Friday, September 30, 2011

Boys wade through the backyard of Donna and Kevin Tyndall after Hurricane Irene flooded their home in Vandemere in Pamlico County in August.

Many of the roads in Vandemere are still cluttered with debris.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Pakistan over the last month has again been plunged into a very dismal state.

I along with a few friends have been involved in raising aid online and distributing it by hand all over this region.

We have visited the Badin area three times in the last month.

On our last trip we drove into Badin from Karachi, amidst reports of violent looting on the roads as well as relief trucks being mobbed.

Past the halfway point, at Thatta, the area became almost surreal, with water at road level stretching into the horizon as far as the eye could see.

As we drove closer to Badin the road was littered on both sides with makeshift tents and people sitting with their families in the awful heat.

They drink from the water around them and use the same water for washing and toilets.

We drove into Nindo, Khoski and beyond to distribute 2,000 'ready-to-eat' meals we had brought with us.

Everywhere we went we saw appalling conditions.

One can see relief organizations putting up camps and road-side kitchens all along the way to help feed the needy but clearly the throngs surrounding them are beyond their capacity.

The water is 3-4 feet deep in many areas.

In one place we saw people crossing their motor-bikes on a donkey cart from a marooned, water-logged village

I saw a snake almost as long as a car swimming lazily through this water, as people waded through it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MANILA - City residents waded through waist-deep flood waters and dodged flying debris yesterday as a powerful typhoon struck the Philippines, killing at least 16 people and sending waves as tall as palm trees crashing over seawalls.

Most deaths occurred in metropolitan Manila, which already was soaked by heavy monsoon rains ahead of Typhoon Nesat’s arrival with more downpours and wind gusts of up to 93 miles per hour. Downtown areas along Manila Bay suffered their worst flooding in decades.

Pounding rains obscured the view of anyone on the streets as soldiers and police scrambled to evacuate thousands of people in low-lying areas, where rivers and the sea spilled into shanties, hospitals, swanky hotels, and even the seaside US Embassy compound.

“It’s flooded everywhere. We don’t have a place to go for shelter. Even my motorcycle got filled with water,’’ said Ray Gonzales, one of thousands stranded by fast-rising flood waters.

The massive flooding came exactly a day after this sprawling, coastal city of 12 million held two-year commemorations for the nearly 500 people killed during a 2009 cyclone, which dumped a month’s rainfall in just 12 hours. The archipelago receives about 20 storms and typhoons from the Pacific each year.

Some residents acted more quickly this time to evacuate homes as waters rose, including in the Manila suburb of Marikina, where 2,000 people escaped the swelling river by flocking to an elementary school, carrying pets, TV sets, bags of clothes, and bottled water.

Read more

Monday, September 26, 2011

The NASA DC-8 is a four-engine jet transport that has been highly modified to support the Agency's science mission. The medium-altitude aircraft has a 148-foot wingspan and is 157 feet long. It can fly at altitudes from 1,000 to 42,000 feet for up to 12 hours, although most science missions average six to 10 hours. The aircraft has a range of 5,400 nautical miles and can carry 30,000 pounds of scientific instruments and equipment. NASA acquired the former commercial airliner in 1985. It was based at the Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., until late 1997 when it moved to the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.

Read more

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hurricane Hilary 2011 will likely weaken next week from its current Category 3 strength, but the storm may turn into central or northern California before it's done, ultimately bringing needed rain to the Southwest, including Texas.

Forecasters say Hurricane Hilary, currently off the western coast of Mexico, will pose a threat to shipping and cruise interests, while creating rough surf along the southwest Mexican coast as the storm turns to the north. Models show Hilary will be north and west of its current location by Wednesday night, and winds will likely have subsided to Category 1 strength.

But after that, the U.S. southwest and maybe even Texas could benefit from the storm if it re-curves as some models show, into northern Baja California.

Read more

Friday, September 23, 2011

China sent the tents via four air crafts to Pakistan.

The Chinese Counsel General handed over these tents to Provincial Disaster Management Director at the Karachi airport for distribution among flood affectees.

The Chinese Counsel General said his country will always stand with Pakistan in difficult times.

While efforts continue to tackle the catastrophe, flood affectees in lower and central Sindh have protested against the shortage of basic necessities including food, medicines and clean drinking water.

People from several districts protested against the shortage of aid and the government’s inability to drain flood waters from several villages in Sindh. Police have reportedly baton charged people protesting the ineffective and insufficient aid.

A shutter down strike is also being observed in the southern town of Kunri.

Read more

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bangkok yesterday managed to escape being submerged in floods that have been sweeping through 24 provinces.

Farmers in the neighbouring province of Pathum Thani are calling on authorities to open at least one watergate in the capital so water levels in an overflowing canal can be eased.

"The Hok Wa canal has risen one metre above its banks," Suchat Janchang complained yesterday.

Suchat, who is a farmer in Pathum Thani's Lam Luk Ka district, said more than 1,000 rai of his paddy fields would be in jeopardy if a watergate was not opened soon to let out some of the water. "Have some sympathy for us. We are going to incur huge losses," the 46-year-old said.

Lam Luk Ka district chief Panuwat Jenprasert said if Bangkok authorities continued blocking flood waters, then more than 18,000 rai of the local farmland would be submerged sustaining huge damages.

"Some of them have been flooded for nearly a month now," he said.

After a meeting with relevant authorities on preventing floods in Bangkok and adjacent provinces, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) had been well prepared to deal with the situation.

Also present at the meeting were Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra and the provincial governors of Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Chachoengsao.

According to Yingluck, authorities are proceeding in line with His Majesty's advice on water management as they tackle the ongoing flood problems. "We will be pushing the water out of the capital via Lat Pho Canal. It's faster," she said.

With run-offs from the North, the Chao Phraya River has already overflowed in several provinces in the Central region.

In Chai Nat province, raging torrents in the Chao Phraya River knocked down a portion of an embankment and submerged Phaholyothin Road between the 290 and 293 kilometre markers, making that portion of the road impassable to traffic.

According to BMA Drainage and Sewerage Department chief Sanya Sheenimit, up to 3,800 cubic metres of water travelled down Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya's Bang Sai district yesterday. Ayutthaya is just an hour's drive from Bangkok.

Read more

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Flooding across China has claimed 57 lives as more than a million people are evacuated from their homes.

Heavy record rains for more than a week have swamped several provinces in northern, central and southwest China, also injuring dozens of people, Newscore reports.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement that the rain had forced authorities to evacuate more than 1.2 million people from their homes, BBC reports.

Landslides and mudslides have toppled homes and blocked roads in the area, and the National Meteorological Center forecast that the torrential rains that caused them will last for another three days, AFP reports.

"Constant strong rainfall has caused serious flood disasters in Sichuan [southwest], Shaanxi [north] and Henan [central] - 12.3 million people were affected, 57 died and 29 are missing," it said.

One area of the southwestern province of Sichuan, Bazhong, was severely affected, with 13 people killed, 10 missing and 156 injured, a spokesman for the local government told the official China Daily newspaper.

Read more

A new supercomputing facility in West Virginia could help improve weather forecasters’ ability to predict the power of huge hurricanes, which could eventually help public officials make better decisions about when to call for the kind of mass evacuations seen during Hurricane Irene.

Next month The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will bring a new data center online. The facility in Fairmont, West Virginia will support a 383-teraflop supercomputer designed to develop more powerful tools for analyzing the behavior of hurricanes. NOAA staffers discussed the project in a presentation last week at the AFCOM Data Center World fall conference in Orlando.

Computer Models Improving

Hurricane scientists have developed sophisticated computer models to analyze the threat posed by hurricanes. This has helped forecasters make significant strides in projecting the path a hurricane will take. But it remains more difficult to predict the intensity of hurricanes, which can fluctuate in strength as they approach landfall. Hurricane intensity is ranked on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which assigns a category from 1 to 5, with Category 5 storms being the most powerful.

“The damage caused by the hurricane has almost everything to do with intensity,” said NOAA’s Darren Smith, who said predicting the intensity requires granular data.”The physics of a hurricane occur at a 1 kilometer resolution.”

The new supercomputer in West Virginia will bring more horsepower to test new models designed to better measure intensity. But it will also require about five years of development before the new model is ready for use in NOAA forecasts.

More Capacity Required
Analyzing hurricane data requires lots of computing power. NOAA has 9 supercomputers already, but none of its existing facilities had the space or power capacity to house the new machine. Smith and his team began an unusual site selection process in which they picked a location for the new facility without knowing what kind of supercomputer it would house.

They didn’t know, for example, whether the supercomputer would require water cooling or air cooling. The agency eventually chose an SGI Altix ICE cluster in which some cabinets will be water-cooled (through a rear-door cooling unit) while others will use air cooling.

Cabinets in the high performance computing cluster will use up to 33 watts of power per rack. The data center will use full outside air cooling (air economization) for 40 percent of the year, while using a mix of economizers and chillers the remainder of the time. The economizers are expected to save about $800,000 a year in power costs.

The 54,000 square foot space will house 16,000 square feet of computer room space on a 4-foot raised floor, and a 6,000 square foot tape archive, with room for expansion of both. The facility has 6 megawatts of power capacity, and is supported by a flywheel UPS system.

Read more

Monday, September 19, 2011

When the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over Tropical Storm Sonca on Friday, Sept. 16 it found moderate rainfall mostly on the southern side of the storm. Chichi Jima can expect some of that rainfall over the weekend as Sonca passes east of the island.

TRMM passed over Tropical Storm Sonca and its precipitation radar instrument saw moderate rainfall occurring mostly on the southern side of the storm, while light-to-moderate rainfall was occurring throughout the storm. The southern edge of the storm had rainfall rates between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour. The TRMM satellite is managed jointly by NASA and the Japanese Space Agency.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 16, Tropical Storm Sonca had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph). It was centered about 500 nautical miles east of Iwo To, Japan, near 23.5 North and 149.4 East. Sonca was moving to the west at 15 knots.

Read more

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A hurricane watch for Bermuda was this afternoon lifted as Tropical Storm Maria passed to the Island's west causing hardly any damage.

Belco reported a handful of power outages and police were not aware of any reports of damage.

Flights and ferry services were the worst hit - with all ferries except the Pink route cancelled and all flights at LF Wade International Airport also cancelled.

Several flights to and from the Island were cancelled yesterday as Bermuda braced itself for Tropical Storm Maria.

The storm, the third in as many weeks to affect the Island, passed at about 100 nautical miles to the west-northwest of the Island at its closest point at 1pm today.

Meteorologists predicted the Island would experience showers and possibly thunder, with south-easterly gusts from gale force to hurricane force this morning.

Conditions are expected to lighten as the day progresses and the storm moves further from Bermuda.

The Causeway remained open all day although it was monitored closely.

No large storm surge is expected, but rip currents and significant wave action were predicted, mirroring the effects of recent Tropical Storms Jose and Katia.

This afternoon a Government spokeswoman said: "While Bermuda has been spared any major impact from Tropical Storm Maria, the Island continues to feel remnants of the weather system.

"Winds at the Causeway saw a brief increase to 40 knots with gusts to 50 knots , but there have been no sustained winds reaching 50 knots today. However, Bermuda can expect a continuation of the tropical storm force winds for the next few hours.

Read full Article