Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Extreme weather around the world - Torrential downpours hit Sri Lanka on Wednesday last week, triggering flash floods which left two dead and damaged 261 homes. The capital, Colombo saw its HEAVIEST RAIN IN 18 YEARS, with more than 440mm falling in 24 hours, leaving much of the city under water. The floods, which disrupted electricity supplies, closed schools and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, were attributed to an UNSTABLE ATMOSPHERIC BELT.
Floods also hit south-western parts of Nova Scotia in Canada last week following days of heavy downpours which dumped 250mm of rain across parts of the province. The flood waters swamped homes, forcing the evacuation of 120 people, and washed away a 20m bridge over the Tusket river on Tuesday.
Meanwhile much of north-east China suffered travel disruption owing to blizzard conditions. The snow, which began late last Thursday, led to flight delays in and out of Taiping International Airport and prompted the closure of all five major highways in Heilongjiang province. The icy roads caused a pile-up involving 43 cars, injuring two people.
In contrast, Russia was enjoying unseasonable warmth last week. The mercury in the capital topped out at 14.5C on Thursday, a new RECORD FOR NOVEMBER, and more than 13C above the average maximum temperature for the month.

**Opportunity comes but does not linger.**
Nepali proverb

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
11/16/10 -


CHINA - Scientists in China say that the Tianchi volcano in Changbai Mountain in Jilin Province, which sits near China's border with North Korea, is not likely to erupt anytime soon as some believe. However, that's not stopping the public from panicking about the potential of ash and fire spilling into their homes. Some residents in the area believe unsubstantiated claims that the volcano would erupt anytime in the next few years. A woman who lives in Baishan, Northeast China's Jilin Province sold her clothing shop and is planning to move out from the city for fear of an eruption. Rumors have been thrown around for years but people became more panicky after a South Korean expert predicted publicly that it could erupt within a few years. "We don't know whom we should trust. What we can do is to pray the eruption won't happen."
Yun Sung-whyo, a geology professor in South Korea, made his prediction on June 18 that the volcano "might erupt between 2014 and 2015. Chinese experts later dismissed the claim. Monitoring data show the volcano is stable and there were no signs of an imminent eruption. The Tianchi volcano is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the Chinese mainland with a potential for eruption. In addition, 2 billion cubic meters of water that sits at the top of the volcano could prove more dangerous during an eruption. The last time the volcano erupted was in 1903. South Korea's Ministry of Unification said Tuesday that it was considering setting up a special team to investigate the possibility of the mountain's eruption in order to make a contingency plan.

No current tropical cyclones.

MYANMAR - Cyclone Giri hits rice harvest in Rakhine State in western Myanmar. The cyclone that struck the western coast of Myanmar at the end of October wiped out a large portion of the region’s expected annual rice harvest, placing some 260,000 people at risk of hunger. “The timing of the cyclone was very unlucky. The cyclone hit right at the moment [before the harvest] when farmers empty their coffers and put everything into the crops. If their houses and dwellings were seriously damaged, then whatever seeds they had stored as back-up have now also been ruined.”
The cyclone destroyed more than 97,125 hectares of farmland or almost half the rice fields in hardest-hit Rakhine State in the west, where rice is the staple food. Eight million hectares nationwide are used to grow rice. 200,000 will be in need of food assistance for the next three months in the four most severely affected townships of Rakhine state: Myebon, Kyaukpyu, Pauktaw and Minbya. Severe acute malnutrition in young children can rapidly increase without fast action, warned the UN Children’s Fund, which aims to distribute vitamins and micronutrient sprinkles to 15,000 children under five. (map)