LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)
This morning -
5.9 MAULE, CHILE
5.1 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 TONGA REGION
5.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.2 SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA
5.0 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.6 TAIWAN REGION
4.0 earthquake recorded off west coast of Ireland on Wednesday - According to the British Geological Survey (BGS), which monitors earthquake activity, it was strong enough to be felt in the county. The BGS said it had not recorded an earthquake of that magnitude in that area previously.
8000 agriculture jobs at risk due to Italy quakes - Around 80 percent of the country's pears come from the area affected by the May 20 and 29 quakes that killed 25 people, left thousands homeless and caused losses worth billions of euros.
The two quakes and the almost uninterrupted series of smaller aftershocks that have rattled the area will halt production in many factories by between four and six months. Minor tremors continue to hamper reconstruction. The death toll from the May 20 and 29 quakes rose from 24 to 26 Tuesday, as aftershocks continued to spread fear among residents in the area.
Volcano causes concern in Papua New Guinea - Manam is one of PNG's most active volcanos and recent explosions in the craters have been heard 15 kilometres away. Vents on the volcano are glowing at night. The volcano has claimed several lives over the last decade. Volcanology Observatory says they don't believe a major eruption is imminent, but it cannot be ruled out.
Columbia's Nevado del Ruiz continues to be monitored - The volatile Nevado del Ruiz volcano is being closely monitored by officials in central eastern Colombia.
Taiwan - A former government scientist has called on the Atomic Energy Council to evaluate the potential impact of volcanos on nuclear power plants in northern Taiwan. The potential scenarios of a nuclear power plant being affected by an earthquake or tsunami disaster have been discussed recently, given the meltdown of the reactors at Japan’s disaster-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March last year.
However, while tsunamis are clearly an important threat, volcanic activity and earthquakes are also closely related and thus should also be addressed, he said. Considering the lava composition of the Datun Mountain range and referencing the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo in the Philippines, if the volcano at Datun erupts, up to three meters of ashes could be generated. Clark Air Base in the Philippines was paralyzed by the ashes from Mt Pinatubo.
Considering the impact volcanic activity could have on the greater Taipei area, the Datun Mountains volcano group in northern Taiwan are of critical importance. Taiwan’s geographic location on the border of the Pacific and the Philippine Sea Plate renders it susceptible to seismic movement which causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity in the region. Historical accounts show that the last volcanic eruptions were between 100 and 200 years ago in the sea and on islands off Taiwan’s northeastern coast.
Modern dating methods could show that volcanic activity actually occurred more recently than that. “So my opinion is that the AEC should evaluate whether the nuclear power plants can endure the possibility of being covered by two or three meters of volcano ashes."
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES -
Australia - Towering waves pounding the NSW coast have begun to ease but big conditions still pose a potential threat. The Bureau of Meteorology recorded waves 14 metres high off the Sydney coast yesterday which have eased as storm conditions move offshore. Beaches from Sydney to the far north coast saw waves up to four metres high as a low pressure system brought severe storm conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology expects beach wave heights today to ease to two metres as the low pressure system moves in the north easterly direction. "There will still be some pretty high and dangerous surf conditions today and maybe the next few days. But it's not a severe weather warning any more."
Japanese tsunami dock washes up in Oregon - A huge concrete dock torn from a Japanese port by last year's tsunami washed up in the US state of Oregon - 8,050km (5,000 miles) across the Pacific. (photo)
TROPICAL STORMS -
In the Indian Ocean -
Tropical cyclone 20s (Kuena) was located approximately 280 nm south of the Seychelles.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
2011 was a record year for economic losses from extreme weather events - The impacts of climate change on companies' supply chains, natural resources, operations and key infrastructure are expected to worsen as a result.