Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hurricane Earl is heading for the US east coast after causing power cuts and heavy rain across the eastern Caribbean. The category-four storm is generating sustained winds of 215km/h (135mph). A hurricane watch has been issued for most of the North Carolina coastline just ahead of the Labor Day weekend. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has warned people along the eastern seaboard to prepare for evacuations.
On Tuesday, Earl kept east of the Turks and Caicos Islands, where a tropical storm warning had been issued.
It was too early to tell how close it might come to land in the U.S., but they expect Earl to bring high winds and heavy rains to North Carolina's Outer Banks by late Thursday or early Friday even if it stays offshore. The hurricane could then travel up the coast on the following days, affecting coastal regions from the Carolinas all the way north to Maine and wrecking the plans of holiday makers who like to spend the Labor Day holiday weekend at the beach. The hurricane would be capable of causing storm surges and "catastrophic" damage if it hits land.
Earl is being closely followed by Tropical Storm Fiona, currently east of the Leeward Isles with winds of up to 65km/h.

**Trust in God, but tie up your camel."

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/31/10 -

JAPAN - The government has decided to map out a response plan for the possible occurrence of three massive, SIMULTANEOUS earthquakes in the nation. It plans to compile detailed estimates of possible damage from such an event and an outline of countermeasures. Of all the foreseeable earthquake scenarios that could take place in and around Japan, the most destructive would be the simultaneous occurrence of the so-called Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes. These earthquakes are projected events of magnitude 8 or more on the Richter scale. Their seismic hypocenters would be located along the Nankai Trough, a submarine trough that stretches through the Tokai region and Shikoku.
If the three quakes were to occur simultaneously - it is predicted that the Tonankai earthquake would trigger the Tokai and Nankai quakes - as many as 25,000 people would be killed and 550,000 buildings destroyed across the nation. The Cabinet Office has for the first time requested more than 100 million yen for research expenses under the fiscal 2011 budget. The government plans to conduct the first drills based on a scenario of simultaneous earthquakes today, designated as Disaster Prevention Day. According to government estimates, the probability of the Tonankai earthquake occurring, and having enough power to trigger Tokai and Nankai quakes, in the next 10 years is 20 percent.


INDONESIA - Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra appears to be calming down. Approximately 29,000 people have been evacuated from around the erupting volcano.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - A volcano in Virunga National Park in the Congo has erupted. The volcano sent lava toward a national park, threatening wildlife in the sparsely populated region. Scientists recorded significant increased volcanic activity around Goma in the east of the country. Half of the city was destroyed in 2002 after the nearest of two volcanoes, Mount Nyiragongo, erupted. (photo)

-Hurricane EARL was 300 nmi NNE of Port Au Prince, Haiti.
-Tropical storm FIONA was 228 nmi N of Bridgetown, Barbados.

-Typhoon KOMPASU was 284 nmi WSW of Kagoshima, Japan.
-Tropical storm LIONROCK was 213 nmi SSW of Taipei, Taiwan.
-Tropical depression NAMTHEUN was 193 nmi WSW of Taipei, Taiwan.

Hurricane Earl forecast: Storm increasingly likely for New York - While the storm’s final path is still far from certain, the tri-state could possibly see a major storm make landfall this week - something that hasn’t happened in a decade. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Hurricane Earl was spinning furiously near the Turks and Caicos Islands with sustained winds of 135 mph after rapidly intensifying yesterday from a Category 1 to a Category 4 hurricane. Hurricane watches have also been posted for coastal North Carolina. (Interactive storm tracker)
Over the next 48 hours, the hurricane will traverse the warm waters of the Gulf stream before a likely landfall on North Carolina’s Outer Banks sometime Thursday as a Category 3. That said, any westward deviation could spell trouble down the line for Greater New York, which hasn’t experienced a direct storm hit since Hurricane Gloria struck the region in 1985. Updated computer weather models released Tuesday evening continue to shift the future track of Earl westward, closer and closer towards the East Coast. While the official track from the National Hurricane Center remains slightly offshore, taking the recent westward shift into account and the 150-200 mile historical error for a 3-4 day forecast means pretty much everyone on the East Coast bears some risk of a direct landfall.
As Earl crosses the Gulf stream today, it could briefly reach category 5 status. Thanks to the RECORD high temperatures on the eastern seaboard this summer, the ocean waters are especially warm — ideal fuel for a strengthening storm. Expect severe beach erosion, significant waves and a storm surge of up to ten feet, even if Earl’s center technically stays offshore. There were two confirmed fatalities over the weekend from rip currents and drownings caused by ex-hurricane Danielle, which passed more than 1,000 miles away. The conditions this weekend will likely be far worse. In the unlikely event a that Hurricane Earl hits Greater New York at Category 3 strength, here’s what is expected: Strong winds, downed trees and power lines, dangerous rip currents and extensive flooding. In 2005, the New York Press outlined what a worst-case scenario might look like. It’s not pretty. (maps)


JAPAN - Heatstroke has killed 158 people since late May, while 46,728 others were treated in hospitals during the same period. Between Aug. 23 and Sunday, 5,358 people were treated at hospitals for heatstroke, and 13 died. During the one-week period, those taken to hospitals for emergency treatment declined by about 4,000 from the preceding week. There were also three fewer deaths.
There were four extremely hot days in the Aug. 23-29 period on which the mercury rose to 35 C or higher at about 100 of 921 observation points nationwide. Such temperatures were recorded at more than 100 sites every day of the previous week. Since Aug. 1, 26,616 people have been taken to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke, and 61 have died. The number of such patients was four times higher than in August last year and deaths have risen 7.6-fold. Temperatures this summer have tended to remain high due to low rainfall and the effects of high-pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean. The nation has sweltered under many more tropical nights than last year. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency has continued to warn people of high temperatures, as little relief is predicted for September.