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Cyclone Burevi: Kerala issues alert, Health Minister Shailaja asks hospitals to be prepared

Cyclone Warning Alert

The Kerala health department has issued an alert in view of Cyclone Burevi to ensure the successful handling of health issues that might arise due to the storm and rain and possible infectious diseases post-disaster.

Health minister KK Shailaja directed the Director of Health Services and Director of Medical Education to ensure adequate medical infrastructure and medicines at all hospitals in the state.

“All major health institutions including medical colleges should make adequate preparations to handle any kind of emergencies. Orthopedicians, physicians, paediatricians, surgeons, anaesthesia doctors and others should be available on call duty,” said Shailaja.

The department has also directed the nodal officers of respective districts to follow the instructions of the respective district medical officers. It has also been directed to ensure the security of senior citizens and ensure Covid protocol at relief camps. The service of 108 Kanivu ambulance network has also been ensured at areas which might bear the brunt of the cyclone.

Courtesy of newindianexpress.com

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Powerful storm leaves path of power outages and flooding across the Midwest and northeastern United States

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert

Extreme high winds up to 76 mph across the Midwest and northeastern United States led to power outages, property damage, flooding and the delay of the Texans-Browns NFL game in Cleveland on Sunday.

After a new storm formed over the Great Plains on Saturday, AccuWeather meteorologists accurately predicted strong winds would target the Great Lakes and Northeast to end the weekend.

In Dayton, Ohio, the winds were blamed for at least one fatality. According to The Associated Press, a 63-year-old woman was struck and killed by a falling tree. The death remains under investigation by the Montgomery County sheriff’s office, the AP said.

More than 25 million were under a winter weather alert in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine on Sunday afternoon.

“A deepening area of low pressure over the Great Lakes has resulted in damaging winds across much of the Midwest and Great Lakes region,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.

By Sunday afternoon, a broad area of wind gusts ranging between 40 to 76 mph were recorded in Missouri, Indiana and Ohio.

By 1 p.m. EST on Sunday those high winds and winter weather conditions led to more than 126,000 power outages in Ohio, while another 200,000 customers were without electricity in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, according to poweroutage.us.

Those outages quickly escalated within a few short hours. By 4:00 p.m. EST outages topped 350,000 in Ohio and nearly 215,000 in Michigan. By 6 p.m. EST, over 800,000 customers in the region were out of power.

The inclement weather with heavy rain, hail and lightning at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, sparked a 37-minute delay for the Texans-Browns kickoff. The stadium asked the fans present to shelter in place while the players retreated to their locker rooms, USA Today reported. The Cleveland Browns posted images of their players getting ready for the game in the inclement weather and noted “The pre-game weather was wild.”

Across the Great Lakes, winds were strong enough to not only knock down trees but also break large tree limbs, cause property damage and lakeshore flooding.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Detroit issued a high wind warning on Sunday for the Detroit area as well as across much of Michigan.

The Mackinac Bridge in Michigan closed for high-profile vehicles due to the very strong winds affecting the region on Sunday. Drivers were asked to reduce speed to 20 mph while approaching the bridge and prepare to stop.

In Buffalo, New York, tides were pushed up to seven feet above normal on Sunday, causing flooding from Lake Erie. Across the lake, Toledo, Ohio, experienced tides that were six feet lower than usual. This phenomenon is called a seiche, and is similar to a storm surge.

The flooding in Buffalo could continue throughout the night, and places like Michigan City, Indiana, and Benton Harbor, Michigan could expect lake-shore flooding as well through Sunday night. By 7 p.m. EST, lakeshore flooding from Lake Erie had also begun in Presque Isle State Park in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Airline delays and turbulence could be issues that airline passengers face as the strong winds take aim. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, thunderstorms were already responsible for delays up to an hour on Sunday evening.

Cold air will be pulled down behind the earlier Sunday rain, allowing for snow showers in parts of Michigan and Wisconsin through Sunday night. Some lake-effect snow squalls are also possible.

In addition to the gusty winds, rain will also be sweeping eastward with this storm through Sunday night.

Gusty winds that arrived Sunday afternoon will persist into Monday. Coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England could experience wind gusts between 40 and 50 mph with local gusts to 60 mph prior to the arrival of rain.

Travel over high bridges in Philadelphia and New York City could be hazardous, especially for high-profile vehicles such as trucks and trailers.

When the rain arrives, it could come in the form of a squall line, containing wind-whipped rain and a burst of even stronger winds.

As the severe weather subsides along the I-95 corridor, precipitation will be changing from rain to snow across the eastern Great Lakes.

Gusty winds will persist, triggering lake-effect snow across the Great Lakes to the central Appalachians spanning Monday night and Tuesday.

The infamous storm that sunk the Edmond Fitzgerald in November 45 years ago was similar in nature to the current wind storm, and is an example of how powerful and dangerous this type of storm can become.

Courtesy of northcentralpa.com

https://tinyurl.com/y34cfzs8

Storm Vamco hits Vietnam

Storm Alert

STORM Vamco barrelled into Vietnam, damaging buildings and injuring at least 19 people, as the death toll in the Philippines climbed to at least 67.

The storm made landfall on Sunday morning with reported winds of up to 90 kph, uprooting trees and blowing the roofs off houses and schools.

According to the latest report from Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, at least 19 people suffered injuries.

Vamco is the latest in a series of storms that have pummelled Vietnam over the past six weeks, causing flooding and landslides that have killed at least 159 people and left 70 others missing.

Vamco has weakened since hitting the Philippines as a typhoon with winds of up to 155 kph, but state media said it had still caused significant damage.

Pictures showed restaurants in the tourist hotspot of Hoi An – a Unesco world heritage site – ripped apart by the storm, and huge trees uprooted in the old imperial city of Hue.

Authorities evacuated nearly 650,000 people from seven coastal provinces to higher and safer ground before the storm hit, but on Sunday warned of the danger of landslides triggered by the heavy rains.

The storm also damaged embankments and caused landslides along them at many rivers and beaches, including 13.3km in Quang Tri province.

Ministries, sectors and localities were asked to continue keeping a close watch and to stand ready to respond to natural disasters, especially flooding and landslides.

The storm had also destroyed electrical wires and poles, causing power outages in 177,000 households in Quang Binh.

More than 110ha of perennial trees in Bo Trach district were also destroyed.

Households who were relocated to avoid the storm had also returned home and those in the area at risk of landslides had been relocated to temporary houses.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting warned that the northern and central region would continue seeing heavy rain.

Courtesy of thestar.com.my

https://tinyurl.com/yx9hvss7

Storm Eta: Up to 150 feared dead in Guatemala landslide as devastating weather wreaks havoc

Landslide Danger Alert

Up to 150 people are feared to have been killed in a landslide in Guatemala after Storm Eta lashed central America with torrential downpours.

Many of those who lost their lives in the remote mountain village of Queja in the country’s central region of Alta Verapaz were buried in their homes under mud, according to the authorities.

The devastating weather front has wreaked havoc from Panama to Honduras and Mexico, which between them have recorded more than 50 flood-related deaths.

Soldiers trying to reach the site of the Queja landslide had their search for survivors hampered by atrocious conditions, including thick mud.

An army spokesman said it was not the first time disaster had struck the area, which was the scene of a huge landslide a decade ago, that killed dozens.

Footage of severe flooding in another part of Guatemala showed boats ferrying villagers to safety and rescue workers wading through waist-deep water carrying children on their backs.

Eta is one of the fiercest storms to hit Central America in years, with the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) warning that “catastrophic flooding” in the region would continue.

Rescue operations across Honduras and Guatemala have been hampered by destroyed roads and bridges, forcing authorities to bring in the military and use helicopters and speedboats to rescue people stranded on top of their homes.

“We have a lot of people trapped we have not been able to reach,” said Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.

He tweeted a picture of an elderly man being rescued with the caption: “We will do whatever it takes, where it takes, whatever it takes to reach every Guatemalan. We will not leave you alone.”

In Honduras, flooding has killed 23 people and two are missing, the government said.

“This is the worst storm Honduras has seen in decades. The damage will undoubtedly be significant,” said Mark Connolly, UNICEF representative in Honduras, who estimated about 1.5 million children there will be affected.

“We have been without food for two days… waiting to be evacuated,” said William Santos, sheltering on top of a banana packing plant with about 300 people in northern Honduras.

Across the border from Guatemala in the Mexican state of Chiapas, flooding has killed 19 people.

The devastation recalls memories of Hurricane Mitch, which killed some 10,000 people in Central America back in 1998.

Latest reports put Eta off Belize’s coast in the Caribbean, heading towards Cuba and Florida.

But remnants of the weather system will continue to hammer parts of Central America with flooding, said the NHC.

Courtesy of Sky News

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Typhoon Goni devastates the Philippines

typhoon-alert

Typhoon Goni (“Rolly”), the most powerful storm in the world this year, tore through the heavilypopulated centre of the Philippines over the weekend. Government reports show that at least 20 have been killed, though this number is likely to rise as communications are slowly restored between its island provinces.

The storm made landfall as a super typhoon on the eastern island province of Catanduanes at 4:50 am on Sunday with sustained maximum wind speeds of 310kph (195mph) recorded in the turbulent eyewall of the storm, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre. As measured by one-minute average winds, it is the strongest typhoon to make landfall ever recorded in the world.

At least six people died in Catanduanes, and the island is without electricity, water or a cellular network. Provincial governor Joseph Cua told a news conference: “While there’s no more typhoon, we have no air and sea transportation.” The hashtag #NasaanAngCatanduanes or “Where is Catanduanes” has been trending on twitter to encourage recommunication with the area.

An emergency telecommunications team was deployed Monday, along with initial deliveries of food packs.

Cua reported that more than 13,000 homes on the island were damaged with some withstanding a five-metre storm surge. According to a “visual” assessment of the damage from ground level, the Red Cross has suggested that “80 to 90 per cent” of the easternmost town of Virac—home to 70,000 people—had been damaged by the storm.

The storm weakened as it travelled west over the Bicol region—the southern part of the main island of Luzon and the most populous area of the Philippines. Bringing floodwaters, toppling trees and triggering mudslides, it barrelled through the provinces of Albay through to Batangas, just south of the capital Manila, before heading towards the South China Sea.

The storm displaced 382,381 people and left 53,863 homes without electricity, according to government figures. The municipalities of Camarines Sur and Cavite were declared in a state of calamity following the storm. As of yesterday, 165 cities in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas are still experiencing power outages.

Over 50 sections of road are affected by flooding, landslides and uprooted trees throughout the island of Luzon, with 37 still impassable.

Summing up the cost estimates of rebuilding the worst affected areas of Camarines Sur, Metropolitan Manila, Quezon, Cavite and Camarines Norte, the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported $136 billion in damages, making it among the costliest storms in history.

The storm is a product of unusually warm waters as a result of the La Nina weather event, a phase of the vast oceanic and atmospheric cycle in the Pacific that drives warm surface waters to East Asia, with a resultant upwelling of colder water along the western coast of South America. Sea temperatures in the region where Goni formed are 30 to 31 degrees Celsius, which can lead to very powerful and unpredictable weather events.

Additionally, there is a trend of increasing major natural disasters due to climate change. A 2018 paper by Bhatia et al., “Projected Response of Tropical Cyclone Intensity and Intensification in a Global Climate Model” predicts a multiplication of destructive category 5 tropical cyclones towards the end of the century. From one Super Typhoon similar to Goni every eight years on a global scale, the occurrence is predicted to increase to one every year between 2081 to 2100.

The tropical archipelago of the Philippines is particularly vulnerable to this process, which routinely experiences around 20 storms and typhoons each year. The last storm, Typhoon Molave, passed through the same region last week killing 22 people.

The country is now on alert for Storm Siony (“Atsani”) likely to become a typhoon and make landfall on Thursday, though this time in the far north of Luzon island. The state weather agency forecasts two to three more typhoons to enter the Philippines in November and another one to two in December.

The UN reported around 68.6 million, or roughly 65 percent of the population are affected by Typhoon Goni, with 24.3 million living in the worst affected areas. Of that number, 2.3 million, including 724,000 children, are classed as “vulnerable”. Those most affected are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and other diseases in crowded evacuation centres, or face delayed and inadequate rescue efforts due to the lack of resources.

As of November 2, 385,400 COVID-19 infections have been recorded in the Philippines, with 7,269 deaths, the second-highest in south-east Asia. In order to establish Covid-secure emergency shelters, schools, gyms and government-run evacuation centres were requisitioned, with individual tents provided inside for families.

The mayor of Infanta town in Quezon province, Filipino Grace America, told DZBB radio that “because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our funds for calamity concerns and expenses are insufficient.”

President Rodrigo Duterte flew to Guinobatan municipality in Albay Province on Monday, where more than 300 houses are buried under volcanic debris. Residents blamed the mudslide on quarrying operations on the slopes of Mt. Mayon, which had contributed to similar avalanches in previous weather events.

According to the Philippine Inquirer, Duterte initially dismissed the residents’ concerns saying Bicol would always be in harm’s way, “as long as it is facing the Pacific Ocean and a volcano is here.”

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, accompanying Duterte asked, “Who owns the quarry sites?”

To which a resident shot back, “Politicians!”

Later, bowing to public pressure, 12 groups operating in the area had their permits suspended. It was discovered that operators had left stockpiles on rivers which contributed to debris damage in flooding.

Courtesy of wsws.org

https://tinyurl.com/y6c34t4e

Storm Eta lashes Nicaragua with rain, sparking deadly mudslides

Tropical Storm Alert_1

Tropical Storm Eta is spinning through northern Nicaragua after lashing the country’s Caribbean coast for much of the past day, with floodwater isolating already remote communities and setting off deadly landslides that killed at least three people.

The storm has weakened from the Category 4 hurricane that battered the coast, but it is moving so slowly and dumping so much rain that much of Central America is on high alert.

On Wednesday morning, Eta had sustained winds of 45mph and was 125 miles north-north-east of Managua, moving westward at 7mph.

The long-term forecast shows the storm taking a turn over Central America and then reforming in the Caribbean, possibly reaching Cuba on Sunday and Florida on Monday.

Eta came ashore on Tuesday afternoon south of Puerto Cabezas, also know as Bilwi, after stalling just off the coast for hours.

The city of about 60,000 had been without power since Monday evening. Corrugated metal roofing and uprooted trees were scattered through its streets, and 20,000 of residents were in shelters.

About 100 miles west of where Eta made landfall, two gold miners were killed when a mountainside unleashed tons of mud. A third miner escaped the slide and sought help.

One body was recovered before rescuers had to suspend recovery efforts due to nightfall and there were fears that more slides could occur as the rain continued, said Cesar Malespin of Bonanza Fire Department.

The storm also drenched neighbouring Honduras, and the country reported its first storm-related death on Tuesday. A 12-year-old girl died in a mudslide in San Pedro Sula, the main population centre in northern Honduras, said Marvin Aparicio of the emergency management agency.

In Honduras, at least 559 people had to move to shelters or go to relatives’ homes to escape flooding, he said, and at least 25 people had been rescued. His agency reported at least six rivers causing significant flooding.

Forecasters said central and northern Nicaragua and much of Honduras could get 15in to 25in of rain, with 35in in isolated areas. Heavy rain is also likely in eastern Guatemala, southern Belize and Jamaica.

Courtesy of centralfifetimes.com

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