Archive | May 8, 2015

Severe hailstorm with damaging winds causes mayhem in Thailand

THERE WAS a surprise hailstorm in some parts of Bangkok yesterday, with hailstones even hitting the roof of Parliament house.
Hail was also reported to have hit Rajdamnoen Avenue and Si Ayutthaya Road. Witnesses said the hailstones were as big as a Bt5 coin. 
Heavy rain also flooded many roads and it took the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) several hours to drain water from Rama VI Road, Nakhon Chai Si Road and Si Ayutthaya Road. 
Strong winds also uprooted many trees, with several in Government House falling down and hitting at least two vehicles. A red Mazda was badly damaged, with a tree crushing the roof of the vehicle and breaking its windshield at the back. Winds also pulled down tents for motorcycle parking and damaged several bikes in its vicinity. 
The BMA said the capital’s Pom Prab (Sattru Phai) and Dusit districts saw the heaviest rainfall yesterday afternoon, recorded at 57 millimetres and 55 millimetres respectively. 
Rain also poured down in Phra Nakhon, Samphanthawong, Pathum Wan, Bang Rak, Ratchathewi, Phya Thai, Din Daeng, Sathon, Bang Kha Laem, Yannawa, Watthana, Huai Khwang, Wang Thong Lang, Bang Kapi, Suan Luang, Beung Kum, Khan Na Yow, Lat Phrao, Chatuchak, Bang Khen, Lak Si, Don Muang and Sai Mai.
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Massive Evacuation of Thousands Ahead of Typhoon In The Philippines

Emergency Evacuation Alert

Philippine authorities evacuated today hundreds of residents of the Northern provinces ahead of typhoon Noul, with sustained winds of 150 km per hour, National Meteorological Agency has reported.
According to the organization, the proximity of the typhoon has also caused the transfer to temporary shelters of half a thousand people who live near the Bulusan volcano, about 400 km south of the capital.
The storm, which has become stronger over the last days and has a radio of about 300 km, threatens the provinces of Camarines North, Camarines South, Albay, Catanduanes, North Samar del Norte and Sorsogon, the agency added.
The typhoon could also affect Luzon Island next Sunday, considered the largest of the country.
Every year, about 20 typhoons hit Philippines, killing hundreds of people and causing great economic damages.
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Up to 2 feet of snow possible in the mountains of Wyoming, USA

Snow Alert

A potent spring snowstorm threatened to snarl traffic on interstate highways from Colorado to South Dakota, including a stretch of Interstate 80 across southern Wyoming that was the scene of two big weather-related pileups last month.
After a week of soggy weather in the central Rockies, forecasters predicted rain would transition to heavy snow by Mother’s Day. Up to 2 feet was forecast in the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado, and more than 1 foot was possible in the Black Hills.
Nine to 13 inches was forecast for Casper Mountain; 6 to 12 inches was forecast for high-elevation cities including Cheyenne.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation was monitoring the storm and preparing its plows but not making any plans to close interstates just yet, spokesman Dave Kingham said Friday.
“More often than not, it’s a question of visibility than any amount of snow. Or a combination of poor visibility and ice and poor conditions,” Kingham said of what it takes to close a highway.
The storm could affect travel along I-80 and I-25 in Wyoming, I-70 in Colorado and I-90 in northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota.
Slick conditions and poor visibility factored into two recent pileups on I-80.
On April 20, a fiery chain-reaction wreck 18 miles west of Laramie on I-80 involved more than 60 vehicles and killed two people. The wrecks happened in dense fog and light slush and shut down I-80 for 100 miles in both directions.
The pileup happened four days after one involving about 60 cars and trucks on I-80 about 15 miles west of Cheyenne. Three people were hospitalized from those wrecks in blowing snow.
Forecasters this time predicted a classic upslope storm in which moisture funneled westward from the Great Plains would fall first as rain, then snow, on east-facing slopes.
Some rain will turn to snow at high elevations overnight Friday but most areas will see rain changing to snow Saturday afternoon and evening, said Richard Emanuel, a Weather Service forecaster in Cheyenne.
“Conditions will probably be pretty nasty out there tomorrow night into early Sunday,” Emanuel said Friday.
The storm could drop more than 1 inch of liquid precipitation to some areas, he said.
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State of emergency declared in RM of St. Louis, Sask., Canada

State Of Emergency

A state of emergency has been declared because of flooding in the rural municipality of St. Louis, south of Prince Albert, Sask.
The villages of Hoey, Domremy and Bellevue are included in that area.
A number of roads are almost impassable, Reeve Henri Gareau said.
That could be a problem for emergency crews trying to get to the area, Gareau said.
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Volcanic magma activity is intensifying at Mount Hakone, Japan

Steam rises from the rocky mountain slopes near the hot springs resort of Hakone, Kanagawa prefecture on Wednesday. (AFP photo)
Volcanic activity at Mount Hakone is intensifying to levels unseen over recent years, an expert said Friday after conducting research in a no-entry zone.
Tokai University professor Takeshi Oba told Kyodo News that analysis of gas spurting from the ground in the Owakudani hot spring district, some 80 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, showed magma activity is intensifying.
Roaring sounds have been heard near fumaroles in Owakudani, permeated by an odor of sulfur dioxide, according to Oba. In 1933, fumarolic gas erupted in the area, killing one person.
Volcanic activity around Mount Hakone also temporarily intensified in 2001. Oba, who has researched the volcano over many years, said the recent activity is “completely different” from the situation observed until April and “quite similar” to 2001.
Visitors check a notice as the gate is closed at Mount Hakone in Kanagawa prefecture on Monday. (AFP photo)
But the volcano did not erupt at that time, and Oba said “it is difficult to know accurately the chance of eruption” now.
Volcanic earthquakes continued Friday after authorities raised the alert level on Wednesday.
Minister in charge of disaster prevention Eriko Yamatani called on people to act calmly as the government worries about potential damage to local businesses, particularly the tourism sector, from baseless rumours.
The Japan Meteorological Agency sent an observation team to the area for the first time since it raised the alert level, confirming steam has been erupting furiously around Owakudani.
Separately, the Geographical Information Authority said it found ground around Owakudani has risen by up to six centimetres since October, apparently due to crustal movement.
The finding led a local government to freeze until Monday its permission for hot spring and other business operators to enter an evacuation area within a radius of about 300 metres around Owakudani.
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El Nino will cause severe heatwave this summer in Vietnam

El Nino Alert

Severe weather conditions, especially heatwave and storms, are likely to affect the country till October, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has said.
It said the northern and central regions would be the most affected areas.
At a conference yesterday, Director of the centre Hoang Duc Cuong said the El Nino pattern this year would have a negative impact on natural disasters in the country.
The temperature will increase by one degree Celsius during severe heatwaves. Some areas, such as the northern Hoa Binh Province’s Mai Chau District, Son La Province’s Phu Yen District and central Nghe An Province’s Tuong Duong District, will experience temperatures of 39 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively.
The country will face 25 to 50 per cent rain shortage, compared to the previous year, together with drought and salt intrusion in the central region till mid-September.
There may be severe drought in some districts in the central highland region and southern central provinces.
Nearly 10 storms and low pressures areas were expected to develop offshore, four of which would impact on the mainland, he said.
Frequent flash floods and erosion will be an alarming issue in the northern provinces of Bac Kan, Lai Chau, Yen Bai and Ha Giang, as well as Tuyen Quang.
In the early months of 2015, periods of severe drought occurred in several provinces, but most severely in the southern central provinces, causing losses to local residents.
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