Archive | December 26, 2013

Storm Alert

***BE ALERT***

Ice Storm
Strong winds to batter Toronto areas most affected by ice storm: Environment Canada
Cleanup may be underway across Toronto, but Environment Canada warns increased winds are forecast for parts of the city battered by last week’s ice storm.

The government agency is warning about the possibility of power outages, more broken trees and downed power lines.

“Winds are forecast to pick up early this afternoon over regions most affected by the ice storm. They are expected to be west or southwesterly at 20 to 30 km/h at times. This may lead to sporadic power outages as ice and snow-laden tree limbs could snap onto power lines,” the alert for the city of Toronto said.

This isn’t good news for the more than 57,000 homes in the city that are still in the dark and cold without any power.

At an update on Boxing Day, Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines said that power restoration efforts are now about 82 per cent complete.

But he warned that the unruly weather has hampered cleanup efforts – as crews work to repair downed power lines, falling trees are causing damage in other areas.

“We have two 12-hour shifts a day and we will not stop until the power’s back on,” he said.

Forty-three crews are working to clear trees from wires and another 20 are cleaning the roads of debris.



Proton Alert 26.12.13 22.07 hrs UTC

Forecaster Predicts Snow Cyclones Could Threaten Winter Olympics In Russia

After months of concern about whether Sochi will have enough snow to host February’s Winter Olympics, the real threat could come from a “snow cyclone,” the country’s top weather forecaster said Tuesday.

In February, a lack of snow forced freestyle skiing test events in the mountains above Sochi to be canceled, prompting fears that the subtropical Russian city might struggle to offer appropriately wintry weather at the Winter Games in February.

“There will be enough snow. The question is whether a snow cyclone could emerge unexpectedly during the competitions and really make life difficult for two or three days,” said Alexander Frolov, head of state weather agency Rosgidromet.

“But it’s important to preserve a calm attitude,” he added.

Frolov also spoke of “a second risk — that competitions could be delayed, postponed or canceled” because of poor visibility due to cloudy weather, he said.

During the Olympics, between seven and 12 days will see snowfall in the mountains, with the remaining third of the Games likely to see sunshine with cloudy spells, Frolov said.



***BE ALERT***


Storm Alert

Trees Down, Roads Flooded…Met Éireann Warns Of Significant Dangers


MOST OF THE country is experiencing significant rainfall right now as Met Éireann’s predicted storm lands across the island.

The meteorologists issued their top level warning because of extremely wet and windy conditions and there have already been reports of fallen trees and flooded roads.

They expect the storm to continue overnight and into the morning with winds only abating tomorrow afternoon.

Motorists have been asked to take extra care while driving and to be aware of black ice.

AA Roadwatch has advised of treacherous conditions on the M7 Dublin to Limerick road between Roscrea and Limerick, including strong winds and excess surface water.

A tree has fallen on the road to Garykennedy from Portroe in Tipperary and people are asked to avoid the area altogether. Another tree is down, blocking the R491, between Nenagh and Cloughjordan.

Senator Thomas Byrne has also let his constituents know that there are trees down in Pilltown, Bettystown Cross and Bettystown areas in county Meath.

There are a number of trees down in Clare also, says the AA, including at the N68 Ennis to Kilrush road which is partially blocked between Ennis and Darragh and between Barefield and Spancilhill. A third has fallen on the N67 Killimor road outside Kilrush.

In Cork, there is flooding across the city and on the R617 just off the N20 coming into Blarney.

Met Éireann’s red alert is specifically for Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Waterford but the rest of Ireland has been given a slightly lower orange warning.

For both warnings, gale force winds have been described as potentially severe and damaging.

Very high seas could also bring a significant danger of coast flooding.

Yanam Declared As Natural Calamity Hit Region, India
Puducherry Administration has issued a notification declaring Yanam region of the Union Territory of Puducherry a natural calamity affected area.District Collector and Secretary to the Puducherry Administration S B Deepak Kumar issued the order containing the notification in which it was said the cyclonic storm Helen had caused extensive damages and devastation in Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry in East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh, by the cyclone in November.Official sources said that the cyclone had caused damages to nearly 485 fishing boats, hit paddy ready for harvest on an extent of 285 hectares and damaged electrical posts. One fisherman Malladi Veerababu was killed in the cyclonic storm when he tried to lift the boat to a safer place.

Flood Alert
Flooding, landslides leave 8 dead on Caribbean island of St. Vincent

Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains have killed at least eight people and injured five on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, officials said Wednesday.

The government’s National Emergency Management Organization said one of those who died was an 18-year-old college student. Five people were reported missing.

Among the eight killed was a cousin of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Cassian Gonsalves, who died Tuesday night when a landslide crashed through his house, Cassian cousin Mark Boyea told The Associated Press.

The devastation prompted the prime minister to cut short a family vacation that had taken him to England and Rome, and he was due to return home Thursday. Photos posted by the Vatican showed that Gonsalves had met with Pope Francis.

In the heavily hit area of North Leeward in northwestern St. Vincent, a family of five was killed when a house was swept into their home. Sixty-two people had taken refuge at a school converted to a shelter.

The emergency office said nine houses had been destroyed and 15 others were damaged. Several communities remained isolated because of damaged bridges or blocked roads, it said.

There was extensive flooding and damage elsewhere in the eastern part of the Caribbean. Police on the nearby island of St. Lucia said a man died there when a wall fell on him.

Traditional Christmas Eve midnight religious services were cancelled and several churches in the capital of Castries opened their doors to stranded people.

“It’s the worst Christmas I will ever spend,” said Jude Francis, his clothes soaked from the rain.

St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony described the damage as an emergency and a major setback for the country. “I don’t think I can recall when we have had such heavy rainfall on the eve of Christmas,” he said.

On the nearby island of Dominica, dozens of homes and at least two hotels were evacuated because of the danger of landslides and several roads were blocked by mud.

The cluster of thunderstorms came as the small islands were crowded with holiday tourists. Showers were expected to linger over the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic throughout Wednesday.

New MERS Death Raises Saudi Toll To 57
MERS Virus

Saudi health authorities announced Thursday a new MERS death, bringing to 57 the number of people killed by the coronavirus in the country with the most fatalities.

The health ministry said in a statement on its website that a 73-year-old Saudi man, who suffered from chronic illnesses, died in the capital Riyadh after he contracted MERS.

Authorities also registered four other new MERS cases in Riyadh.

Two of them are Saudis, one is a 57-year-old who is chronically ill and is in intensive care and the other is a 27-year-old medic.

The other two people infected are foreign medics, a 43-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man.

The ministry said 141 cases have been reported in the country since the virus appeared more than a year ago.

Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine.

MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

9 Dead As Russian Transport Plane Crashes In Siberia

An-12.(RIA Novosti / Dmitriy Petrochenko)

A Russian An-12 cargo plane has crashed near the Siberian city of Irkutsk. None of the nine people onboard has survived the crash, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The plane was being relocated from an aircraft factory in Novosibirsk to another such plant near Irkutsk, an aviation source told Itar-Tass, following initial reports of the crash.

The An-12 was not transporting any passengers or cargo, the source added, saying that the plane was used for “experimental aviation”.

Media reports said the plane crashed onto a military depot near Irkutsk, exploding and causing a fire. Firemen have now brought the blaze under control, according to an RIA Novosti source in law enforcement.

No casualties were reported at the military depot, where the plane crashed.

The crashed An-12 had been routinely used for transporting aircraft replacement parts between the Irkutsk aircraft repair plant and the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO), according to a NAPO source quoted by Itar-Tass. The cargo plane crashed during landing at the Irkutsk plant airfield, an air traffic control source told the agency.

Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry has already launched an investigation into the accident, a ministry source told Interfax.

The Antonov An-12 type aircraft first entered service in the Soviet Union in 1966. The plane is capable of carrying up to 20 tons of cargo and can accommodate up to 14 passengers between the flight deck and the cargo bay.

The plane’s production stopped in 1973 after the Soviet Union produced over 850 civilian and military models, and exported hundreds.

The An-12 is now regarded as outdated and the Russian Air Force is seeking a replacement.