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Earthquakes Tenerife spark fears Mount Teide may erupt

Flurry of tremors struck the village of Vilaflor on the slopes of the mountain Mount Teide is the hi..

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  • Flurry of tremors struck the village of Vilaflor on the slopes of the mountain
  • Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain and a major tourist attraction
  • Biggest had magnitude 1.4, striking at 11.05am local time on Tuesday morning

By Phoebe Weston For Mailonline

Published: 05:26 EDT, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 05:26 EDT, 2 November 2017

A swarm of 22 earthquakes has rocked Tenerife in just four days sparking fears Mount Teide could be about to erupt.

The tremors struck the popular tourist village of Vilaflor on the slopes of the 12,000ft volcano last week.

They were relatively minor quakes, however. The most power was a tremor of magnitude 1.4 striking at 11.05am local time (11:05 GMT, 06:05 GMT) on Tuesday morning.

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A seismic swarm of 22 earthquakes have rocked Tenerife in just four days sparking fears Mount Teide (pictured) could be about to erupt 

A seismic swarm of 22 earthquakes have rocked Tenerife in just four days sparking fears Mount Teide (pictured) could be about to erupt

LINK BETWEEN EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES

According to Oregon State University, most earthquakes directly beneath a volcano are caused by the movement of magma.

The magma places pressure on the rocks until it cracks the rock.

Magma then moves into the crack and begins building pressure again. Every time the rock cracks it makes a small earthquake.

Mount Teide's 3,718-metre summit is the highest point in Spain and a major tourist attraction with around three million tourists visiting every year.

The seismic swarm, recorded at an average depth of six to eight kilometres below sea level, took place over four days from 28 October to 31 October.

The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) have been trying to calm people.

'This swarm is similar to the other Seismic Swarms Recorded in Tenerife since last June 2017 and as always important to emphasise, it does not represent any kind of concern to the population', a representative wrote on their Facebook page.

'These types of swarms are common in active volcanoes', they wrote, explaining that it was caused by changes in the pressure in the hydro-thermal system.

According to Oregon State University, most earthquakes directly beneath a volcano are caused by the movement of magma.

A flurry of tremors struck the village of Vilaflor on the slopes of the 12,000ft mountain with one of magnitude 1.4 striking at 11.05am local time (11:05 GMT, 06:05 GMT) on Tuesday morningA flurry of tremors struck the village of Vilaflor on the slopes of the 12,000ft mountain with one of magnitude 1.4 striking at 11.05am local time (11:05 GMT, 06:05 GMT) on Tuesday morning

A flurry of tremors struck the village of Vilaflor on the slopes of the 12,000ft mountain with one of magnitude 1.4 striking at 11.05am local time (11:05 GMT, 06:05 GMT) on Tuesday morning

Experts from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) said residents in the vicinity of the volcano (pictured) had not felt recent movementsExperts from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) said residents in the vicinity of the volcano (pictured) had not felt recent movements

Experts from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) said residents in the vicinity of the volcano (pictured) had not felt recent movements

The magma places pressure on the rocks until it cracks the rock.

Magma then moves into the crack and begins building pressure again. Every time the rock cracks it makes a small earthquake.

Experts from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) said residents had not felt recent movements.

The seismic swarm has been recorded at an average depth of six to eight kilometres below sea level. This flurry has been recorded over a period of three days from 28 October to 31 OctoberThe seismic swarm has been recorded at an average depth of six to eight kilometres below sea level. This flurry has been recorded over a period of three days from 28 October to 31 October

The seismic swarm has been recorded at an average depth of six to eight kilometres below sea level. This flurry has been recorded over a period of three days from 28 October to 31 October

Yesterday an expert warned that Tenerife is not the only island at risk of eruption at the moment and Iceland's biggest volcano could also be brewing.

Páll Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, says this shows that pressure in the volcanoes magma chamber is increasing.

He warns that the tremors mean Bardarbunga is 'clearly preparing for its next eruption' in the next few years which could create an ash cloud that will cause travel chaos.

The warning follows the 2010's explosive eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which threw thousands of tonnes of mineral ash into the air.

Páll Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, says this shows that pressure in the volcanoes magma chamber is increasing. Pictured is a plane flying over  the Bardarbunga volcano in September 2014Páll Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, says this shows that pressure in the volcanoes magma chamber is increasing. Pictured is a plane flying over  the Bardarbunga volcano in September 2014

Páll Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, says this shows that pressure in the volcanoes magma chamber is increasing. Pictured is a plane flying over the Bardarbunga volcano in September 2014

The warning follows the 2010's explosive eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which threw thousands of tonnes of mineral ash into the air. An aerial photograph shows lava flowing out of the Bardarbunga volcanoThe warning follows the 2010's explosive eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which threw thousands of tonnes of mineral ash into the air. An aerial photograph shows lava flowing out of the Bardarbunga volcano

The warning follows the 2010's explosive eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which threw thousands of tonnes of mineral ash into the air. An aerial photograph shows lava flowing out of the Bardarbunga volcano

Most of this was fine particles that created an ash cloud.

This caused travel chaos causing more than 10 million air passengers to be stranded as a result of its ash cloud and cost the European economy an estimated £4 billion ($4.9 billion).

A similar scenario could take place if Bardarbunga were to erupt.

Bardarbunga is one of the most active of Iceland's 130 volcanoes.

The Canary holiday island of La Palma experienced more than 300 mini-earthquakes last month, scientists report.

A majority of the tremors were so small they could not be located by scientists, let alone felt by any residents on La Palma.

The latest mini-quakes followed the 40 tremors that were recorded in the weeks previously, taking the total to 352 in just ten days.

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Australia

Australia resists calls for tougher climate targets

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Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has resisted pressure to set more ambitious carbon emission targets while other major nations vowed deeper reductions to tackle climate change.

Addressing a global climate summit, Mr Morrison said Australia was on a path to net zero emissions.

But he stopped short of setting a timeline, saying the country would get there “as soon as possible”.

It came as the US, Canada and Japan set new commitments for steeper cuts.

US President Joe Biden, who chaired the virtual summit, pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030. This new target essentially doubles the previous US promise.

By contrast, Australia will stick with its existing pledge of cutting carbon emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels, by 2030. That’s in line with the Paris climate agreement, though Mr Morrison said Australia was on a pathway to net zero emissions.

“Our goal is to get there as soon as we possibly can, through technology that enables and transforms our industries, not taxes that eliminate them and the jobs and livelihoods they support and create,” he told the summit.

“Future generations… will thank us not for what we have promised, but what we deliver.”

Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters on a per capita basis. Mr Morrison, who has faced sustained criticism over climate policy, said action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would focus on technology.

The prime minister said Australia is deploying renewable energy 10 times faster than the global average per person, and has the highest uptake of rooftop solar panels in the world.

Mr Morrison added Australia would invest $20bn ($15.4bn; 11.1bn) “to achieve ambitious goals that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity”.

“You can always be sure that the commitments Australia makes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are bankable.”

Australia has seen growing international pressure to step up its efforts to cut emissions and tackle global warming. The country has warmed on average by 1.4 degrees C since national records began in 1910, according to its science and weather agencies. That’s led to an increase in the number of extreme heat events, as well as increased fire danger days.

Ahead of the summit, President Biden’s team urged countries that have been slow to embrace action on climate change to raise their ambition. While many nations heeded the call, big emitters China and India also made no new commitments.

“Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” President Biden said at the summit’s opening address.

Referring to America’s new carbon-cutting pledge, President Biden added: “The signs are unmistakable, the science is undeniable, and the cost of inaction keeps mounting.”

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-56854558

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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