Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits Guadeloupe in the Leeward Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.1 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits Guam.

5.0 earthquake hits Unimak Island, Alaska.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storm systems.

Newsbytes:

Madagascar – Tropical Storm Cheneso made landfall in northern Madagascar on 19 January 2023. Disaster authorities report over 700 homes were damaged after heavy rain triggered flooding. One person was reported missing at sea. After landfall, the storm headed south-west, with average winds of 90 km/h and wind gusts up to 120 km/h. Heavy rainfall was also reported, in particular in northern areas.

Serbia – Days of heavy rain caused rivers to overflow in southwestern Serbia, where 2 people are missing and dozens have been displaced. Flooding has also been reported in other countries in the region, including Kosovo and Albania.

Angola and Namibia – Long-term heavy rainfall has caused flooding in areas of southern Angola and across the border in Namibia. Water flowing along rivers including the Cuvelai River in Angola flooding areas in the south of the province of Cunene from early January. Angola has seen bouts of heavy rainfall since early December 2022 and into January 2023. Waters reached the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin around the second week in January. The Cuvelai-Etosha Basin is a wetland area shared by Angola and Namibia and covers almost 160,000 km².

Environment

El Niño on the Horizon

The waters of the Pacific between South America and Indonesia are predicted to shift from the ongoing La Niña cooling of the past three years to a warming El Niño later this year.

Atmospheric scientists warn this could push global temperatures “off the charts” and make 2024 the first year global heating rises higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.

The last hottest year on record was in 2016, which was also a major El Niño year. The US environment agency NOAA says there is a 66% chance of El Niño quickly replacing the current La Niña between August and October of this year.

Wildlife

War on Birds

Environmental advocates warn that the Kenyan government’s plans to poison as many as 6 million red-billed quelea birds, which have been ravaging crops, could also contaminate raptors, humans and other creatures.

The ongoing severe drought in the Horn of Africa has wiped out much of the voracious quelea’s main diet of native grass seeds, forcing them to invade grain fields. The organophosphate pesticide fenthion, which has been the chemical of choice to kill the birds, is believed by many to be far too dangerous to use, even in the current quelea invasion.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 47.0 degrees Celsius (117 degrees F) at Mardie, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 61.0 degrees Celsius (-78 degrees F) at Shologonsky, Siberia.

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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Dengue Fever – Bolivia

Bolivia reported that laboratory tests confirmed 508 cases of dengue in Santa Cruz, Beni, La Paz, Pando, Tarija and Cochabamba in the first three weeks of 2023, to January 18.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week 11 January – 17 January 2023

Ahyi – Mariana Islands (USA) : Unrest at Ahyi Seamount was occasionally detected during 11-17 January. Pressure sensors on Wake Island (2,270 km E of Ahyi) were back online and recorded possible explosions during 11-12 and 15-16 January. One weak signal, possibly from the seamount, was recorded during 16-17 January. No activity was visible in clear or partly cloudy satellite images.

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported ongoing eruptive activity at Minamidake Crater during 9-16 January. Crater incandescence was visible nightly. Eruptive events at 0210 on 9 January and 1837 on 14 January produced plumes that rose 1 km above the crater rim. Sulfur dioxide emissions were high at 2,100 tons per day on 13 January.

Cotopaxi – Ecuador : IG reported that the eruption at Cotopaxi continued during 11-17 January, characterized by daily steam-and-gas emissions often with variable content. On 11 January ash plumes rose as high as 200 m above the crater rim and drifted W and SW. Minor ashfall was noted in areas of Mulaló, Macaló Grande, San Antonio, San Ramón (127 km W), Ticatilín (15 km SW), and MAE Norte (18 km N), and a sulfur odor was noted in Ticatilín and Control Caspi (20 km WSW) of the Parque Nacional Cotopaxi. On 12 January steam, gas, and ash plumes rose as high as 1 km and drifted SE, SW, and W. On 13 January a dense ash plume rose 2 km and drifted NE, causing ashfall in Ticatilín; other ash plumes rose 1 km and drifted W and N that same day. Steam-and-gas emissions rose 300-700 m during 14-17 January and drifted E, SE, and SW. Ash-and-gas plumes rose 1 km on 17 January and drifted W and SW; minor ashfall was reported in Mulaló and San Juan de Pastocalle (20 km WSW).

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : KVERT reported that moderate activity at Ebeko was ongoing during 5-12 January. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E) explosions during 6 and 9-11 January generated ash plumes that rose as high as 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and ESE. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images on 10 January.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that radar images acquired on 13 and 15 January confirmed ongoing slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin; effusion likely continued through 17 January. Slightly elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 10-11 January and a few small earthquakes were detected on most days during 10-17 January. Weather clouds sometimes obscured satellite and webcam views.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT lowered the Aviation Color Code for Karymsky to Green (the lowest level on a four-color scale) on 12 January, noting that ash explosions were last detected on 7 August 2022. A minor thermal anomaly visible in satellite images and moderate levels of gas-and-steam emissions persisted. Dates are based on UTC times; specific events are in local time where noted.

Kerinci – Central Sumatra: The eruption at Kerinci was ongoing during 10-17 January. Daily ash plumes that were brown or gray and mostly dense rose generally 400-900 m above the summit and drifted N, NE, and W during 10-14 January. At 1810 on 12 January a dense gray ash plume rose 1.2 km above the summit and drifted NW. Only white plumes were occasionally visible rising from the summit during 15-17 January.

Krakatau – Sunda Strait : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Anak Krakatau continued. At 1754 on 11 January a dense gray ash plume rose around 200 m above the summit and drifted NE, followed by dense black ash plumes at 2241 and 2325 on 11 January and at 0046 on 12 January that rose 200-300 m and drifted NE.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island : PVMBG reported that at 0747 on 14 January an eruption at Lewotolok produced a white-and-gray ash plume that rose around 400 m above the summit and drifted E. At 2055 on 16 January a white-and-gray ash plume of variable density rose around 400 m above the summit and drifted SE. A photo posted with the report showed incandescence emanating from the summit, possibly from ejected material.

Merapi – Central Java : BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi continued during 6-12 January and seismicity remained at high levels. The SW lava dome produced three lava avalanches that traveled as far as 1.2 km down the SW flank (upstream in the Kali Bebeng drainage). Avalanche sounds were heard on six occasions. No significant morphological changes to the central and SW lava domes were evident in webcam images.

San Miguel – Eastern El Salvador : On 14 January MARN reported that a gradual decrease in activity to low levels had been recorded at San Miguel since 1 December 2022. Sulfur dioxide emissions were below the baseline of 300 tons per day and no deformation was detected. Minor emissions and occasional explosions of gas and ash continued to be recorded by the seismic network and were occasionally visible. At 0817 on 14 January a gas-and-ash emission was seen in webcam images rising just over the crater rim.

Semeru – Eastern Java : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 3-10 January with daily ash plumes of variable densities rising above the summit. At 0737 on 10 January white-and-brown ash plumes rose 500 m above the summit and drifted N. A gray-to-brown ash plume at 0532 on 11 January rose 200 m and drifted N. White-to-gray ash plumes were visible at 0552, 0621, and 0710 on 11 January, and at 0629 and 0723 on 12 January rising 200-500 m above the summit and drifting N, W, and SW. At 0525 on 13 January a white-and-brown ash plume rose 700 m and drifted S. A white-to-gray ash plume rose 500 m and drifted SW at 0627 and a dense ash plume rose 1 km and drifted SW at 0802. At 0502 on 14 January a dense white-and-gray ash plume rose 700 m and drifted SW. Multiple white, gray, and brown ash plumes on 15 January rose as high as 400 m and drifted N, NE, and SW. Four gray ash plumes visible on 16 January (at 0558, 1613, 1627, and 1655) rose as high as 700 m and drifted NW, N, and NE.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that the ongoing eruption at Sheveluch during 5-12 January was generally characterized by explosions, hot avalanches, lava-dome extrusion, and strong fumarolic activity. A daily thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images, and minor ash plumes from explosions and lava-dome collapses drifted 92 km W on 7 January.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that the eruption at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater continued during 9-16 January. No explosions were recorded, though during 9-13 January eruption plumes rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and blocks were ejected as far as 300 m from the vent. Ashfall was occasionally reported in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW). Eruption plumes rose as high has 700 m during 13-16 January.

Villarrica – Central Chile : SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption at Villarrica was ongoing during 11-17 January. Strombolian explosions and lava fountaining from the vent on the crater floor were frequently visible in webcam images. Explosions during 11-12 January ejected material 80 m high and as far as 250 m onto the NE flank. The number of explosions increased during 14-15 January, some ejecting material up to 150 m above the crater rim. POVI scientists counted about 70 instances of lava fountaining from 2130 on 14 January to 0600 on 15 January. Material ejected by the explosions stayed within or near the crater during 16-17 January.