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  • Rush Limbaugh: Hurricane expert
    Friday, November 30, 2007
    By Bob King | Friday, November 30, 2007, 10:36 AM

    Looks like Rush Limbaugh, Palm Beach’s favorite talk show host, has uncovered yet another liberal conspiracy — this one, based at the National Hurricane Center.

    The plot, El Rushbo explains, is diabolical in its simplicity: The hurricane center’s meteorologists had predicted a lot of storms this season. And when the storms didn’t appear, the forecasters just made them up:

    “We never named subtropical storms but will this year, and the reason they started doing that is because their predictions were running light. Their predictions were embarrassing, so they had to get some named storms.”
    Did you know that? The hurricane center never named subtropical storms before this year? Well, not unless you include Nicole in 2004, a year that seemingly didn’t require any hyping.

    Rush also goes on about how Tropical Storm Noel shouldn’t count because “Nova Scotia is not the tropics” — I guess that means I can tell my relatives up there to stop whining about Hurricane Juan ripping apart their homes four years ago. Plus, in his opinion, “the barometric pressure never got low enough” to justify naming some of the storms.

    And rather than fretting that two inactive U.S. seasons in a row will make people complacent, “we ought to be celebrating that storms creamed other people this year and last year rather than us.”

    Limbaugh’s not alone in questioning the hurricane center’s storm numbers. The conservative National Center for Public Policy Research is also alleging a conspiracy, claiming that the meteorologists are “inflating the count of tropical storms and aiding a political campaign to regulate energy use in the process.”

    In other words, they say, the NHC is just trying to hype global warming.

    Now this might come as a shock to hurricane center meteorologists like Chris Landsea and ex-Director Max Mayfield, who are frequently villified by climate activists who accuse them of covering up the truth about global warming. It also might surprise Colorado State University hurricane prognosticator William Gray, who produces the scary predictions but denounces global warming as a gigantic hoax. But that just proves how clever this conspiracy is.

    Is there any real issue here? Maybe. Limbaugh’s spiel was inspired by a Houston Chronicle article in which various meteorologists, including ex-Hurricane Center Director Neil Frank, question the inclusion of several storms that barely qualified as tropical cyclones this year. Frank says as many as six of this year’s 14 storms are “very questionable.”

    The Chronicle story adds:

    “What everyone agrees has changed is the ability of meteorologists to more accurately analyze tropical systems, thanks to an increased number of reconnaissance flights with sophisticated tools and the presence of more satellites to monitor storms from above.

    “Scientists generally agree that prior to the late 1970s and widespread satellite coverage, hurricane watchers annually missed one to three tropical storms that developed far from land or were short-lived.

    “But this season’s large number of minimal tropical storms whose winds exceeded 39 mph for only a short period has ignited a separate debate: whether even more modern technology and a change in philosophy has artificially inflated the number of storms in recent years.”

    On the other hand, the story says the hurricane center’s acting deputy director, Bill Read, disputes the claims: “For at least the last two decades, I am certain most, if not all, the storms named this year would have also been named.”

    It is certainly true that changing technology, especially satellites and recon aircraft, allow meterologists to catch storms they would have missed decades ago. And this can make it difficult to decipher the long-term trends: Was the 2005 season really the busiest of all time, or was the 1933 season even busier? Were Dean and Felix really the first two Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the same year, or did the same thing happen in 1955? How does our decade compare with the 1880s and 1890s, when the U.S. coast was getting slapped left and right?

    In fact, this question is one reason why Landsea is skeptical about the arguments that global warming is making hurricanes stronger — he says it’s not clear that hurricanes are becoming stronger at all. It’s also why he and other federal meteorologists have been involved in a hurricane “reanalysis” project to go back through records of storms since 1851 and reexamine them using today’s standards.

    Then again, maybe Rush is right and the hurricane center is filled with linguini-spined weenies who like nothing better than to frighten the public with scary storm numbers.

    Rush may want to explain his theory in person to hurricane center meteorologist Stacy Stewart — when Stewart returns from Iraq:

    palmbeachpost.com
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 6:47 PM  
    Caribbean quake sets off seismograph in California
    (CNN) -- A magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck Thursday in the Caribbean just off the coast of Martinique, setting off shaking that triggered a reading of a strong earthquake in California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    The earthquake occurred just after 3 p.m.(2 p.m. ET) the USGS said. Its epicenter was northwest of Le Morne-Rouge, Martinique.

    There were some injuries, but no reports of deaths, Nadine Priam, chief editor of Radio Martinique, told CNN.

    Roads and homes were damaged and one person was seriously injured after jumping out of a window according to Priam. Several schoolchildren were taken to the main hospital, she said. Watch quake rattle home in Dominica »

    The quake was centered just offshore on the island's north side, between the island nations of Martinique and Dominica, Priam said.
    The USGS reported its epicenter was about 90 miles below the Earth's surface, meaning shaking at the surface was somewhat muted. Earthquakes centered closer to the Earth's surface produce stronger shaking and generally cause more damage.

    Despite the depth, the USGS Web site showed the quake was felt as far north as Road Town, Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, about 350 miles from Martinique.

    Its effects were felt even further away.

    The USGS said shaking from the quake was picked up by a seismograph in California, which registered a magnitude 6.0 quake near Chico, California. But seismologists found no quake had occurred in California -- the instrument was reacting to reverberations from the Martinique quake.

    An earthquake near Evanston, Wyoming, initially reported as a magnitude 4.6, was also removed from the USGS site. It was unclear whether that report was also due to shaking from the Windward Islands quake.
    (CNN)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 2:07 PM  
    Earthquake rattles the Caribbeans
    Nov. 30 - Panic in Fort de France after a deep earthquake that hit the Caribbeans.

    The quake hit at 3 p.m. local time at a depth of 90 miles. No tsunami warning has been issued because of the depth of the quake. Earthquakes with a deep epicenter are less likely to cause damage.

    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:39 PM  
    UN food agency plans 6-month emergency operation in Bangladesh
    Thursday, November 29, 2007
    29 November 2007 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced a $52 million, six-month plan to provide emergency aid to 2.2 million Bangladeshis affected by the recent cyclone.

    The aim is to avoid a repeat of the surge in malnutrition rates that typically follows a cyclone in Bangladesh, the agency said. “This time, WFP will start longer-term distributions to families with hopes of preventing increases in malnutrition throughout the region,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.

    “While immediate food aid such as high energy biscuits continue to be rushed into the cyclone-hit areas, WFP is now ready to begin a longer-term, more comprehensive food assistance programme that will get nutritious foods directly to the children who need it the most,” said WFP Bangladesh Representative Douglas Broderick.

    The emergency operation will follow the work of a just-completed UN assessment which found that there are approximately 4.7 million people in the worst affected districts and 2.2 million people are in need of immediate food assistance.

    When the cyclone hit on 15 November, affecting more than 4 million Bangladeshis, WFP rushed in aid to thousands of the most vulnerable victims. The agency has delivered more than 300 metric tons of biscuits and more than 430 tons of rice to those in need.

    UN agency provides seeds and tools to over 110,000 farmers in southern Africa

    Aiming to secure the next harvest in three Southern African countries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has distributed over 1,000 tons of seeds, as well as fertilizer and tools, to over 110,000 poor farmers in the region.

    “The more we can support quality farm outputs and help diversify crops and strengthen capacities, the fewer people will need food aid and other handouts next season,” said Anne Bauer, Director of FAO's Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division.

    The $7 million operation in in Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland should service an estimated 50,000 hectares of crops, the agency said.

    The relief was distributed using a voucher system pioneered the non-governmental organization Catholic Relief Services which allowed farmers attending mobile fairs to choose what to purchase among the seeds, fertilizer, tools and tillage services on offer.

    The aid comes to a region hit by a high death toll from AIDS which has left many rural households and orphans in the care of grandparents. Farmers there must also cope with crop failure caused by successive years of drought and inclement weather.
    (UN)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 8:55 PM  
    Death toll in Philippines typhoons rises to 22
    Wednesday, November 28, 2007
    Death toll in Philippines typhoons rises to 22
    Manila, Nov 28 (DPA) The death toll in two typhoons, Mitag and Hagibis, that battered a large part of the Philippines has risen to 22, the Office of Civil Defence said Wednesday.

    Fourteen people were also reported missing after the two typhoons swept through 19 eastern, northern and western provinces of the country.

    Both typhoons have weakened to tropical depressions as they moved out of the country, the weather bureau said.

    The victims included three people who drowned when their motorboat capsized off Batangas province, south of Manila, late Tuesday.

    The coast guard said six people were also reported missing in the accident.

    The office added that many displaced residents have returned to their homes amid the improving weather, and the number of people in evacuation centres has gone down to 56,000.

    At the height of Mitag's onslaught, more than 200,000 people cramped evacuation centres in the affected provinces.

    Hagibis had already left 13 people dead in the Philippines last week.

    The weather bureau said Mitag was expected to merge with Hagibis as the storms moved out of the country. The bureau, however, warned that a new weather disturbance would bring more rains over the weekend.

    indiblitz
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 11:18 PM  
    Jakarta floods blamed on climate change
    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesia's environment minister said Tuesday that global warming was to blame after the capital of Jakarta was partially flooded, forcing thousands of people to flee homes and cutting off a highway to the international airport.

    Authorities used pumps to lower water levels, which reached 6 feet (1.8 meters) in the worst-hit areas and washed more than a mile inland Monday, said Iskandar, an official at Jakarta's flood crisis center. At least 2,200 houses were inundated, some with chest-deep water.

    "I haven't seen it this bad in several years," said Toki, a police officer who was directing traffic around a flooded area near Sukarno-Hatta airport, where thousands of passengers were stranded.

    Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said global warming was at least partially to blame, causing sea levels to rise and making coastal cities like Jakarta especially vulnerable to flooding and monsoon storms.

    Authorities also ignored warnings about exceptionally high 18-year tide cycles, flood expert Jan Japp Brinkman told the Jakarta Post newspaper, and the situation was exacerbated by the failure to fix a sea barrier breached over a week ago.

    The flooding came as Indonesia prepared to host the U.N. climate change conference from Dec. 3-14, which aims to start negotiations on a replacement for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions that expires in 2012.

    The sprawling archipelagic nation is one of the largest contributors of carbon dioxide emissions, due to the rapid pace of deforestation, but experts say it is also at risk of becoming one of the biggest victims of global warming. (CNN)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 6:29 PM  
    Sabah coastal residents feel effects of Hagibis tail
    By MUGUNTAN VANAR

    KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds of coastal residents fled their homes as strong waves triggered by tropical storm Hagibis destroyed or damaged dozens of houses on stilts along the west coast of Sabah.

    Worst hit were four villages in northern Kudat where about 24 houses were completely destroyed by the waves while dozens of other houses were destroyed or damaged in coastal areas here as well as in Tuaran and Labuan.

    Some 200 people have been temporarily housed at the SMK Kudat II school hall.

    There have not been any reports of fatalities or casualties from the storm that has been triggering strong winds, rough seas and occasional heavy showers in Sabah since Monday.

    thestaronline
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 6:20 PM  
    Killer storms pound Philippines
    Rescuers went on full alert after Typhoon Mitag slammed into the Philippines, killing at least eight people and forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes in one of the country's largest evacuation operations in recent history.
    Mitag pounded the northern city of Tuguegarao on the island of Luzon yesterday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain, knocking out power lines and causing widespread flooding.

    Meanwhile, tropical storm Hagibis bore down on the western island of Palawan from the South China Sea, where officials said a Philippine air force plane went missing while looking for 25 crewmen of a Filipino fishing boat that was sunk by the storm last week.


    Mitag uprooted large trees, blew away huts and caused heavy damage to agriculture. It also caused landslides and flooding, although there were no immediate reports of large casualties.

    The typhoon killed eight people in the Bicol peninsula southeast of Manila. Rescuers said two others were missing in Apayao province after a swollen river washed away a house.

    Last week, Hagibis killed 13 people on its initial pass over the southern and central Philippines. Hagibis, packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers an hour, is expected to near the Palawan city of Puerto Princesa by early today and pass over Mindoro island south of Manila early tomorrow.

    Weather forecasters are monitoring another potential storm on the Pacific Ocean side.

    "We will continue to have stormy weather for the whole week, with Mitag expected to merge with two other disturbances," said chief weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz.

    Nearly 300,000 people were evacuated from six provinces before Mitag hit, in one of the largest such operations, although nearly half had returned home by yesterday morning.

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque deployed medical staff at evacuation centers and ordered staff at all government hospitals on 24-hour standby. He fears disease may break out where there is poor sanitation and overcrowding.

    Flash floods hit three towns in northern Cagayan province, while a landslide cut a major highway to Ilocos Norte province.

    AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 6:16 PM  
    Severe flooding in Colombia
    Nov. 27 - Flooding in northern Colombia has continued -- forcing families to wade through knee-high water to rescue their belongings.

    The heaving flooding has so far affected 260,000 families.

    Lindsay Claiborn reports.

    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 5:56 PM  
    U.S. all but spared by hurricanes
    MIAMI - Despite alarming predictions, the U.S. came through a second straight hurricane season virtually unscathed, raising fears among emergency planners that they will be fighting public apathy and overconfidence when they warn people to prepare for next year.

    Friday marks the official close of the Atlantic season, so unless a storm forms in the next few days, only one hurricane — and a minor one at that — will have hit the U.S. during the June-to-November period. Mexico and Central America, however, were struck by a record two top-scale Category 5 storms.

    The preliminary total for the season: 14 named storms, five of them hurricanes, two of them major.

    That was less activity than the government predicted before the season started, and stands in stark contrast to 2004 and 2005, when the U.S. was hit by one devastating storm after another, including Hurricane Katrina.

    However, forecasters and emergency managers warned that one result of the good year for the country may be increased skepticism when they urge people to stock up on food and draw up their hurricane evacuation plans for next year.

    "Now that we've gone a couple of years without major hurricanes will the public be more apathetic before the next hurricane season? The answer is absolutely," said Craig Fugate, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "The further we get away from these types of events ... the more complacent people become, and that's the challenge we have to continue to fight."

    Similarly, Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, said the industry saw about a 20 percent increase in the number of flood policies sold in Gulf Coast states in the two years after Katrina. But about one in five new policies is not being renewed, he said.

    "People believe they've rode out the worst of the storm, so to speak," Hartwig said. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

    He warned that the failure of homeowners to renew their policies is "a tragedy in the making."

    The season's 14 named storms were on the low end of the 13 to 17 government scientists predicted. The five hurricanes didn't reach the seven to 10 forecast. The two major hurricanes were also below the three to five predicted.

    Colorado State University weather researcher William Gray was farther off the mark. Before the start of the season, he forecast 17 named storms, including nine hurricanes, five of them major, with a strong chance that a major hurricane would hit the U.S. coast.

    Humberto, a Category 1 storm that hit Texas and Louisiana in September, was the first hurricane to strike the U.S. in two years. It was blamed for one death and $30 million in damage.

    Gerry Bell, a hurricane forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the season was relatively quiet largely because La Nina, a cooling of the water in the Pacific that normally boosts the formation of hurricanes, had weaker-than-expected effects.

    The government's 2006 preseason forecast proved overly pessimistic as well. Scientists predicted 13 to 16 named storms, eight to 10 of them hurricanes, with four to six of them major. Instead, there were nine named storms and five hurricanes, two of them major.

    Bell said that this marks the second "near normal" season in a row. However, storm activity tends to go in cycles, and he said the Atlantic is still believed to be in a more active hurricane period that began in 1995.

    Forecasters underestimated the 2005 season, which proved the busiest on record, with 28 named storms, including 15 hurricanes, four of which hit the U.S. That year brought Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in American history.

    Despite the overpredictions for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Bell said the government's forecasts are still valuable, stressing that they remind coastal residents they need to be prepared.

    "Generally our forecasts have been very good," he said.

    Mike Stone of the Florida Division of Emergency Management said emergency managers don't base stockpiles or hurricane preparations on the government's forecast. Instead, he said, they have standing contracts for ice, meals and other perishables, and they can call on the suppliers when they need the items.
    (AP)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:01 PM  
    Hurricane season mild for U.S. but not elsewhere
    Tuesday, November 27, 2007
    MIAMI (Reuters) - For a second year in a row, the United States has escaped a severe hurricane hit, pushing memories of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans another notch into the past.

    But for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, the 2007 hurricane season ending on Friday has hardly been benign.

    "No, not at all. The consequences for the poor have been very high," said Judy Dacruz, a representative in Haiti of the International Organization for Migration.

    The 14 tropical storms that formed in the Atlantic this season killed more than 200 people in Martinique, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua and Mexico and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to often impoverished and vulnerable communities throughout the region.

    U.S. experts and media have labeled initial predictions the six-month season would be busier than normal "a bust" because only one weak hurricane struck the United States -- a far cry from 2005 when a record 28 storms formed, 15 of which strengthened into hurricanes, including Katrina.

    The 14 storms beat the long-term average of 10 per season while the number of hurricanes, five -- or six if you count Tropical Storm Karen which most weather experts expect will be posthumously upgraded -- is about normal.

    Yet most of the storms were perplexingly short-lived, lasting on average just 2.4 days, the lowest ratio since 1977, according to a noted hurricane season forecasting team at Colorado State University.

    "Our 2007 seasonal hurricane forecast was not particularly successful. We anticipated an above-average season, and the season had activity at approximately average levels," Philip Klotzbach, Bill Gray and other CSU forecasters said in an end-of-season report on Tuesday. The CSU team had predicted there would be 17 storms this year.
    DIFFERENT VIEW

    In the Caribbean and Central America, though, few were breathing sighs of relief.

    In the Mexican town of Mahahual on the Yucatan Peninsula, Hurricane Dean destroyed a cruise ship pier which had been a key source of income. "Windows, doors, electrical systems -- except for the basic structure of the hotel, everything was destroyed by Dean," said Rodolfo Romero, owner of the boutique Hotel Arenas.

    Dean, which became a maximum-strength Category 5 hurricane, killed at least 27 people as it roared through the Caribbean in August and struck the peninsula.

    Hurricane Felix in September also became a Category 5 storm on the five-step scale of hurricane intensity, killing 102 and leaving another 133 missing in Nicaragua, according to the Pan-American Health Organization.

    Dean and Felix were the first two Atlantic hurricanes since records began in 1851 to make landfall in the same season as Category 5 storms.

    The last storm of the season, Noel, soaked the Dominican Republic and Haiti, killing more than 150 people as rivers broke their banks and surged through towns.

    "It's been very busy, especially in Central America but also in the Caribbean," said Tim Callaghan, a senior official with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. "We have provided disaster assistance to Dominica, Belize, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico."

    Even when no actual storm was swirling somewhere, unusually heavy rainfall characterized the wet season, washing away roads in Jamaica and flooding sugar fields in Cuba.
    A rain-swollen river burst its banks at the end of October in Mexico, leaving four-fifths of Tabasco state under water and 800,000 homeless.

    "The hurricane season was more intense this year on a regional level as there were states of alert in every country," said Walter Wintzer, director of the Guatemala-based CEPREDENAC center for disaster prevention in Central America.

    (Additional reporting by Jim Loney in Miami and Catherine Bremer and Mica Rosenberg in Mexico City; Editing by Stuart Grudgings)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:52 PM  
    Tropical Depression "Lando" (Hagibis)continues to move in a east northeast direction and still threatens Mindoro-Palawan area.
    Monday, November 26, 2007
    Tropical Cyclone Warning: Tropical Depression "LANDO" {HAGIBIS}
    Issued at 5:00 a.m., Tuesday, 27 November 2007

    Location of Center:
    (as of 4:00 a.m.) 200 kms Northwest of Puerto Princesa

    Coordinates: 11.6°N 118.1°E
    Strength: Maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center

    Movement: East Northeast at 19 kph

    Forecast Positions / Outlook: Wednesday morning:
    60 kms Southeast of Calapan city
    Thursday morning:
    130 kms Northeast fo Daet, Camarines Norte
    Friday morning:
    490 kms East of Casiguran,Aurora


    Areas Having Public Storm Warning Signal

    Luzon

    Oriental Mindoro
    Occidental Mindoro
    Lubang Island
    Romblon
    Marinduque
    Batangas

    Visayas

    Palawan
    Calamian Group of Islands

    Mindanao

    None

    Public Storm Warning Signals elsewhere are now lowered.

    Residents in low lying areas and near mountain slopes under Public Storm Warning signals are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.

    Likewise, residents in coastal areas are advised to be alert for big waves generated by this tropical storm.

    The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 a.m. today.

    (Severe Weather Information)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:32 PM  
    Asia's Poorest Nations May Face Worst of Climate Change
    Developing countries are likely to be among those suffering the most from the extreme weather conditions linked to global warming. At the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Indonesia, experts will discuss ways to reduce climate change, and to help nations prepare for it.

    Rising global temperatures will affect different nations in different ways. Tiny Pacific island nations and low-lying Asian nations face rising sea levels encroaching on their land.
    Melting Himalayan glaciers will affect the flow of Asia's great rivers, including the Mekong, Irrawaddy, the Red River and the Salween. The changes could cause both disastrous floods and water shortages for tens of millions of people from Tibet to Vietnam.

    And for many countries, climate change could mean smaller harvests.

    Shailendra Yashwant of Greenpeace in Bangkok says Asia's poorest nations could become even poorer.

    "Poverty exists in the developing countries. The governments have not been able to address the issue of poverty yet. Comes along climate change and the changing weather patterns impact farmers, which creates a famine-like situation, and that leads to more poverty."

    Some Asian governments have already warned of the challenges they face.

    Cambodia says increasing rising oceans will push saltwater farther onto land, and increased salinity will hurt rice crops and limit access to fresh water. Floods and droughts could further damage food sources.
    Bangladesh, most of which is composed of low-lying river delta, will be even more vulnerable than it is now to disastrous floods.

    And Bhutan says changing weather patterns could have an effect on river flows, harming farmers and the country's hydro-electric industry.

    The Pacific Regional Environmental Program, a group established by the governments and administrations in the Pacific, is trying to help nations get ready for changes.

    It is improving sea walls and drainage systems in the Cook Islands, fortifying roads against flooding in the Federated States of Micronesia, and planting salt-resistant crops in the Solomon Islands.

    Greenpeace's Yashwant says governments also need to make institutional changes to prepare for the hazards of global warming.

    "Right now, what is clear is that you're not going to be able to physically stop sea levels from rising by building dams or by building sea walls. What you need is a larger framework strategy to relocate and rehabilitate all those who are along and who are the most- and the worst-impacted by sea-level rise to another place safer, more secure."

    Marcus Schuetz is an executive in residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School. He says countries need to treat climate change like any other national threat and involve all institutions in the response - from hospitals to banks to factories.

    "Most of these problems we have are actually - they are sociological problems or social problems. They are not purely scientific problems where you have one technology which is going to help you out."

    Most climate experts think that greenhouse gases, produced in large part by the burning of fossil fuels for energy, are causing much of the global warming seen in the past several decades.

    The U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol requires developed nations that signed it to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but developing countries do not have to reduce their emissions. Environmental analysts, however, say developing countries will probably be expected to join the fight against climate change when the protocol expires in 2012.

    The poorer Asian nations lack the money and skills to do so. They are highly dependent on international aid. But experts say aid agencies could have a big impact, by designating funds specifically for green projects.

    For example, the Spanish government supports a solar power project in the Philippines. The Asian Development Bank has helped Indonesia explore ways to use waste from its palm oil industry to make clean, renewable and affordable fuel.

    Hong Kong Science and Technology's Marcus Schuetz says Asia's poorest nations could profit from the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. This allows industrialized nations to meet their emissions targets by funding projects that reduce greenhouse gases in countries that do not have to meet the targets.

    Schuetz says developing nations could also direct foreign investment toward clean technologies.
    (VOA)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:15 PM  
    Quakes shake Indonesian island


    Nov. 26 - Powerful earthquakes strike off the coast of Sumbawa island in central Indonesia.

    The quakes affected the eastern side of Sumbawa island, a rugged volcanic island that gets fewer tourists than neighbouring Lombok and Bali. At least three people were killed and 45 injured. Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Health Ministry's crisis centre said the number of casualties was likely to increase and that the situation was still being assessed.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 6:52 PM  
    Typhoon hits northern Philippines, heads for Taiwan
    By Karen Lema

    MANILA (Reuters) - Typhoon Mitag swirled out to sea on Monday after killing 8 people, destroying homes and flooding rice paddies in the Philippines.

    Mitag, a category 1 typhoon with winds of 120 km per hour (74 mph) at its centre, lost strength as it made landfall late on Sunday and did not directly hit the central Bicol region, where nearly 300,000 people had been evacuated.

    A Philippine air force fighter plane went missing in stormy weather near the western island of Palawan, where tropical depression Hagibis was headed after it made a dramatic U-turn over the South China Sea.

    "We don't know what really happened," Major-General Pedro Ike Inserto, air force vice commander, told Reuters. "We lost contact and we cannot say if it crashed or it landed elsewhere. We've sent a search team to locate the missing fighter."

    Hagibis killed 14 people in the Philippines last week. It strengthened into a category 1 typhoon as it neared Vietnam before weakening.

    Over the weekend, Mitag killed eight people in Bicol but the region, regularly hit by typhoons, was spared lethal landslides or mass flooding after Mitag veered north.

    Two men were also reported missing, swept by the swollen river in Apayao province in the northern Philippines, disaster officials said.

    In the northern province of Cagayan, Ronald Ayuyang, 39, said Mitag, a woman's name pronounced Me-tok from Yap in the Pacific Ocean, was not as strong as previous storms.
    "Last night, it was raining heavily but today we are only experiencing winds. Sometimes, we can see the sun," the father of two told Reuters. "Our neighbors are already cleaning their homes, sweeping broken branches and twigs."

    Taiwan issued a warning on Monday for large waves, torrential rain and high winds as Mitag rumbled south of its coastline.

    "Waves in the oceans around Taiwan are extremely big," the bureau said in a statement. "Ocean travelers and boats working at sea should be especially careful."

    Mitag was not expected to make landfall as a typhoon in Taiwan, but it might come ashore as a lower-level tropical storm in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city, on Tuesday, according to British typhoon tracking Web site Tropical Storm Risk (www.tropicalstormrisk.com/).

    INUNDATED FARMS

    In the central province of Albay, where the sun was shining on Monday, tens of thousands of people were allowed to leave makeshift shelters in churches, schools and town halls as Mitag headed out to sea.

    Disaster officials said Mitag flooded wide areas in the northern and central Philippines, destroying more than 100 million pesos ($2.3 million) worth of agricultural production, half of them ricefields in Isabela and Cagayan provinces.

    Agriculture officials said the rice farms were about one to two weeks from harvest but were threatened by rain-swollen rivers.

    Disaster officials said they were monitoring the progress of Hagibis, which means "rapidity" in the Philippines' Tagalog language, but no new evacuations have been ordered.
    The Philippine weather bureau said it was also monitoring another weather system in the Pacific Ocean that might hit the country later this week.

    Storms regularly batter the Philippines and this year the central government in Manila ordered pre-emptive evacuations to try to avoid a repeat of last year's devastating Typhoon Durian, which killed 1,200 and left 120,000 homeless when it crashed through Bicol in December.

    (Additional reporting by Ralph Jennings in Taipei; writing by Carmel Crimmins; editing by David Fogarty)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 6:30 PM  
    Disasters quadruple over last 20 years: Oxfam
    LONDON (Reuters) - Weather-related disasters have quadrupled over the last two decades, a leading British charity said in a report published on Sunday.

    From an average of 120 disasters a year in the early 1980s, there are now as many as 500, with Oxfam attributing the rise to unpredictable weather conditions cause by global warming.

    "This year we have seen floods in South Asia, across the breadth of Africa and Mexico that have affected more than 250 million people," said Oxfam's director Barbara Stocking.

    "This is no freak year. It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people.

    The number of people affected by disasters has risen by 68 percent, from an average of 174 million a year between 1985 to 1994 to 254 million a year between 1995 to 2004.

    "Action is needed now to prepare for more disasters otherwise humanitarian assistance will be overwhelmed and recent advances in human development will go into reverse," Stocking said.

    Oxfam wants the UN conference on Climate Change in Bali in December to agree a mandate to negotiate a global deal to provide assistance to developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change and reduce green house gas emissions.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 2:51 PM  
    7 die as ‘Mina’ veers north; new storm threatens RP
    7 die as ‘Mina’ veers north; new storm threatens RP


    Seven people have been killed and tens of thousands evacuated their homes as Typhoon “Mina” approaches eastern Philippines, officials said Sunday.

    Meanwhile, another typhoon is set to enter the Philippine area of responsibility, and “Lando,” a typhoon that lashed the country before Mina, is veering back into the country, forecasters said Sunday.

    The country remained on full alert in anticipation of Mina as it headed toward northern Luzon. The typhoon is expected to make landfall Sunday night.

    Mina had spared Bicol and moved further in a northwest direction Saturday toward Aurora and Isabela provinces Saturday night.

    The storm had weakened but was still packing maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometers per hour, with gusts of 195 kilometers per hour as of Sunday.

    Typhoon ‘Nonoy’

    Another weather disturbance is threatening the Philippines, according to reports aired on dzMM radio Sunday. Dr. Prisco Nilo, director of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said the new weather disturbance has been named “Nonoy” and is expected to reach the Philippine area of responsibility in three to four days.

    Nilo said Nonoy might join with Typhoon Lando (international codename Hagibis) before it exits via the Philippine Sea toward Japan.

    He added that Lando is expected to bring rainfall over Western Visayas, Palawan, southern Panay, northern Negros island, northern Cebu, central Leyte, Mindoro, Aklan and Romblon.

    Back to Mina

    The National Disaster Coordinating Council, which coordinates antidisaster efforts by several government agencies, said on Saturday some 100,000 people in the northeastern part of the country would be evacuated.

    The council also said floods caused by heavy rains in some parts of the country had affected some 28,000 people in southern Luzon and Palawan.

    The civil defense office in Manila said at least 298,000 people had evacuated their homes in six southern provinces to avoid flash floods, landslides or volcanic mudslides that could be triggered by Mina.

    Six people drowned and one was electrocuted by a fallen power line in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, where the initial effects of Mina are being felt, the regional disaster office reported.

    Governor Joey Sarte Salceda of Albay and Governor Joseph Cua of Catanduanes have declared a state of calamity in their respective provinces.

    Earlier, President Gloria Arroyo ordered a “pre-emptive evacuation” in vulnerable areas to avoid a repeat of the disaster last year when typhoon Durian struck the Bicol peninsula, killing about 1,200 people and leaving 200,000 homeless.

    Some people there were already returning home on Sunday because the typhoon had changed course, said a civil defense office director.

    Metro Manila and environs

    Metro Manila is also readying itself for Mina and new storm Nonoy.

    In Makati City, Mayor Jejomar Binay forbade rescue teams from taking a leave during the weekend, while rescue teams and equipment remained stationed at Manila Bay facing downtown Manila.

    Rizal Police Chief Supt. Ireneo Dordas said they will be monitoring Antipolo, San Mateo and Pililia, where a landslide occurred.

    Gov. Casimiro Ynares 3rd of Rizal has ordered evacuations in the mountainous towns of San Mateo and Pililia, and activated the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council to monitor the communities near the mountains.

    Earlier, Mayor Benhur Abalos of Mandaluyong City said he had ordered the removal of billboards along EDSA since Wednesday. City workers, he said, have been dredging and cleaning the ditches in the flood-prone areas like the stretch of EDSA near Ortigas and Maysilo Circle.

    In Pasig City, Mayor Robert Eusebio said they have identified schools that will serve as evacuation areas, if needed. Rescue and engineering teams were also on stand-by during the whole weekend in the three cities.

    Power alert

    The state-grid National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) has put its personnel and facilities under high alert in preparation for the onslaught of Mina. It has pre-positioned all its transmission line crews and power restoration equipment in strategic areas in eastern Luzon.

    Arthur N. Aguilar, TransCo president and CEO, said officials and personnel in substations, telecommunications facilities, and area control centers as well as security and aviation crews will all be on standby to be able to immediately conduct necessary power restoration activities.

    TransCo has also coordinated with electric cooperatives to hasten possible electricity restoration works.

    TransCo’s area control centers nationwide are also prepared to undertake immediate “islanding operations” or power restoration activities independent of each other.

    TransCo will also reroute power flow using its transmission lines to maximize the operation of power plants located in unaffected areas and reduce possibility of outages arising from typhoon-damaged power facilities.

    The Manila Electric Co. said in a statement that it has put in place necessary measures to mitigate the potential effects of Mina.
    (ManilaTimes)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:25 PM  
    Typhoon rains kill six in Philippines
    Manila - Heavy rain from an approaching typhoon lashed the Philippines on Sunday, killing at least six people and destroying homes and rice paddies, officials said.

    Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro told reporters six people were killed in the Bicol region of the central Philippines by rain from Typhoon Mitag, including two who were electrocuted.

    About 1 000 hectares of rice fields and many roads were innundated and scores of houses destroyed.

    Mitag, packing winds of 160 km per hour (100 miles per hour) at its centre, was slowly moving northwest and poised to make landfall late on Sunday night in the northern provinces of Aurora and Isabela, weather officials said.
    But storm winds at the periphery of the typhoon system have been lashing the central Philippines for the past three days.

    On Saturday, the military ordered the suspension of offensive operations against communist rebels to free up troops for relief operations.

    Thousands of people were being evacuated from coastal areas of Aurora and Isabela after Mitag, which was earlier poised to hit Bicol, changed course and veered north.

    Disaster officials had evacuated more than 290 000 people from their homes in Bicol, where volcanic mud from the slopes of Mount Mayon can trigger lethal landslides. Tens of thousands were allowed to return home after Mitag changed course, but thousands of others were being evacuated from the northern provinces.

    Mitag (a woman's name, pronounced Me-tok, from Yap in the Pacific Ocean) is expected to cut through the northern part of the main Philippines island of Luzon before passing into the South China Sea on Tuesday.

    Storms regularly hit the Philippines and authorities hope to avoid a repeat of last year's devastating Typhoon Durian, which killed 1 200 and left 120 000 homeless when it crashed through Bicol.
    (iol)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:19 PM  
    Strong quakes kill 3, injure 45 in eastern Indonesia
    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Two strong earthquakes struck eastern Indonesia, collapsing dozens of homes and killing three people, one of them a child. At least 45 other residents were injured, officials said Monday.

    The first quake, with a magnitude of 6.4, struck late Sunday, just off Sumbawa island. Several hours later, a powerful aftershock hit the same region.

    Rustam Pakaya, the top disaster official at Indonesia's Health Ministry, said that three people, one of them a young child, were killed and 45 others were injured as a result of falling masonry.

    "Everyone panicked, they were running from their houses, some to the hills," said Agung Prasetyo, a local police officer, adding that the ground shook violently for around 30 seconds.

    State news agency Antara said dozens of buildings were either destroyed or damaged, while witnesses said electricity was temporarily cut in some places, including a hospital, which was briefly evacuated.

    Earlier on Sunday, a third earthquake rattled residents on the west coast of Sumatra island. Scores of people fled from their homes in the region, which has been hit by a series of powerful earthquakes in recent months.

    Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheavals due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

    In December 2004, a massive earthquake struck off Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, including 160,000 people in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.
    (CNN)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:16 PM  
    Powerful typhoon slams into northeastern Philippines, killing 10
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Typhoon Mitag slammed into the northeastern Philippines after killing at least 10 people in other parts of the country, while a deadly storm that blew away days earlier headed back Monday, complicating emergency preparations.

    Most of the fatalities drowned over the weekend in the eastern provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, before Mitag changed course and roared into the coastal town of Palanan, further north in Isabela province.

    Two villagers also were reported missing Monday when their house was swept away by raging river currents in the northern mountain province of Apayao, officials said.

    Mitag weakened gradually, its maximum sustained winds still dangerous at 120 kilometers (74 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 150 kph (93 mph), chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said.

    After hitting land, it veered toward the country's mountainous northern provinces, where authorities evacuated thousands of people due to fears of landslides.

    The typhoon flooded at least 50 villages in Isabela, a province of more than a million people. A swollen river in the provincial capital, Ilagan, engulfed at least 10 houses, whose residents fled to safety late Sunday, officials said, adding that most of Isabela had no power.

    In nearby Cagayan province, two villagers drowned Sunday. Strong winds toppled trees and knocked down power posts, cutting off electricity in the province of nearly a million, Gov. Alvaro Antonio said. The province's rice industry suffered losses.

    "We were just one or two weeks away from harvest time. I'm afraid we've lost everything to the flood and strong winds," Antonio told The Associated Press by telephone.

    The Agriculture Department estimated losses at $2.5 million, still a fraction of the $246 million incurred during last year's typhoons.

    A landslide covered a road in the resort town of Pagudpud, in northern Ilocos Norte province, late Sunday, blocking buses and cars but apparently causing no injuries. Troops were deployed to clear the road, army Maj. Gen. Melchor Dilodilo said.

    Classes were suspended in several provinces, partly because some were used to shelter evacuees, officials said.

    Among the eight dead, five people drowned and another was electrocuted over the weekend in southeastern Camarines Sur province, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

    Mitag has been the most erratic of the 13 typhoons and major storms that have hit the Philippines this year. It first headed for the populous Bicol region, where more than 250,000 people were evacuated, but shifted Saturday to the north.

    As authorities scrambled to shift their focus to the northern provinces of Isabela, Aurora and Cagayan, forecasters said a typhoon that killed 13 people in the Philippines last week before heading for Vietnam had reversed direction.

    Hagibis, weakened to a tropical storm, was expected to lash the western Philippine province of Palawan on Tuesday.

    Disaster-response agencies, along with troops and police, were ordered to brace again for Hagibis, a Philippine name for rapidly galloping animals.

    Mitag and Hagibis were affecting each other, resulting in their erratic movements, government forecaster Frisco Nilo said. Government forecasters were also monitoring a new low pressure area that could develop into a storm over the Pacific Ocean and affect the Philippines in a few days
    (CNN)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:15 PM  
    Seven dead as Philippine typhoon nears
    Sunday, November 25, 2007
    MANILA - Seven people have been killed and tens of thousands have evacuated their homes as typhoon Mitag approaches the eastern Philippines, disaster relief agencies said Sunday.

    Six people drowned while one was electrocuted by a fallen power line in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, southeast of Manila, where the initial effects of the typhoon are being felt, the regional disaster office reported.

    The civil defence office in Manila said at least 298,000 people had evacuated their homes in six provinces to avoid flash floods, landslides or volcanic mudslides that could be triggered by the storm.

    The military has also declared a unilateral suspension of operations against communist insurgents in the areas likely to be affected by the storm to allow soldiers to focus all their efforts on helping in relief and evacuation efforts, military spokesmen said.

    However, this would not prevent the military from carrying out law-enforcement operations or from protecting their camps or the public from attacks “that may take place during the suspension of military operations,” said spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro.

    President Gloria Arroyo had ordered a “pre-emptive evacuation” in vulnerable areas to avoid a repeat of the disaster last year when typhoon Durian struck the Bicol peninsula, killing about 1,200 people and leaving 200,000 homeless.

    Mitag, which was initially heading towards Bicol, southeast of Manila, swerved northwards towards the provinces of Aurora and Isabela, northeast of the capital.

    As of 11:00 am (0300 GMT) Sunday, Mitag was still 280 kilometres (173 miles) southeast of Aurora, moving northwest at 15 kilometres per hour, the government weather station said.

    It is forecast to hit northern provinces late Sunday.

    The storm had weakened, packing maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometres per hour with gusts of 195 kilometres per hour as of Sunday, compared with sustained winds of 175 kilometres and gusts of 210 kilometres per hour recorded earlier.

    In the Bicol region, where thousands of people had earlier fled ahead of the storm, some were already leaving evacuation centres and returning home because the typhoon had changed course, said civil defence director Anthony Golez.

    Golez said that Arroyo had called the governors of the provinces likely to be hit by the typhoon and they had reported to her that ”everything is under control. They have all stockpiled (supplies) and prepared and evacuated communities that are in danger for flash floods and landslides.”

    He said Arroyo had ordered the national civil defence office to be ready in case any province asked for aid.

    The highest level of a three-step storm alert remains in force over the northeastern provinces of Aurora, Isabela, Cagayan and Quirino, which will likely feel the full force of typhoon Mitag first.

    Lower-level storm alerts have been raised over neighbouring provinces.

    (khaleejtimes.com)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 5:14 PM  
    Evacuees cram shelters as ‘Mina’ changes course
    Thousands of people were pouring into evacuation shelters Saturday as typhoon “Mina” (international codename: Mitag) barreled down on eastern Philippines, officials said.

    The head of the weather bureau, Nathaniel Cruz, said on Saturday that Mina had changed course early Saturday and was heading toward the northern provinces of the main island of Luzon, away from the Bicol peninsula where tens of thousands had already been evacuated.

    Packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers (109 miles) per hour with gusts of 210 kilometers per hour, the typhoon was 190 kilometers off the Bicol peninsula in Southern Luzon, and moving northwest at 11 kilo­meters per hour.

    Cruz told local radio that on its course at present, Mina is “expected to make landfall” late Sunday, sparing Bicol from its full fury.

    The Bicol peninsula bore the brunt of so-called super typhoon “Durian” last year which killed 1,200 persons and left 200,000 others homeless.

    Entire villages were wiped out and hundreds of people swept to their deaths in mudslides triggered by Durian, which blew away houses and uprooted trees as it slammed into the Bicol provinces.

    Mina “would likely slam into the sparsely populated northern Luzon provinces of Aurora and Isabela late Sunday night before crossing the mountains and out into the South China Sea sometime Monday,” Cruz said.

    President Gloria Arroyo also on Saturday met her disaster coordinating committee for an update on the evacuation of residents from areas likely to be affected by the typhoon.

    She said the preemptive evacuation of 30,000 families from the Bicol peninsula had been successful and efforts are being concentrated on moving residents from flood and landslide-prone areas in Isabela and Aurora.

    Isabela Governor Grace Padaca told President Arroyo by telephone that troops had begun arriving in the province to help relocate 54,000 persons from villages in low-lying coastal areas expected to be in the path of Mina.

    National Disaster Coordinating Council head Glenn Rabonza said they had alerted their forces in Aurora and Isabela to prepare. He also told local radio that “selective evacuation” would take place in Isabela throughout Saturday.

    Isabela Vice-Governor Ramon Reyes earlier said the provincial government’s preparations focused on at least four towns in the south of the province bordering Aurora, which is now expected to bear the brunt of Mina.

    Speaking on local radio, he said mayors in the region “have been alerted and people are now being moved.”

    Reyes added that they had evacuated residents near rivers and in low-lying areas, especially near Cagayan River. He said the water in the river quickly rises during storms.

    He added that trucks, medicines and relief goods had been put in place. “So far, the roads in Isabela are passable but it will be hard to travel because rains have been heavy in the past three weeks,” Reyes told a local television network.

    The military spokesman for southern Luzon, Maj. Randolf Cabangbang, said in a statement that it had suspended its counter-insurgency operations against the communist New People’s Army in Southern Luzon to concentrate on evacuation efforts.

    The Philippines is frequently hit by extreme weather with typhoon “Lando” killing 10 persons last week.
    --AFP
    (ManilaTimes)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 5:08 PM  
    Weather forecast for the Asia-Pacific region
    AP/Tropical Storm Hagibis is forecast to stay in the South China Sea through Saturday, and on Sunday will likely move slowly eastward - away from Vietnam as previously forecast and back toward the central Philippines. It will maintain tropical storm strength, presenting a major threat to shipping in the South China Sea in the coming days.

    Typhoon Mitag is expected to remain a Category 3 storm as it makes landfall at Luzon in the northern Philippines, where heavy rains and intense winds can be expected. The storm is expected to quickly weaken after it makes landfall Sunday.

    Mitag will likely bring showers and thunderstorms to Taiwan, but it will remain dry in the Sea of Japan region.

    Northern China and the Yellow Sea region will be cold.

    Temperatures in Tokyo and Shanghai are forecast to be just below 20 Celsius, while Seoul will be much cooler at below 10 C.

    A low pressure system is expected to bring scattered showers and thunderstorms through inland portions of Queensland and New South Wales states, while Western Australia will continue to be warm.

    Sydney can expect temperatures in the upper 20s C, while Melbourne and Brisbane will be a few degrees cooler.

    Source: Weather Underground
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 5:02 PM  
    Cyclone victims need more aid


    Nov 25 - Not enough relief aid is reaching millions of homeless cyclone victims in Bangladesh, more than a week after the storm struck.

    Thousands of families along Bangladesh's battered coastline are living in the open with little food and water.

    Early winter cold and fog is also making their lives a misery.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 5:00 PM  
    Quake hits off coast of Indonesia's Sumatra
    JAKARTA (Reuters) - An earthquake with a 6.2 magnitude hit off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, the country's meteorological agency said on Sunday.

    The quake struck 28 km southwest of Mukomuko in Bengkulu, Sumatra at a depth of 55 km, the agency said in a text message, adding that there was no risk of a tsunami.

    More than 20 people were killed when an 8.4 magnitude earthquake hit the same area on September 12, damaging or destroying thousands of homes.

    Indonesia, situated in a belt of intense seismic activity known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire", was hit by a huge earthquake in December 2004, triggering a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean, which killed more than 230,000 people in the region, including 170,000 Indonesians.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 4:59 PM  
    Tropical Cyclone Warning: Typhoon "MINA" {MITAG}
    Typhoon "Mina" continues to threaten Northern and Central Luzon as it moves closer to the area.
    Location of Center:
    (as of 4:00 p.m.) 180 kms North Northwest of Virac, Catanduanes or
    180 kms East Southeast of Casiguran, Aurora
    Coordinates: 15.5°N 123.6°E
    Strength: Maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center
    Gustiness of up to 195 kph
    Movement: Northwest at 15 kph

    Forecast Positions / Outlook: Early Monday:
    is expected to make landfall over Isabela
    Monday afternoon:
    50 kms West of Tuguegarao City
    Tuesday afternoon:
    80 kms Northwest of Laoag City
    Wednesday afternoon:
    240 kms North Northwest of Laoag City or
    230 kms West of Basco, Batanes

    All Public Storm Warning Signals elsewhere are now lowered.

    Residents in low lying areas and near mountain slopes under Public Storm Warning signals are alerted against possible flashfloods, mudslides and landslides.

    Likewise, those living in coastal areas are advised to be alert for big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone.

    The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 p.m. tonight.

    Meanwhile, Tropical Storm "LANDO" is expected to re-enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by tomorrow.
    (Severe world weather)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:24 PM  
    Tropical Cyclone Warning: Typhoon "MINA" {MITAG}
    Saturday, November 24, 2007
    Typhoon "Mina" has weakened slightly but still remains a threat to Northern and Central Luzon.

    Residents in low lying areas and near mountain slopes under Public Storm Warning signals are alerted against possible flashfloods, mudslides and landslides.

    Likewise, those living in coastal areas are advised to be alert for big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone.

    The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 a.m. tomorrow.


    (Severe world weather)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 8:22 PM  
    Vietnam prepares for typhoon


    Nov 24 - Thousandas of people are evacuated from villages in Vietnam in expecatation of a typhoon hitting the region.

    Heavy rain fell on houses along Vietnam's coastline, as people piled sandbags to stop the water reaching their homes.

    Thousands were evacuated to higher ground as the country prepared for Typhoon Hagibis.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 7:40 PM  
    Typhoon "Mina" has weakened slightly but still remains a threat to Northern and Central Luzon.
    Severe Weather Bulletin Number Fifteen
    Tropical Cyclone Warning: Typhoon "MINA" {MITAG}
    Issued at 11:00 p.m., Saturday, 24 November 2007

    Location of Center:
    (as of 10:00 p.m.) 150 kms Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or
    350 kms Southeast of Casiguran, Aurora

    Coordinates: 15.0°N 125.3°E
    Strength: Maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center
    Gustiness of up to 195 kph
    Movement: Northwest at 11 kph

    Forecast Positions / Outlook:
    Sunday evening:
    240 kms North Northwest of Virac, Catanduanes or
    100 kms Southeast of Casiguran, Aurora

    Monday evening:
    100 kms North Northeast of Baguio City or
    80 kms Southwest of Tuguegarao City

    Tuesday evening:
    190 kms West Northwest of Laoag City
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 4:09 PM  
    Storm disrupts Vietnam coffee and oil production
    NHA TRANG, Vietnam (Reuters) - A tropical storm dumped rain on several south-central Vietnam provinces, disrupting coffee and oil production and endangering fishermen, officials said on Saturday.

    The streets of the coastal resort of Nha Trang were quiet after a night of rain, wind and waves from Tropical Storm Hagibis, downgraded from a typhoon on Friday as it changed direction in the South China Sea after hitting the Philippines.

    The government's flood and storm committee said nearly 31,000 people had been moved away from the coast in four provinces.

    Vietnam sent a diplomatic note to China about four vessels with 36 fishermen requesting shelter in Chinese territory. Authorities alerted 245,000 fishermen and most sailed out of the danger zone, government reports said.

    Officials in the main coffee-growing province of Daklak said light rain had kept farmers from resuming the harvest. The disruption since Thursday at the peak of the harvest threatens to delay deliveries from the world's top robusta producer.

    "The rains have been light but enough to keep farmers from their harvest because even when they can pick cherries they are not able to dry them outdoors," Van Thanh Huy, chairman of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, told Reuters.

    Vietsovpetro, operator of Vietnam's biggest oil field Bach Ho, said the storm was causing a production decline of 10,000 tons of crude oil, Saturday's Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.

    The Vietnam-Russia oil and gas venture has taken 245 Russian and Vietnamese experts and workers from offshore facilities and temporarily shut crude production at Rong (Dragon) oilfield.

    Vietnam is Southeast Asia's third-largest crude producer.

    Historically, storms rarely strike in late November, the usual start of a six-month dry season.

    Vietnam's long coastline is battered every year by up to 10 storms, killing hundreds, even thousands of people. Since August, some central provinces have been hit by a series of storms, raising floodwater to the highest levels in decades.

    So far this year, storms and floods have killed 368, injured 515 and left 30 unaccounted for, according to government reports. Total property damage was 7.2 trillion dong ($441 million).

    (Reporting by Nguyen Huy Kham and Ho Binh Minh; editing by Grant McCool and Roger Crabb)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:29 PM  
    Storm roars toward northern Philippines
    AP / MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Mitag, packing winds of 109 mph, barreled toward the northern Philippines on Saturday, prompting thousands of panicked east coast residents to evacuate. A separate typhoon meanwhile weakened to a tropical storm and veered away from Vietnam.

    Mitag, powering northwestward in the Philippine Sea, was forecast to slam into Aurora and Isabela provinces on the east coast of Luzon island late Sunday, said chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz. It had initially been forecast to hit southern Luzon.

    Authorities urged tens of thousands of people living in areas at risk in Aurora and Isabela to evacuate immediately.

    "Those whom I have asked to evacuate from the coasts and riverbanks, please do so now. Let us not wait for tomorrow because that may be too late," Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara Castillo told DZRH radio.

    Up to 54,000 people would have to be evacuated from coastal and flood-prone areas in Isabela province, Gov. Grace Padaca told President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during a National Disaster Council meeting broadcast live on local television.

    Cruz said Mitag had sustained winds of 109 mph with gusts of 131 mph, and forecasters across the region said it could become a super typhoon — with wind speeds of 138 mph — by the time it makes landfall Sunday night.

    Philippine forecasters also warned of storm surges and a rise in the sea level in areas directly affected by the typhoon, and said heavy rains and strong winds should be expected across the country.

    Mitag had initially been expected to make landfall in the southern tip of Luzon. More than 250,000 people had already fled or been evacuated from coastal communities and areas prone to floods and landslides in the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes, according to Glenn Rabonza, administrator of the Office of Civil Defense.

    Typhoon Hagibis, which weakened to a tropical storm a day earlier, veered away from Vietnam on Saturday. Forecasters said the storm, which killed 13 people in the Philippines nearly a week ago, would linger in the South China Sea and remained a threat to shipping in the area.

    Philippine coast guard spokesman Lt. Armand Balilo said Chinese sailors were still searching for 26 Filipino fishermen whose boat capsized in the South China Sea on Friday. Authorities earlier reported that 25 fishermen were missing.

    Vietnamese soldiers, police and border guards began returning nearly 200,000 evacuees to their homes Saturday after Hagibis changed course. Vietnam has been battered by six major storms this season.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:28 PM  
    Hurricane intensity scale creator dies
    Friday, November 23, 2007
    AP / MIAMI - Herbert Saffir, an engineer who created the five-category system used to describe hurricane strength and warn millions of an approaching storm's danger, has died. He was 90.

    Saffir died Wednesday from complications of surgery, said his son, Richard Saffir.

    A structural engineer, Saffir created his scale in 1969 — laying out for the first time what kind of damage could be expected from an approaching hurricane. It has since become the definitive way to describe intensity for storms that form in the Atlantic and parts of the Pacific. Before the scale, hurricanes were simply described as major or minor.

    Saffir's innovation was ranking storm destruction by type, from Category 1 — where trees and unanchored mobile homes receive the primary damage — to Category 5 — the complete failure of roofs and some structures. The five descriptions of destruction were then matched with the sustained wind speeds producing the corresponding damage.

    Saffir's scale was expanded by former National Hurricane Center director Robert H. Simpson and became known as the Saffir-Simpson scale in the 1970s. The scale is now so well known that many coastal residents toss off shorthand like "Cat. 1" and few need to be told that it refers to Saffir and Simpson's creation.

    Simpson said the system helped him communicate the power of an approaching storm.

    "We had a lot of requests before the scale: how many resources of what kind would be needed to deal with the storm," Simpson said during a phone interview earlier this year. "I couldn't tell the Salvation Army, for example, how much and what materials they should be shipping. The scale gave them a much better handle on that."

    Simpson added possible storm surge heights for each category, and the hurricane center staff made a small adjustment to the scale's wind speeds. Simpson, 95, now lives in Washington, D.C.

    Saffir was born in New York in 1917. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in civil engineering in 1940 and then served in World War II, later moving to South Florida to become a county engineer.

    Because of the area's vulnerability to hurricanes, Saffir quickly became an expert in how hurricane-force winds affect buildings. He helped write and unify building codes in South Florida.

    Saffir began working on an intensity scale in 1969 as part of a United Nations project. He had been asked how the U.N. could lessen hurricane damage to low-cost buildings worldwide. To help officials understand the full range of hurricane damage, Saffir proposed rating storms from one through five. Scales for rating earthquake damage were already well known, and Saffir believed hurricanes needed their own system of ranking.

    He presented his system to Simpson, who began to use the rankings internally and later for a weather report meant largely for emergency agencies. The scale was so useful, however, others quickly adopted it.

    It was later used for public hurricane forecasts, making the pair's names synonymous with the Atlantic hurricane season.

    For storms that originate in the Pacific Ocean, called typhoons, a five-point scale is also used, but it is based on wind gusts, not sustained winds.

    While Saffir became known for the scale, he continued to work as a structural engineer at his Coral Gables office past his 90th birthday. He also traveled to inspect storm damage, even producing reports on the performance of structures during 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

    Despite devoting much of his life to thinking about and preparing buildings for hurricanes, Saffir acknowledged earlier this year that his own home was not completely protected from a storm with hurricane shutters. He had done studies on the glass in the windows and found it was relatively shatterproof, he said. At the same time, he told The Associated Press, "I confess I only have partial shutters."

    Saffir's wife, Sarah, preceded him in death. Besides his son, he is survived by daughter Barbara Saffir.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 6:34 PM  
    Thousands Evacuated as the Philippines; Vietnam Brace for Powerful Typhoons
    By Oliver Teves/AP Writer/Manila
    Officials stepped up the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from coastal villages and riversides Friday as a powerful typhoon barreled toward an eastern Philippine region still recovering from deadly floods and mudslides last year.

    Typhoon Mitag slowed its progress toward land but gained strength at midday Friday, packing 175 kilometer per hour (109 mile per hour) winds and gusts of 210 kph (131 mph) as it headed for the island province of Catanduanes in the Bicol region, where it was expected to slam ashore Saturday, chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said.

    Philippine disaster officials said over 194,000 people have fled or been evacuated to temporary shelters in Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes provinces on the southern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon.

    "There is a strong possibility of storm surges," Cruz said, noting that while still at sea, Mitag could intensify into a "super typhoon" with over 220 kph (138 mph) winds.

    He said a powerful but slow-moving typhoon could wreak more havoc than one that passes over quickly.

    "The end result is that more things will be blown down and destroyed," he said.

    In Vietnam, officials prepared to evacuate 500,000 people as Typhoon Hagibis headed to the country after leaving 13 people dead in the Philippines this week.

    Hagibis was packing 133 kph (83 mph) winds and was expected to make landfall on Vietnam's southern coast at the weekend.

    In the South China Sea, 25 Filipino sailors were missing after a Philippine fishing boat capsized, a Chinese maritime official said Friday. Thirty other crew members were rescued and search teams were dispatched to look for those missing, said a man at the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center who gave only his surname, Zhang.

    Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua, reached by cell phone in the capital Virac, said constant rains had triggered landslides, blocking the main highway and isolating six northern towns. The main Bato river also was rising, he said.

    He has directed the mayor of one isolated town to distribute about 800 50-kilogram (110-pound) sacks of rice from a government warehouse in case food runs short while the town is inaccessible.

    Several flights to the region from Manila were canceled.

    In Manila, workers have started rolling up giant roadside tarpaulin billboards on steel frames to prevent them from being blown down by strong winds.

    Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, concerned about a repeat of last year's disaster in Bicol, ordered mass evacuations along the typhoon's expected path and cut short her visit to Singapore, where she was attending an Asian summit.

    Cruz said after slamming into Catanduanes, the typhoon could veer slightly southwest and hit Albay province, which bore the brunt of last year's Typhoon Durian that triggered flash floods and unleashed tons of volcanic debris, killing more than 1,000 people.

    Albay Gov. Joey Salceda has suspended classes so some schools can be used as shelters. The provincial government mobilized military and police trucks to transport residents to evacuation centers.

    He said the "pre-emptive evacuation" would prevent more difficult rescue work at the height of the typhoon.

    "The order of the president is zero casualty," he told DZRH radio Friday. "We are ordering the evacuation of the eastern seaboard. This is a huge population."

    He said those who refuse to evacuate will be asked to sign a waiver.

    (Irrawaddy)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 3:39 PM  
    Tropical Cyclone Warning: Typhoon "MINA" {MITAG}
    Typhoon "MINA" has maintained its strength as it remained almost stationary over the past twelve hours.

    Location of Center:
    (as of 10:00 p.m.) 210 kms East of Virac, Catanduanes

    Coordinates: 13.9°N 126.5°E
    Strength: Maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center
    Gustiness of up to 210 kph
    Movement: West at 11 kph

    Forecast Positions / Outlook: Saturday evening:
    over Virac, Catanduanes
    Sunday evening:
    50 kms Southwest of Alabat, Quezon
    Monday evening:
    220 kms West of Calapan City


    Residents in low lying areas and near mountain slopes under Public Storm Warning signals are alerted against possible flashfloods, mudslides and landslides.

    Likewise, those living in coastal areas are advised to be alert for big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone.

    The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 a.m. tomorrow.

    (SevereWorldWeather)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 3:10 PM  
    Many flee from Philippines storm
    Tens of thousands of people are being moved from their homes in the Philippines as emergency crews prepare for the oncoming Typhoon Mitag.
    The storm, packing 175km/h (109mph) winds, is expected to strike in the Bicol region on Saturday and could hit the capital, Manila, the following day.

    Officials fear the typhoon could cause lethal mudslides in some areas.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam is bracing itself for Typhoon Hagibis, which left 13 dead in the Philippines earlier this week.

    Thousand of people are being evacuated by the Vietnamese authorities, and a search is under way for at least 25 sailors whose boat capsized after being lashed by high winds in the South China Sea.

    'Forced evacuations'

    Forecasters said Mitag had slowed and was gathering intensity off the eastern islands of the Philippines.

    Government meteorologist Nathaniel Cruz told the Associated Press there was a "strong possibility of storm surges".
    He noted that Mitag could intensify into a "super typhoon" with winds reaching 220 kph.

    "The end result is that more things will be blown down and destroyed," he said.

    Joey Salceda, governor of Bicol's Albay province, said more than 60,000 people had been evacuated.

    But he told the Philippines Daily Inquirer newspaper hundreds of thousands more still needed to be moved, and that the authorities were now carrying out "forced evacuations".

    Classes in Albay's public schools have been suspended so the buildings can be converted into shelters.

    Military and police trucks are being used to transport residents to evacuation centres.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency said Manila was in the storm warning area, with the outer edges of the typhoon's centre due to pass the capital on Sunday.

    Reuters reported that workers were dismantling advertisement billboards placed along the capital's major roads, fearing they could collapse and kill people.

    Earlier, President Gloria Arroyo gave the order to evacuate those at risk.

    She said she did not want a repeat of last year's Typhoon Durian - which killed hundreds and left tens of thousands homeless, mainly in the Bicol region.

    (BBCnews)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 3:01 PM  
    Philippines, Vietnam eye typhoons
    (CNN) -- Two powerful typhoons headed for the Philippines and Vietnam on Friday, with expected landfall this weekend.

    The Philippine government has raised the possibility that Mitag -- or Mina, as it's called in the Philippines -- could strike as a super-typhoon, a storm equivalent to a Category 4 or Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Currently, the storm is just shy of a Category 3 storm.

    Flood-ravaged regions in the nation are already struggling to recover from a typhoon that hit just four days earlier: Tropical Storm Hagibis which is now heading toward Vietnam.

    At midday, Mitag was packing 175 kilometer per hour (109 mile per hour) winds, with gusts of 210 kph (131 mph), according to The Associated Press.

    It was poised to hit the southern portion of Luzon, the northernmost of the Philippines' island groups, sometime this weekend, forecasters said. Winds could reach a Category 4 strength of 213 kph (132 mph) early Sunday, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said.

    More than 194,000 people have fled or been evacuated to temporary shelters, AP quoted disaster officials as saying.

    Earlier, at 2:20 a.m. (5:20 p.m. ET), Mitag was about 645 kilometers (400 miles) east of Manila, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said.

    Meanwhile, in Vietnam, officials prepared to evacuate half a million people ahead of Hagibis' arrival.

    The storm -- packing 136 kph (83 mph) winds, according to an official cited by AP -- set off floods and landslides earlier this week in the Philippines. The storm struck the central and southern island groups of Visayas and Mindanao and killed at least 10 people, the Philippine government reported on its Web site.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:05 PM  
    Philippine typhoon gaining strength
    Thursday, November 22, 2007
    AP/MANILA, Philippines - A tropical storm gained strength and developed into a typhoon Thursday as it headed toward an eastern Philippine region ravaged last year by flash floods and volcanic mudslides that killed more than 1,000 people, officials said.

    Typhoon Mitag was packing 75 mph winds with gusts of up to 94 mph as it blew westward from the Philippine Sea toward the Bicol region midday, chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said.

    It could become a "super typhoon," with winds of more than 138 mph, by the time it makes landfall, expected this weekend, he said.

    Recent rains have already saturated the ground around Mayon volcano in Bicol, and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, worried about a repeat of last year's disaster, ordered mass evacuations in the typhoon's expected path and cut short her trip to Singapore, where she was attending an Asian summit.

    "It's been raining for many days in some areas, and these are ripe for landslides," said Glenn Rabonza, administrator of the Office of Civil Defense.

    Disaster officials said about 4,000 people already have moved to temporary shelters in four towns in Albay province and one town in nearby Sorsogon province, both of which are in Bicol.

    Cedric Daep, executive officer of Albay's provincial disaster office, said full evacuation of the most threatened communities along the coastline and in the foothills of the Mayon volcano will begin Thursday afternoon.

    Rabonza warned that storm surges from a powerful typhoon could generate waves 10-30 feet high that could wreak havoc on coastal villages.

    Cruz said if the typhoon doesn't change direction, it will make landfall in Bicol by Saturday morning. But the storm could also veer northwest and hit Quezon province, north of Bicol, the next day.

    Officials estimate up to 200,000 people may have to be evacuated from Albay, which last year bore the brunt of Typhoon Durian that triggered flash floods and unleashed tons of volcanic debris, wiping out entire communities and killing more than 1,000 people. About the same number of people died in 2004 in Quezon when it was hit by successive storms and typhoons.

    Albay Gov. Joey Salceda has suspended classes so some schools can be used as temporary shelters.

    Vietnam also braced for Tropical Storm Hagibis, expected to hit the country's southern region Saturday, the government said.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:53 PM  
    Tropical storms threaten tens of thousands in Philippines, Vietnam
    Wednesday, November 21, 2007
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the evacuation of thousands of people in the eastern Philippines ahead of a powerful tropical storm, officials said Wednesday.

    In one province alone, officials estimated that up to 200,000 people would be evacuated to gymnasiums, churches and schools by Friday when Tropical Storm Mitag was forecast to make landfall.

    And in Vietnam, the government said Tropical Storm Hagibis was expected to hit the country's southern region Saturday.

    Mitag could became a "super typhoon" with winds of more than 138 mph by the time it hits land in the Philippines, chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said.

    "It's still far, and that means we still have time to conduct preparedness," Cruz said. "With two days in the open sea, it has a big potential to become a very strong typhoon."
    Recent rains have saturated the ground around Mayon volcano in Bicol, and the president was worried there could be a repeat of last year's landslides and flash floods that killed more than 1,000 people, said Anthony Golez, deputy director of the Office of Civil Defense.

    Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay, where last year's Typhoon Durian unleashed tons of volcanic debris that wiped out entire villages, said some schools will be used as temporary shelters.

    The same communities devastated last year were again flooded Wednesday. A wooden bridge connecting two villages in Daraga township was washed away, local officials said.

    Evacuations also were reported from the provincial capital of Legazpi and nearby Daraga township, Cedric Daep, executive officer of the Albay disaster office, said.

    He said many residents were terrified after the devastation last time.

    "If we don't prepare now, they will be more scared," he said.

    In neighboring Sorsogon province, radio announcements advised officials, community leaders and the public to prepare to evacuate, provincial disaster officer Noel Pura said.

    Vietnam said Wednesday that tens of thousands of fishermen may be in danger as a Tropical Storm Hagibis approaches the country's coastal regions.


    About 74,000 fishermen were still working near the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, where a low tropical depression Tuesday was upgraded to a tropical storm, a government web posting said.

    Nearly 12,000 fishing boats are still at sea. Vietnam has asked other countries in the region to allow its fishermen enter their water to seek shelters, the report said.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 11:21 PM  
    Philippines, Vietnam ready for storms
    MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the evacuation of thousands of people in the eastern Philippines ahead of a powerful tropical storm, officials said Wednesday.

    In one province alone, officials estimated that up to 200,000 people would be evacuated to gymnasiums, churches and schools by Friday when Tropical Storm Mitag was forecast to make landfall.

    And in Vietnam, the government said Tropical Storm Hagibis was expected to hit the country's southern region Saturday.

    Mitag could became a "super typhoon" with winds of more than 138 mph by the time it hits land in the Philippines, chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said.

    "It's still far, and that means we still have time to conduct preparedness," Cruz said. "With two days in the open sea, it has a big potential to become a very strong typhoon."

    Recent rains have saturated the ground around Mayon volcano in Bicol, and the president was worried there could be a repeat of last year's landslides and flash floods that killed more than 1,000 people, said Anthony Golez, deputy director of the Office of Civil Defense.

    Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay, where last year's Typhoon Durian unleashed tons of volcanic debris that wiped out entire villages, said some schools will be used as temporary shelters.

    The same communities devastated last year were again flooded Wednesday. A wooden bridge connecting two villages in Daraga township was washed away, local officials said.

    Evacuations also were reported from the provincial capital of Legazpi and nearby Daraga township, Cedric Daep, executive officer of the Albay disaster office, told The Associated Press.

    He said many residents were terrified after the devastation last time.

    "If we don't prepare now, they will be more scared," he said.

    In neighboring Sorsogon province, radio announcements advised officials, community leaders and the public to prepare to evacuate, provincial disaster officer Noel Pura said.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 11:21 PM  
    MANILA (AFP) - Arroyo orders evacuation as storm heads for Philippines
    MANILA (AFP) - Tropical storm Mitag bore down on the eastern Philippines on Wednesday, flooding large areas of the region and forcing the government to order large-scale evacuations, days after another killed 10 people in the country's south.

    Mitag was gaining strength with winds of up to 85 kilometres (53 miles) an hour and was on course to hit the Bicol peninsula southeast of Manila on Friday, weather forecasters said.

    It was tracked 1,020 kilometres northeast of Legaspi, Bicol's largest city, at 11:00am (0300 GMT), and forecast to reach typhoon strength of at least 120 kilometres an hour when its eye passes close to the island of Catanduanes, to Legaspi's northeast.

    At least 200,000 people needed to be evacuated, Anthony Golez, deputy civil defence chief, said.

    President Gloria Arroyo would cut short by one day her visit to Singapore, where she was attending an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, and fly back to the Philippines later Wednesday, aides said.

    She wants to "bring people out of harm's way," and has ordered an evacuation of Bicol residents potentially at risk from the storm, Golez told reporters.

    "This disturbance is expected to cause flooding, flash floods, landslides and storm surges within the next 24-36 hours," the civil defence office said in a statement.

    It called for "preventive evacuation of those in low-lying areas, stockpiling of emergency relief supplies and putting on alert status all response units." The government agency said flooding had already displaced about 2,000 people in three Bicol towns.

    Tropical storm Hagibis blew out into the South China Sea on Tuesday after killing 10 people and displacing about 30,000 others in southern and central islands.

    (see photo below)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:50 PM  
    Vietnam seeks regional help as Storm Hagibis nears

    HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam has asked nearby countries to give shelter to thousands of its fishermen from a tropical storm now nearing the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, the government said on Wednesday.

    Nearly 74,000 fishermen were working off Vietnam's coast in the path of Storm Hagibis as of early Wednesday, 58 of them have sought permission to take shelter at a Philippine island, the government said in a disaster report.

    On Tuesday Hanoi's Foreign Ministry sent diplomatic notes to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, asking them to assist Vietnamese fishermen as the storm, the seventh to hit Vietnam this year, was zooming in the Spratlys.

    Separately, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cut short her trip to Singapore for the summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and headed home on Wednesday as another tropical storm approached her nation.

    The Spratlys archipelago is a cluster of more than 100 tiny tropical islands and reefs lying between south Vietnam and the southern Philippines in the central South China Sea.

    China, Taiwan and four Southeast Asian states -- Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam -- all lay claim to the Spratlys, believed to be rich in oil, gas, minerals and fisheries.

    Hagibis, meaning 'rapidity' in the Philippine's Tagalog language, and which was previously identified as storm 23W, would land on Vietnam's resort town of Phan Thiet at the weekend, the Tropical Storm Risk Web site (http://tsr.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/) said.

    It would pose a major danger to southern Vietnam, a region rarely struck by typhoons or tropical storms. The southern tip of the country was hit in November 1997 by Typhoon Linda in which there were 600 known deaths and 2,123 people never accounted for.

    The government said floods and storms so far this year have killed 368 people, left 30 others missing and caused property damage of 7.2 trillion dong ($446 million).

    Rains from Storm Hagibis would disrupt coffee drying and postpone the harvest peak in the Central Highlands key growing region to early next month, posing risk of delay for December deliveries, traders said.

    Vietnam is the world's largest robusta coffee producer.

    Concerns over possible tight supply for London's January contracts have contributed to industry buying on Tuesday when the robusta market rebounded slightly after Monday's fall.

    EVACUATION

    Heavy rains from the storm, which has triggered landslides that killed nine people in the Philippines as of Tuesday, could also disrupt rice loading at the key Saigon Port, where two vessels were taking 31,500 tonnes for Cuba and Indonesia.

    Philippine president Arroyo had ordered the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in coastal and low-lying areas ahead of a tropical storm expected to hit later this week, Eduardo Ermita, her executive secretary, said.

    In Albay province alone, about 200,000 residents had already moved to temporary shelter to avoid a repeat of last year's devastating typhoon Durian, which killed 1,200 people and left 120,000 homeless in December.

    Storms rarely strike Vietnam in November as the storm and flood season often ends in the central region widely exposed to the sea in October.

    Floods are receding slowly in central provinces, where thousands families have been facing shortages of food and clean water after several rounds of heavy rain since early October that killed at least 275 people, 142 of them within the last 20 days.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:44 PM  
    Bangladesh cyclone toll over 1000, many missing
    Saturday, November 17, 2007
    DHAKA, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Military ships and helicopters were trying on Saturday to reach thousands of survivors of a super cyclone that killed at least 1,000 people and pummeled the impoverished country with mighty winds and waves.

    Cyclone Sidr smashed into Bangladesh's southern coastline late on Thursday night with 250-kph (155 mph) winds that whipped up a 5-metre tidal surge. It was the strongest cyclone since a 1991 storm killed some 143,000 people in this country.

    Navy ships scoured coastal areas for hundreds of people reported missing and to clear river channels clogged with sunken vessels to restore normal navigation, officials said.

    Helicopters flew sorties to devastated areas, dropping food, drinking water and medicine for the survivors.

    The official death toll from the cyclone was nearly 950 but private televisions ATN Bangla and Channel-i on Saturday gave figures more than 1,300 and 2,000 respectively.

    An ATN reporter travelling the coast on Saturday said bodies littered the crumpled rice fields and that mourning relatives were joining "procession of deaths" as they try to bury them.

    Fakhruddin Ahmed, head of Bangladesh's army-backed interim government, asked officials in disaster areas on Friday to "ensure bodies are buried quickly" to avoid the spread of disease.

    "It will take several days to complete the search and know the actual casualty figure and extent of damage to property," said food and disaster ministry official Ayub Miah.

    The U.S. navy is reportedly ready to send two amphibious assault ships with helicopters to help in rescue efforts. Bangladesh had yet to receive a formal offer from the U.S. Navy, Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain told Reuters. "If we have, we will consider and take a decision."

    The U.S. Navy helped after a devastating storm in 1991. Televisions showed on Saturday people in the cyclone-hit districts going back from shelters to what now looked like heaps of debris.

    "Where is my home? Where is my family?" wailed an elderly woman, showing the flattened remains of a house, covered with fallen tree branches.

    "Why have I come back? How shall we live?" said another woman in Mathbaria village.

    AID STARTS POURING IN

    Aid officials described damage from the storm, which blew away homes and ripped out trees and power lines, as extremely severe. Most of the country plunged into darkness on Friday after the electricity grid was knocked out. Parts of Dhaka, the capital city of 10 million people, were still without power on Saturday.

    "Our relief teams have started emergency distribution, with an initial coverage of 100,000 people," said Vince Edwards, World Vision's Bangladesh national director. "However, several areas are inaccessible right now due to fallen trees," a World Vision statement quoted Edwards as saying on Saturday.

    In many areas, 95 percent of the rice crops awaiting to be harvested in a few weeks have been badly damaged, officials said. Hundreds of shrimp farms were washed away, while vegetables, rice and pulses were also damaged.

    "Many people are homeless, crops and livelihoods have been destroyed and this is going to put great pressure on the government, the economy, and the people themselves -- particularly as this comes only a few months after floods devastated the northern part of the country," said Suman SMA Islam, CARE's humanitarian assistance coordinator in Bangladesh.

    Germany has allocated $293,000 in emergency relief aid and the European Union has released 1.5 million euros ($2.1 million) in fast-track aid.

    "This is a major tragedy with hundreds already known to have died and hundreds of thousands suffering from this disaster," said Louis Michel, the European Commissioner responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

    In New York, John Holmes, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said his office would make available "several million dollars" in emergency aid.

    MISSING AT SEA

    Red Crescent officials said some 1,000 fishermen were still unaccounted for in the Bay of Bengal, onboard about 150 boats.

    Fishing community leaders in Cox's Bazar and Barisal said they still expected some of the missing crew to return safely.

    In past storms, fishing boats took shelter in the Sundarban mangrove forests, said Shohel Ahmed, a Barisal fisherman.

    The Sundarban, home to the endangered Royal Bengal tigers and a World Heritage site, took the brunt of the latest storm and forest officials said many wildlife could have died.

    The Category 4 cyclone and the tidal surge it spawned devastated three coastal towns and forced 3.2 million people to evacuate, officials and aid agencies said.

    Aid workers said the death toll would have been far higher if not for the good preparations by skilled rescuers and a volunteer army who spread warnings and helped evacuate people.

    (Additional reporting by Ruma Paul, Nizam Ahmed and Serajul Islam Quadir)
    (Reuters alertnet)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:08 AM  
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    The tropical cyclone data presented at this site are intended to convey only general information on current storms and must not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to the protection of property: the data may not be accurate. If you are in the path of a storm you should be listening to official information sources. These data have no official status and should not be used for emergency response decision-making under any circumstances

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