Archive | July 16, 2015

Typhoon Nangka pounds Shikoku; pair dead; hundreds of thousands told to flee

Typhoon Alert

A strong typhoon made landfall Thursday night on Shikoku, leaving two people dead and a number of other people injured.
Authorities urged hundreds of thousands of people there and elsewhere to evacuate, while transportation services were crippled.
Typhoon Nangka landed near Cape Muroto in Kochi Prefecture around 11 p.m., causing heavy rain to fall across a wide area from Shikoku to the Tohoku region.
The Meteorological Agency said the typhoon is expected to move northward into the Sea of Japan, and warned of heavy rain and strong winds that may last for hours as it was moving slowly.
Fears of landslides and flooding prompted local governments in Kochi and elsewhere to advise at least 367,800 people to evacuate their homes.
In Hyogo Prefecture, a 71-year-old man died after sustaining head injuries while trying to reinforce window glass, and the body of an 85-year-old man who had apparently gone out to check on a canal for farmland has been found.
In the village of Kawauchi, Fukushima Prefecture, the hourly rainfall reached 77.5 mm, a record there for the month of July, while winds of at least 144 kph were recorded at Cape Muroto.
The storm caused flights and railway services to be canceled or suspended mostly in western Japan.
Shikoku Railway Co. shut down all services Thursday evening, and West Japan Railway Co. plans to suspend many of its services on Friday.
The Japan Railway group operated its shinkansen trains on Thursday.
Airline service has also been severely affected. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines together canceled a total of 177 flights on Thursday, including those connecting Tokyo and Shikoku. Budget carriers Peach Aviation and Jetstar canceled 42 flights, including international services.
ANA, JAL and other airlines have also already canceled dozens of flights Friday as well.
Parts of expressways have been closed and ferry services also canceled due to high waves and heavy rain.
The weather agency forecasts rainfall totaling 400 mm on Shikoku and in the Tokai region around Nagoya and 500 mm in the Kinki region centering on Osaka in the 24 hours through midnight Friday. Precipitation of 250 mm is forecast in Tokyo and its surrounding region.
At 3 a.m. Friday, the typhoon was located near Kanonji, Kagawa Prefecture, and was heading north-northwest at a speed of 20 kph. The storm had an atmospheric pressure of 975 hectopascals at its center.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 32 km

Distances: 59km (37mi) ENE of Cagwait, Philippines
66km (41mi) E of Tandag, Philippines
95km (59mi) NE of Lianga, Philippines
98km (61mi) NNE of Hinatuan, Philippines
869km (540mi) WNW of Koror Town, Palau

Four earthquakes/tremors rock eastern Caribbean; three within one hour

Earthquake Alert

Four small earthquakes/tremors have been felt in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Martinique and other neighbouring islands within the past five hours, according to preliminary information from the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWISRC). There were no immediate reports of damage. The last three events occurred within 50 minutes – all occurring in the same region. Residents in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Guyana have also reported feeling the quake, though those countries were not mentioned in the UWISRC report. – The first quake, measuring 5.7, was felt at about 7:01 a.m. – the second, measuring 6.4, occurred at about 11:16 a.m.; – the third, measuring 4.1, occurred at about 11:29 a.m. – the fourth, measuring 5.6, occurred at about 11: 36 a.m., the UWISRC has stated. Residents have told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the quakes lasted between 10 and 20 seconds.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 39 km

Distances: 1247 km S of Nuku‘alofa, Tonga / pop: 22,400 / local time: 09:41:28.2 2015-07-17
876 km NE of Gisborne, New Zealand / pop: 34,274 / local time: 08:41:28.2 2015-07-17

Global viewRegional view

Severe hailstorm prompts use of snowplows in South Dakota city, USA

Snowplows in July
(Photo: Karen Maudlin / AP)
A brief but intense hailstorm that dropped as much as 4 inches of slippery pellets in a South Dakota city prompted officials to call out snowplows in the middle of summer.
Pennington County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Jackson tells the Rapid City Journal that the Tuesday night incident on U.S. Highway 16 south of Rapid City was “definitely weird” for mid-July.
The National Weather Service says pea-size hail pelted the highway for about 15 minutes. Jackson says the area was shrouded in heavy fog as the hail melted and a few cars went off the road, but that there were no serious injuries.
Courtesy of

Freak storms cause major damage in Carinthia, Austria

Freak storms cause damage in Carinthia
Trees were uprooted in Klagenfurt. Photo: Hiebaum/ORF
Parts of Carinthia in the south of Austria were hit by freak thunder and hail storms on Wednesday night, exactly a week after massive hailstones injured several people in the province
In Gegendtal several cars were buried under fallen trees. An entire forest clearing was uprooted close to the Kastral Landstrasse (L38). One 47-year-old woman who was caught in the storm and parked her car at the side of the road was lucky to escape uninjured after several trees fell on her vehicle.
A family of four who were driving towards Puch were also hit by fallen trees but were not injured. The L38 road was later closed to traffic to avoid any accidents.
Power lines were downed by falling trees around the village of Kras. The roof of an apartment building in Maria Saal was struck by lightning and caught fire. Firefighters said that all 11 residents were evacuated to safety and the fire was extinguished within half an hour.
Courtesy of

Massive landslide buries 3 classrooms; kills 1 and injures 12 in Nepal

A landslide triggered by heavy monsoon rains buried parts of a school in western Nepal on Thursday, killing a student and injuring 12 people
The police said the landslide buried three classrooms at the school in Pokhara, where students were sitting end-of-term exams.  “One student was killed and 12 others, including three teachers, were injured,” district police chief Hari Bahadur Pal told newsmen, adding that most  students had already finished their exams and left when the landslide hit.
Pal said the injured were being treated at a local hospital and none were  in a critical condition.  Scores of people die every year from flooding and landslides during the monsoon season in Nepal.
Courtesy of

Severe heatwave kills 5 and hospitalises at least 3,000 in Japan

Record Heat Alert

Five people were killed and more than 3,000 hospitalised in Japan in a heatwave that swept the country last week, media reported on Wednesday.
The dead were elderly people who suffered from heat-stroke as temperatures crossed 39 degrees Celsius, accompanied by humidity of more than 63 percent.
At least 3,200 people, most of them over 65 years of age, were hospitalised across the country over the last eight days, Kyodo news agency reported citing government figures.
Eight of those hospitalised were in critical condition, according to state broadcaster NHK.
The Japan Meteorological Agency, or JMA, has advised residents of the regions most-affected by the heatwave to stay well-hydrated and avoid direct exposure to the sun.
Weather forecasts say the heatwave will recede from Wednesday onwards.
The month of June has been the hottest globally since weather records began to be kept around the end of the 19th century, JMA reported on Wednesday.
Average global surface temperature in June 2015 was 0.41 degree Celsius higher than the average registered between 1981 and 2010, and 0.76 degree Celsius above the average for the entire 20th century, according to JMA.
Courtesy of

Severe heatwave has killed at least 700 people in France

Heatwave Alert

The sweltering heatwave that hit France earlier this month was responsible for the deaths of 700 people, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday
The heatwave that hit France between the 29th of June and the 5th of July left 700 dead, the ministry announced on Thursday.
The figures were taken from the fact that there were seven percent more deaths registered in France during this period than at the same time last year. 
Almost 3,600 people were hospitalized during the heatwave, while almost 1,500 people saw their local GP after suffering from the heat, the ministry added. 
The heatwave was a record breaker in some parts of the country for the time of the year, and even in the capital temperatures almost hit 40C.
While the death tally is high, it pales in comparison to the heatwave of 2003 that resulted in the deaths of 15,000 mostly elderly people.
The tragedy saw the government launch an emergency response programme in which authorities can raise a three-tiered alarm system to ensure there won’t be a repeat.
France is currently in the middle of another mini-heatwave, with temperatures forecast to soar into the mid to high thirties across the entire eastern half of the country on Thursday afternoon.
After the temperature is forecast to hang around the low twenties late on Thursday night, the weather will remain warm on Friday and then cool somewhat into the weekend.
Courtesy of

Severe heatwave hits Cyprus

Heatwave Warning

WITH the mercury set to hit a sweltering 40C, much of the island is basking in sizzling conditions.
The scorching sunshine and cloudless skies come as another heat wave arrived in Cyprus on Thursday.
The weather was so warm that even the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker opted to take off his shirt and tie during an official visit to the capital Nicosia.
The glorious conditions are set to last throughout the weekend, with coastal areas touching between 33oC – 35oC.
Turkish Cypriot news outlets reported temperatures had reached 41C in the north Thursday lunchtime.
However, the dry air and strong sun could also create a fire danger with conditions ripe for wildfires.
The heat could have health impacts, causing dehydration and exhaustion, particularly in people over age 65, infants and young children, people with medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, asthma or respiratory conditions.
People who have been consuming caffeine or alcohol are also at a higher risk of dehydration, public health officials said.
Courtesy of