Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, so the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere and vice versa.
Natural Hazard – Strong Earthquake Event
The earthquake occurred in Indonesia , Province of Maluku (population 1,991,398) . The maximum altitude nearby is 282m .
Indonesian Archipelago | Indonesia, Northern Molucca Sea Region
Location: 157km WNW of Tobelo, Indonesia
Time: 2014-12-21 11:34:14 UTC
Epicenter: 2°07’33.6″N 126°39’03.6″E
Depth: 54.6km (34.0mi) Deep
Area affected by light damage (estimated radius): 44 km (MMI VI)
No tsunami statement issued
Population: No people within 100km
553 km S of Davao, Philippines / pop: 1,212,504 / local time: 19:34:14.8 2014-12-21
218 km E of Manado, Indonesia / pop: 451,893 / local time: 19:34:14.8 2014-12-21
156 km W of Tobelo, Indonesia / pop: 10,000 / local time: 20:34:14.8 2014-12-21
6.6 magnitude earthquake near Ternate, Indonesia (Aftershocks)
USGS/NEIC Denver, USA
GeoForschungsZentrum (GEOFON) Potsdam, Germany
Badan Meteorologi & Geofisika Djakarta, Indonesia
Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre Hawaii, USA
IRIS Data Services (DS)
Natural Hazard – Volcano Activity: Eruptive Phase
N Pacific – Indonesian Archipelago | Indonesia, Maluku Islands, Ternate Island, Mount Gamalama Volcano
Location: 0°48’33.0″N 127°20’00.0″E
Stratovolcano: 1,715m (5,627 ft)
Current status: Alert level 3
Damage Level: Unknown
Saturday, 20 December, 2014 at 00:29 UTC
The volcano, one of the most active in the region, erupted unexpectedly last night (Thursday evening, 22:41 local time).
Unfortunately, it seems that the eruption claimed at least some victims: Several people (10-12 according to varying news reports) were on the volcano, a popular hiking destination, when the initial explosion occurred at night. At least two of them were reported missing, presumably killed, and several others wounded, mainly from injuries suffered when falling during their escape. Explosions and ongoing ash emissions continued throughout Friday and produced ash plumes that drifted eastwards, caused ash fall at the Ternate airport which had to be shut down. More than 5 cm of ash covered the runway and some parked aircraft. The Indonesian Volcanological Survey (VSI) raised the alert level of Gamalana to 3 (on a scale of 1-4). So far, no evacuation orders were given by authorities. The small island, only approx. 10 km in diameter, consists essentially of the volcano’s cone above sea level and is very exposed to mud flows or pyroclastic flows that could occur during or as a result of explosive activity. Evacuations would likely need to involve dislocation to one of the neighboring islands in case of a major eruption. It seem that the eruption was not preceded by anything unusual, only a weak tremor signal was recorded about half an hour before, which in itself is not very unusual on any active volcano and not enough to predict an eruption. It is not clear what the nature of this eruption is and whether it involves fresh magma or only steam-driven explosions (phreatic activity), but the observed glow on the upper flank below the summit suggest that a lava flow was active from a vent below the summit crater.
Saturday, 20 December, 2014 at 13:36 UTC
Indonesia temporarily closed a domestic airport on Friday after a volcano in the country’s east erupted, spewing plumes of ash hundreds of metres into the air, officials said. The volcano, Mount Gamalama – which forms the entire island of Ternate in North Maluku province – erupted late Thursday and was still coughing up ash the following day. While no one in the area has yet been told to evacuate, an airport in Ternate town at the mountain’s foot was forced to close, the transport ministry said. “We closed the Sultan Baabulah airport this morning as the volcanic ash may pose a risk to planes,” said ministry spokesman J.A. Barata, adding that the airfield was covered with thick ash. The airport could reopen Saturday if there are no further eruptions, Barata said. Darno Lamane, an official at the volcano monitoring post, said the 1,715-metre volcano continued to spew ash in plumes of up to 600 metres on Friday. A local disaster management agency official said that 11 hikers who had been at the volcano when it erupted managed to escape, but some were injured as they clambered down. “There were 11 hikers injured while running down the slope during the eruption. Three of them are being hospitalised for broken bones,” Mansur Mahli said. Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The archipelago nation is home to 129 active volcanoes, including 21 on Java.
Volcano Eruption in Indonesia on Friday, 19 December, 2014 at 04:51 (04:51 AM) UTC.
Mount Gamalama in North Maluku province of Indonesia erupted Thursday night, forcing the authorities to close an airport and issue warnings to planes, officials said here on Friday. The volcano located near Ternate city spewed a column of ash to the sky, Nia Hairani, an official from the national volcanology agency, told Xinhua by phone. An evacuation zone of 3.5 km has been ordered, Hairani said. In spite of no order of evacuation so far, the communities living in the slope of the volcano are asked to be alert on the flows of the rivers, whose upstreams are near the volcano, for possible danger of cool lava, Amirruddin, a senior official from the disaster management agency in North Maluku province, said. “The communities are ordered to be on alert of possible cool lava flowing in rivers as rain is frequent in recent days,” he told Xinhua by phone on Friday from the province. The ash of the volcano has disturbed flights and the Indonesian transport ministry closed the airport in Ternate city on Friday and warned planes to avoid the routes around the erupting volcano, J.A. Barata, a spokesman of the Indonesian transport ministry, said. “Sultan Babullah airport is temporarily closed from 09:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. local time, and the warning to planes is also issued at 09:00 a.m. and will be in place until 12:00 a.m.” he told Xinhua by phone. The measures would be reviewed after they expire and the officials would decide on whether to extend them or not, said Barata. Last year, Mount Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi erupted, spewing a column of ash that disturbed flights from and to Australia. To monitor the eruption and seismic activity of the volcano, Hairini said that a task force team from the headquarters of the agency has been deployed to the slope of Mount Gamalama.
Source: RSOE EDIS
Background, additional data and information:
The winter solstice marks the first day of astronomical winter. The New Moon is in Capricorn and heralds a time of cleansing transformation. The wheel of the seasons continue to turn and change from darkness to light awaits us.
Northern Hemisphere – (North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, northern Africa) December solstice 2014: December 21, at 23:03 UTC.