Iceland Monitors Volcanoes; Wildfires in North America
Seismic activity may not signal eruptions
Seismic (earthquake) activity in the vicinity of Barbarbunga (also called Bardarbunga) Volcano in Iceland is being monitored very closely. The Icelandic Met Office (News #2951), reports that seismic activity in the area on Thursday “is still great.” A banner on the Met Office website reads: “Note: Intense earthquake swarm continues at Barbarbunga. Presently there are no signs of magma moving to the surface.” Nonetheless, in the overnight hours Wednesday-to-Thursday, Civil Protection in Iceland reported that the National Crisis Coordination Centre “was fully activated after a decision was taken to evacuate the highlands north of Dyngjujökull (part of Vatnajökull glacier). The area is now [as of 3 a.m. local time] closed and has been evacuated. These actions were taken following seismic activity around the Barbarbunga caldera in the last few days.” The evacuated area is unpopulated, but people travel there to see the glacier and other natural formations. Civil Protection added, “These security measures have been taken since it would not be possible to evacuate the area in time should a sub-glacial outburst flood occur… as a result of an eruption.” (CPI)
Flooding mixes with fire and drought
British Columbia Wildfire Management (BC) offers an interactive map of wildfires in the most westerly province of Canada. As of Thursday morning, the map displayed more than 95 fires, including 12 designated as “Fires of Note, due to their visibility or potential threat to public safety.” South of the U.S.-Canada border, hazardous fires are also burning in Washington (InciWeb), Oregon (InciWeb), and California (InciWeb). Not surprisingly, some of the areas with active fires are also drought-stricken, as seen on the U.S. Drought Monitor map (Aug-21). On the other hand, Phoenix, Arizona, is both in a drought-stricken area, and currently experiencing road closures due to flooding (OEM). The office of Emergency Management in Phoenix is also warning of more stormy weather and advising residents about where they can get sand to fill flood-barrier sand bags.
Current Hazard Warnings
Drought: Western United States, Kazakhstan, Hispaniola, Central America
Tropical Cyclone: Karina and Lowell (Pacific)
Wildfire: Canada (British Columbia), United States (Oregon, Washington, California)
Flood: Australia (Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales), India, Sweden, United States (Arizona, Ohio)
For real-time information on current disasters download PDC’s Disaster Alert mobile app available for your iOS or Android devices today! Also be sure to monitor PDC on Twitter, Facebook, and by accessing the Global Hazards Atlas page.