Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 earthquake hits the Panama-Colombia border.

6.3 earthquake hits Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 02W (Mawar) is located approximately 124 nm west-northwest of Navsta, Guam, is tracking west-northwestward at 07 knots.

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Afghanistan – 6 people have dies and dozens of homes have been washed away by floods in parts of Afghanistan after heavy rains funnelled down mountain valleys into villages leaving behind major destruction.

Guam – Powerful Typhoon Mawar smashed the U.S. territory of Guam and continued lashing the Pacific island with high winds and heavy rain Thursday, knocking down trees, walls and power lines and creating a powerful storm surge that threatened to wash out low-lying areas. The typhoon, the strongest to hit the territory of roughly 150,000 people since 2002, briefly made landfall Wednesday night as a Category 4 storm at Andersen Air Force Base on the northern tip of the island with 150 mph winds.


‘Mini kangaroos on steroids’ make comeback in South Australia

Adorable marsupials that look like “mini kangaroos on steroids” are bouncing back in southern Australia after disappearing from the region for more than 100 years.

Brush-tailed bettongs (Bettongia penicillata), also known as yalgiri in the language of the local Narungga People, are energetic creatures that once hopped and darted across much of the Australian mainland. Over the last two centuries, their numbers have dwindled due to predation by foxes and feral cats, as well as habitat loss. Now only a few thousand survive in pockets of Western Australia, in sanctuaries and on islands. But recently, the mini marsupials have made a comeback in the south after being reintroduced by conservationists.



Dengue Fever – Brazil

The recent resurgence of serotype 3 of the dengue virus in Brazil – which has not caused epidemics in the country for over 15 years – has raised the alarm about the risk of a new epidemic of the disease caused by this virus serotype.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 17 May – 23 May 2023

Ahyi – Mariana Islands (USA) : The U.S. Geological Survey reported that unrest at Ahyi Seamount was again detected, after activity paused in early April. Signals consistent with eruptive activity were recorded by underwater pressure sensors on Wake Island, 2,270 km E, beginning at about 2210 on 21 May and were continuing. A plume of discolored sea water was observed above the area of the vent in a satellite image on 22 May.

Etna – Sicily (Italy) : Strong explosive eruptions were reported at Etna by INGV starting on 18 May after continuous degassing and moderate seismicity over the previous few days, with significant Strombolian activity and a paroxysmal event at SE Crater on 21 May. Views were often obscured by persistent weather cloud cover. Strombolian activity from SE Crater at 0456 on 18 May was seen in webcam images from the camera located at Montagnola. A seismic swarm in the summit area at 1644 was immediately followed by ground deformation recorded at the Punta Lucia and Pizzi Deneri summit stations. At 1656 weak intra-crater Strombolian activity at SE Crater was observed in images taken by the INGV thermal camera at La Montagnola (3 km S). Explosive activity from Bocca Nuova crater starting at 1700 was visible in thermal images from the Bronte (13 km WNW) webcam, concurrent with infrasonic signals. The activity likely persisted for a few hours based on satellite images; weather conditions prevented confirmation with webcams. Tremor fluctuated and by 0927 on 19 May levels had begun to decrease. Intermittent explosive activity persisted at SE Crater during 19-20 May, with pulsating gas emissions rising from the crater. A sharp increase in volcanic tremors at 0720 on 21 May was a precursor to significant tall lava fountaining during 0730-1140, with ash plumes that rose to 10 km and drifted SW, S, and SE. At 0937 INGV field personnel observed ash and lapilli fall on the SW flank and ashfall in Adrano at 560 m elevation. Lava flows from SE Crater descended the W part of the Valle del Bove as far as 1.9 km E and the S flank as far as 2 km. Satellite data showed a large sulfur dioxide plume drifting E. Weather clouds prevented views of the activity. Tremor levels sharply decreased starting at 1135 and had stabilized by 1200. Ashfall was also reported in Catania and Aci Castello. According to news reports the ashfall caused the Catania-Fontanarossa Airport in Sicily to close until 0900 on 22 May. The runway had been covered in ash and at least 68 flights to and from the airport were cancelled.

Karangetang – Sangihe Islands : PVMBG reported that activity at Karangetang had intensified in May, leading to a change in the Alert Level status. During 1-17 May white gas-and-steam plumes were sometimes dense and rose as high as 250 m above the summit, slightly higher than the 200 m maximum height noted in April. Incandescence at North Crater was visible at night 10-25 m above the lava dome. Incandescence also emanated from Main Crater though the glow was less intense, reaching about 10 m above the dome. Sounds of falling rocks at Main Crater were heard on 15 May, the seismic network recorded 32 rockfall events in the crater on 17 May, and rock avalanches on 18 May traveled as far as 1.5 km down the SW and S flanks accompanied by rumbling sounds. On 19 May the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 2.5 km away from the craters on the S and SW flanks and 1.5 km away on the other flanks. A webcam image from 2025 on 19 May showed incandescent material traveling down the flanks. On 21 May white gas-and-steam plumes rose 400 m above the summit.

Nyamulagira – DR Congo : The Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) reported that lava continued to erupt from vents in Nyamulagira’s summit crater during 17-23 May. Lava flows began moving into the N and NW parts of the crater beginning on 9 May, towards the low point of the crater rim. Intense incandescence from the summit was visible from Goma (27 km S) during the evenings of 17 and 19 May. Satellite images showed a notable sulfur dioxide plume drifting NW and W during 19-20 May. Drone footage acquired on 20 May captured images of narrow lava flows traveling about 100 m down the W flank. Intense incandescence emanating from the summit was again visible from Goma at around 1830. Data from the Rumangabo seismic station indicated a downward trend in activity during 17-20 May and a significant decrease during 20-21 May. Though weather clouds were dense over the summit, hot lava on the NW flank was visible in a 22 May Sentinel-2 infrared (SWIR) image.

Popocatepetl – Mexico : CENAPRED reported that activity at Popocatépetl intensified during 16-23 May after recent activity characterized by the formation of small to medium lava domes on the summit crater floor and their subsequent destruction. There were 154-168 daily steam, gas, and ash emissions and minor-to-moderate explosions during 16-19 May. Periods of high-frequency tremor lasted more than 12 hours during 16-17 May and more than 10 hours during 17-18 May. Minor ashfall was reported on 18 May in the municipalities of Atlixco (25 km SE) and Cholula (35 km E), Puebla. Six volcano-tectonic earthquakes with magnitudes as high as 1.8 were recorded along with over 2 hours of high-frequency tremor on 19 May. Residents of Tétela del Volcán (18 km SW), Morelos, noted minor ashfall. According to the Washington VAAC ash plumes rose 6.7-7 km (22,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l., or 1.3-1.6 km above the summit, during 16-19 May. A period of high-frequency tremor that began at around 1800 on 19 May and lasted about 10 hours until about 0400 on 20 May was accompanied by steam, gas, and ash plumes that drifted NNW and continuous ejection of incandescent tephra onto the flanks as far as 1.5 km from the crater. On 20 May the Benito Juárez International Airport closed during about 0430-1000 and the Felipe Ángeles International Airport closed during 0600-1100 in order to clear ash from runways. Ash fell in multiple areas downwind including in the municipalities of Venustiano Carranza (66 km NW), Gustavo A. Madero (73 km NW), Azcapotzalco (78 km NW), Tlalpan (62 km NW), Iztapalapa (58 km NW), Amecameca (18 km NW), Ayapango (21 km NW), Ozumba (18 km W), Ecatzingo (15 km SW), Atlautla (16 km W), Valle de Chalco (44 km NW), La Paz (50 km NW), Chalco (38 km NW), Nezahualcóyotl (56 km NW), Temamatla (32 km NW), Tenango del Aire (29 km NW), Tlalmanalco (27 km NW), Juchitepec (28 km NW), Cocotitlán (34 km NW), and Tepetlixpa (21 km W). Ashfall in Puebla municipalities included Huejotzingo (28 km NE), Nealtican (21 km E), Chignahuapan (108 km NE), Puebla Capital (44 km E), San Martín Texmelucan (35 km NE), and San Felipe Teotlalcingo (26 km NE). Additional explosions were recorded at 1047, 1247, 1454, 2136, 2238, and 2253 on 20 May. Almost 19 hours of high-frequency tremor recorded during 20-21 May was accompanied by continuous emissions of steam, gas, and ash and occasional ejections of incandescent material short distances onto the flanks. The Washington VAAC reported that activity intensified at 1453 on 20 May as a large, dense ash plume was visible in webcam images. By 1551 the ash plume was visible in satellite images rising to 8.2 km (27,000 ft) a.s.l., or 2.8 km above the summit. By 2041 the dense ash plume had risen to 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l., or 3.7 km above the summit, and drifted ENE far over the Gulf of Mexico. The plume rose as high as 9.7 km (32,000 ft) a.s.l., or 4.3 km above the summit by 2136 and remained at that altitude at least through 0341 on 21 May as it fanned out to the NE and ENE. By 0951 on 21 May ash plumes were rising to 9.1 km and at 1436 plumes were reaching 8.5 km (28,000 ft) a.s.l., or 3.1 km above the summit. Satellite images showed a large dense ash plume drifting 388 km NE over the Bay of Campeche, but emissions were most dense within 65 km of the summit. Webcam images showed that continuing dense ash emissions. According to CENAPRED the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Popocatépetl Volcano announced on 21 May that the Alert Level was raised from Yellow, Phase 2, to Yellow, Phase 3, the highest of the three sub-phases based on the intensifying activity over the previous few days. The National Coordination of Civil Protection (CNPC) announced actions to be implemented by the state civil protection units including preparing evacuation routes and evacuation teams and shelters. Ashfall was reported in Puebla state, in the municipalities of San Andrés Cholula (36 km E), San Pedro Cholula (34 km E), Cuautlancingo (38 km E), Amozoc (61 km E), Puebla Capital (44 km E), Zacatlán (121 km NE), Tetela de Ocampo (121 km NE), and Chignahuapan (108 km NE). The Hermanos Serdán International Airport, in Puebla (30 km NE), closed at 2300 on 21 May until 0700 on 22 May according to Gobierno de Puebla. High-frequency tremor was almost constant for over 23 hours during 21-22 May. Steam, gas, and ash emissions were continuous with occasional ejections of incandescent material short distances onto the flanks. Explosions occurred at 1355 on 21 May and 0533 on 22 May. According to the Washington VAAC satellite images acquired at 0236, 0821, 1421, and 1936 revealed continuing ash emissions to 3.7 km above the summit, drifting E and ENE. An accompanying very large sulfur dioxide plume drifted as far as Cancun, 1,295 km E. Ashfall occurred in the municipalities of San Andrés Cholula (36 km E), San Pedro Cholula (34 km E), Cuautlancingo (38 km E), Amozoc (61 km E), Zacatlán (121 km NE), Tetela de Ocampo (121 km NE), San Nicolás de los Ranchos (15 km NE), Palmar de Bravo (115 km SE), Tepeaca (76 km E), in Izúcar de Matamoros (51 km S), Epatlán (51 km SE), Teopantlán (52 km SE), Tlapacoya (144 km NE), Huatlatlauca Chignahuapan (72 km SE), and in the Puebla capital, in the state of Puebla. Ash also fell in Juchitepec (28 km W), State of Mexico, Hueyapan (17 km SW), Locality of Xochitepec (municipality of Jolalpan) (68 km SW), in Morelos, and in the capital of the state of Tlaxcala (50 km NE). At 1651 on 22 May the Hermanos Serdán International Airport suspended operations due to ash on the runway. Tremor remained nearly continuous (more than 20 hours) during 22-23 May. Ongoing steam, gas, and ash emissions drifted NE, and occasional ejections of incandescent material short distances onto the flanks. Ash fell in the municipalities of Nealtican, Tianguismanalco, Atlixco, San Diego la Mesa, Huaquechula, and Atzizihuacán, State of Puebla. Ash plumes rose as high as 3.7 km above the summit and drifted E according to the Washington VAAC.