In this episode of Climate Breaking News:
Earthquakes in Iceland, USA
An on-going earthquake swarm in Iceland began on June 19, 2020. For three weeks experts have registered over 10,000 (ten thousand) underground shocks, three of which were the magnitude of above 5.
Seismic activity in this area is still continuing.
The quakes hit the area of the Tjörnes Fracture zone, located in the northern part of the country. Seismic activity was felt in the surrounding areas as well as in the capital, Reykjavik, which is about 200 (two hundred) km away. Notably, experts can not tell at the moment what exactly caused them.
Kristín Jónsdóttir, Earthquakes Hazards Officer for the IMO, previously stated that the swarm was the largest recorded in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone in the past 40 years.
She also said that: “Behaviour is episodic, we record hundreds of earthquakes in a few hours and then it becomes quiet and all of a sudden it starts again. The last swarm in 2012 was ongoing for a few weeks. Let’s hope we only have a few weeks to go.” That being said, experts can not even assume when these earthquakes will end and what consequences they may have.
It is worth noting that Iceland is located on the border that separates the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia.
Experts report that the country is as if being split into two parts and this is due to the fact that the North American plate began to move towards the west. However, the strain in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone can only occur if the plates started to move in opposite directions. Previously, there have also been claims that the cause of the earthquake swarm could relate to geothermal production in the area.
Meanwhile, the earthquakes continue in the state of Idaho (USA). We’d like to recall that on March 31, 2020 a powerful earthquake of 6.5 magnitude occurred in the south-west of the state.
It was the second strongest earthquake ever recorded in Idaho and the most powerful one in 37 years.
Over the next few months, experts continue to record underground shocks in this region. Some of them reach a magnitude of 4.8.
As of the end of June, the U.S. Geological Survey had recorded over 200 earthquakes of magnitude 3 and above.
Unfortunately, the Central Idaho region is geologically very active but poorly studied and seismologists are currently unable to explain exactly what caused the main earthquake and why the subsequent ones are happening….
Earthquakes in Papua New Guinea, Chile, India, Stromboli eruption
On July 19, volcano Stromboli erupted again on the island with the same name, near Sicily in Italy. Two powerful explosions were registered, sending a column of black smoke above the crater and volleys of debris and lava spills across its slopes People living on the island felt earth tremors.
It is worth noting that seismologists are concerned about seismic activity in the region being significantly over the average.
On the same day, July 17 2020, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude occurred off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
The epicenter of the tremors was located 114 (one hundred and fourteen) km northwest of the city of Popondetta in Oro Province.
The quake’s hypocenter was located at a depth of about 80 (eighty) km.
According to eyewitnesses, they felt a strong earth tremor in the area of the earthquake and the swaying of buildings.
There was no information about casualties or destruction.
Chile and India also experienced strong earthquakes of 6.0 and 6.1 magnitudes.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Alaska on July 21, 2020. The epicenter of the earthquake was in the ocean 105 km southeast of Perryville.
Residents of the Alaska Peninsula felt strong tremors within a radius of 160 km of the epicenter, while the weak ones were felt at a distance of more than 800 km in the areas around Mat-Su and Anchorage.
After a potential tsunami report, people started to evacuate from coastal areas and the cities of Homer and Kodiak.
After the main earthquake, about 50 aftershocks were recorded, the strongest of which were the magnitude of above 5.
This year’s earthquake released about 15 times more energy than the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Anchorage in 2018, which had caused enormous damage at that time.
Rains, floods, landslides, storms South Korea, Australia, New Zealand
On July 13, heavy rains also hit south areas of South Korea, causing devastating floods. Unfortunately, few casualties have been reported.
In some places, almost a month’s amount of rainfall fell within 24 hours. Houses, farms and roads were flooded and destroyed.
On July 17 2020, an unusual interaction between two low pressure zones caused severe storms over northern New Zealand.
In Whangarei City, 220 (two hundred and twenty) mm of rain fell within twelve (12) hours, which is almost one and a half times of the monthly amount in July.
In other areas, over 250 (two hundred and fifty) millimetres of rain fell within just 24 (twenty-four) hours.
The Northland region was virtually cut off by floods and landslides from the rest of the North Island. Some areas were submerged in the flood waters about one meter deep. Rescue workers evacuated people from flooded houses and vehicles that were caught by water.
On July 18 2020, a violent storm struck the southeast coast of Australia, the city of Wamberal. As a result, the shoreline erosion situation worsened since high sea waves damage the soil. Most fences and terraces were washed away and the foundations of some buildings were also severely damaged.
Two houses were partially destroyed, and another one suffered significant damage. The residents of the affected home were evacuated and their neighbours were warned of the danger. Many people had to abandon their homes.
Heavy rains and floods in Russia
On July 17, 2020, hail and rain hit Rostov-on-Don. Streets were flooded, people were evacuated, some cars were submerged in the water. Rescuers made a lot of efforts to save people’s lives. Also in many areas, water had to be pumped out of buildings. Due to the natural forces, the bridge across the Temernik river was damaged.
On the same day, on July 17, a heavy flood occurred in the Republic of Tyva due to prolonged rains. A state of emergency was issued in 4 (four) districts. People, who were stuck between the fording points of the Barlyk River, were evacuated. As a result of the disaster, bridges were destroyed, roads were damaged and homes and homesteads were flooded.
Meanwhile, in Stavropol Krai, irrigation canals overflowed due to heavy rain, and 3 (three) settlements in Budyonnovsky district were flooded.
Previously, on July 16 2020, a critical situation occurred in the streets of Irkutsk. Almost a month’s amount of rainfall fell within 24 hours. All-consuming rain filled the streets of the city, which caused traffic problems. People had to be evacuated from one of the streets. Because of the rising water level in the Kitoy River there was flooding of lower sections of roads, summer houses and homesteads.
On the same day the storm front with gusts of wind 97 (ninety-seven) km/h caused enormous damage in the south of the Amur region. Oktyabrsky district was affected the most. Buildings were damaged, trees were uprooted, many settlements were left without power supply. Two wooden water towers were torn down.
On July 14, 2020 a gale-force wind swept through the Saratov region. 49 (forty nine) settlements were affected. As a result of the disaster, homes were damaged, trees were felled and several settlements were left without electricity.