. They found that all of the cities studied had some amount of land subsidence, with some areas sinking faster than the seas were rising. Land subsidence is caused by the extraction of groundwater and natural gas, and by the massive weight of tall buildings and other structures.

Wildlife

Ant Kingdoms

German and Chinese researchers say they know the approximate number of ants currently crawling across the planet. Based on data from 489 ant studies, they determined there are 20 quadrillion individual ants, with a dry weight far heavier than that of all the wild birds and mammals on the planet combined. The number 20 quadrillion is 20 followed by 15 zeros.

For every human, there are nearly 2.5 million ants scurrying, eating and breeding across the landscape. “They are very important for nutrient cycling, decomposition processes, plant seed dispersal and the perturbation of soil,” said entomologist Patrick Schultheiss of Germany’s University of Würzburg.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 46.0 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees F) at Adrar, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 74.0 degrees Celsius (-101.2 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.

Disease

Covid-19

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

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Rabies – South Africa

South African health officials report in the last month, two cases of rabies were reported in two children from the Eastern Cape province. As of 25 August, 2022, South Africa reported ten laboratory-confirmed rabies. Furthermore, five deaths from probable rabies have been reported from the Eastern Cape Province.

Ebola – Uganda

Uganda health officials reported six new confirmed cases of Ebola, bringing the total number of people infected to seven. One death has been reported. The confirmed cases are Sudan ebolavirus. Forty-three contacts have been identified and 10 people suspected to have caught the virus are receiving treatment at the regional referral hospital in Mubende.

Malaria – Pakistan

The death toll from malaria and other diseases tearing through Pakistan’s flood-ravaged regions reached 324, authorities said on Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the floods were living in the open. Stagnant floodwaters, spread over hundreds of kilometres, may take two to six months to recede. Already they have led to widespread cases of skin and eye infections, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid and dengue fever.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week 14 September – 20 September 2022

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that 10 explosions at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) were recorded during 12-19 September. Volcanic plumes produced by the explosions rose as high as 1.6 km above the crater rim and ballistics were ejected as far as 1.3 km from the vent. Sulfur dioxide emissions were high at 2,400 tons per day on 24 September. Nighttime incandescence at the crater was visible during 2-16 September.

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 3.6 km (11,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was identified in satellite images during 8 and 12-13 September. Ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk during 9-10 September.

Fagradalsfjall – Iceland : IMO stated that the Fagradalsfjall and Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic systems have been designated as two separate systems based on previous scientific research combined with data collected and analyzed from the two recent eruptions (2021 and 2022). On 15 September lava from the fissure that opened in Meradalir stopped erupting on 21 August. Seismicity remained at low levels and no deformation was detected.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin likely continued during 13-20 September, an analysis confirmed by clear satellite images during 13-15 September. Lava flowed outward from the vent area but flows at the margins did not advance. Minor steam emissions were also visible during 13-14 September and elevated surface temperatures were identified during 13-15 and 17-18 September. Weather cloud cover occasionally prevented webcam and satellite views. A data outage affected the local seismic network during 16-20 September, though no significant activity was detected on regional geophysical networks.

Ibu – Halmahera : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Ibu continued during 14-20 September. Gray-and-white ash plumes of variable densities rose as high as 800 m 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 18 September multiple, discrete, ash plumes from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and WNW.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 9 and 10-11 September.

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 13-20 September, entering the lava lake and flowing onto the crater floor. Part of the lake’s surface was continuously active.

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja – Reykjanes Peninsula : IMO stated that the Fagradalsfjall and Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic systems have been designated as two separate systems based on previous scientific research combined with data collected and analyzed from the two recent eruptions (2021 and 2022). On 15 September the Aviation Color Code for Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja was changed to Green, reflecting that the activity was at known background levels.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 13-20 September. Daily white emissions rose as high as 300 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. During 16-19 September white-and-gray or white, gray, and black plumes rose as high 1 km and drifted W and NW. Incandescence above the crater rim was visible in some webcam photographs posted during 14-15 September.

Merapi – Central Java : BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi continued during 9-15 September and seismicity remained at high levels. As many as 13 lava avalanches from the SW lava dome traveled down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank, reaching a maximum distance of 1.8 km. No morphological changes to the SW and central lava domes were evident in photographs.

Nevados de Chillan – Central Chile : SERNAGEOMIN reported that a long-period earthquake signals were recorded at Nevados de Chillán at 0750 and 1913 on 19 September. Associated emissions at 0750 rose 1.1 km above the summit and drifted NE, and at 1913 rose 1.7 km above the summit and drifted SE. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the second lowest level on a four-color scale, and residents were reminded not to approach the crater within 3 km.

Pavlof – Alaska Peninsula, Alaska : AVO reported that a minor eruption at a vent on Pavlof’s upper E flank was ongoing during 13-20 September. Seismic tremor persisted. New lahar and minor ash deposits extending less than 900 m from the vent were visible during 11-13 September. Strong incandescence at the vent and from an area within 200 m downslope was visible in webcam images starting on 14 September, signifying the emplacement of a short lava flow. Elevated surface temperatures over the vent and flow were identified in satellite images through 20 September; lava effusion continued but no active lava flows extended down the flank from the vent. Explosions were recorded during 18-19 September and steam emissions were visible in webcam images during 19-20 September.

Purace – Colombia : Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Popayán, Servicio Geologico Colombiano (SGC), reported that during 13-19 September the number of earthquakes at Puracé was slightly higher compared to previous weeks. A seismic swarm was recorded on 15 September. Events were located about 1.5 km SW of Puracé crater, at depths of 3-4 km, and were as large as M 1.3. A total of 904 earthquakes were recorded during the week; 296 of those were volcano-tectonic events, 538 were long-period events, 54 were low-energy pulses of tremor, 11 were tornillo-type events, and five were hybrid events. Data from the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) geodetic network indicated continuing inflation. White gas plumes were visible in the Anambío, Mina, Lavas Rojas, Cerro Sombrero, and Curiquinga webcams drifting NW. Sulfur dioxide emissions were as high as 2,021 tonnes per day.

Rincon de la Vieja – Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported continuing eruptive activity at Rincón de la Vieja characterized by occasional small phreatic explosions. A small explosion at 0147 on 14 September produced a steam-and-gas plume that rose 600 m above the crater rim. Low-frequency tremor began at 0900 on 17 September and was possibly associated with small eruptive events, though they were not visually confirmed. A possible emission was recorded at 0219.

Semeru – Eastern Java : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 13-20 September. Eruptive events at 0524 on 17 September and 0505 on 19 September produced ash plumes that rose 500 m above the summit and drifted W and SW. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). The public was warned to stay at least 5 km away from the summit, and 500 m from Kobokan drainages within 17 km of the summit, along with other drainages originating on Semeru, including the Bang, Kembar, and Sat, due to lahar, avalanche, and pyroclastic flow hazards.

Semisopochnoi – Aleutian Islands (USA) : AVO reported that the eruption at Semisopochnoi was ongoing during 13-20 September. Seismicity remained elevated and characterized by intermittent tremor. Low-level ash emissions from the N crater of Mount Cerberus were occasionally visible in mostly cloudy webcam views during 13-15 September. Possible fresh local ashfall was seen in webcam images during 16-17 September. Steam emissions were visible in webcam views during 19-20 September.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that the ongoing eruption at Sheveluch was characterized by explosions, hot avalanches, and lava-dome extrusion during 8-15 September. A daily thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images. Plumes of re-suspended ash drifted 90 km E on 8 September.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that the eruption at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater continued during 12-19 September. A total of 11 explosions produced eruption plumes that rose as high as 1.4 km above the crater rim and ejected large blocks 600 m from the vent. Volcanic tremor was occasionally recorded.

Whakaari/White Island – North Island (New Zealand) : GeoNet reported that minor ash emissions from the active vent area in Whakaari/White Island’s crater were visible in webcam images on 18 September. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange; the Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2. Minor light brown ash emissions were visible through the day, and rose no higher than 600 m above the volcano. Ash emissions were not visible beyond the island, but a steam plume was seen from the Bay of Plenty coast. A strong sulfur dioxide signal associated with the emissions was identified in satellite images that same day. One of the seismic stations began working again on 19 September and showed typical low-level seismicity, consistent with no visible ash emissions. GeoNet was unable to accurately characterize the ash emissions due to the lack of data from inoperable instruments and the semi-operational webcam on the island. They noted that the most likely cause was a small amount of magma moving into the shallow part of the volcano.