Global Disaster Watch: Dec 13-18
(Dec 14) The government of Japan is expected to consider designating areas that are exposed to more than 50 millisieverts per year of radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant as zones that are difficult for local residents to return to possibly for the next several decades and buying out tracts of land there. (Source)
Papua New Guinea
(Dec 14) A violent 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea Wednesday, shaking buildings and prompting residents to run into the streets and causing panic in the highlands. The quake, initially rated at 7.3, hit at a depth of 115 kilometres (71 miles) southwest of the coastal city of Lae and 223 kilometres from the capital Port Moresby. (Source)
(Dec 13) TWO strong earthquakes have struck Puerto Rico within minutes of each other. The quakes, with magnitudes of 5.1 and 5.3 respectively, occurred three minutes apart just after 2am local time early today in the Mona Passage, just to the west of the island. A smaller aftershock was reported a few minutes later, and all were felt in the capital, San Juan. (Source)
Indonesia (Dec 13) A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Sulawesi, Indonesia at a depth of 160.9 km (100 miles).
Panama (Dec 13) A magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck south of Panama at a depth of 10.1 km (6.3 miles).
(Dec 13) A mysterious epidemic is sweeping Central America – it’s the second biggest cause of death among men in El Salvador, and in Nicaragua it’s a bigger killer of men than HIV and diabetes combined. It’s unexplained but the latest theory is that the victims are literally working themselves to death. Kidney disease has killed so many men here that locals now call their community not simply La Isla – which means “The Island” – but La Isla de las Viudas – “The Island of the Widows.” The epidemic extends far beyond Nicaragua. It’s prevalent along the Pacific coast of Central America – across six countries. El Salvador’s health minister recently called on the international community for help. She said the epidemic is “wasting away our populations“. (Source)
(Dec 18) This Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 photo shows dying trees next to an oil spill near the town of Usinsk, 1500 kilometers (930 miles) northeast of Moscow. Komi is one of Russia’s largest and oldest oil provinces but ruptures in aging pipelines and leaks from decommissioned oil wells make oil spills in the region routine. Environmentalists estimate at least 1 percent of Russia’s annual oil production, or 5 million tons (35 million barrels), is spilled every year. That’s equivalent to one Deepwater Horizon-scale leak about every two months. Crumbling infrastructure and a harsh climate combine to spell disaster in the world’s largest oil producer, responsible for 13 percent of global output. (Source)
Unusual Weather Events
(Dec 16) A hailstorm overnight affected several farms in southern Brazil. In the major grapevine region of Brazil, about 80% of the crop was lost in 20 minutes of hail. Fruit farms were also affected, losing the whole production of peach and other seasonal fruits. (Source)
Updated Disaster Watch
Extreme Weather Around The World: Dec 2011
Troubling increase in global volcanic activity
Reports of Earthquakes and Skyquakes in the U.S.
Earthquake Watch: North America
Global Disaster Watch (Dec 8-12)