Monday, December 6, 2010

**Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do."
Johann von Goethe

This morning -

Yesterday -
12/5/10 -

No current tropical cyclones.

PHILIPPINES - A potential cyclone has entered Philippine territory and may bring flash floods and landslides to Mindana. The low-pressure area (LPA) was estimated at 140 kilometers (km) southeast of Zamboanga City as of 2 a.m. and may be codenamed "Luis" if it becomes a cyclone. "There is still a chance it can become a cyclone. As of now it is in the inter-tropical convergence zone." But the LPA, which is embedded along the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao, had already made landfall as of early Monday. The LPA may bring flash floods and landslides on parts of Mindanao. Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough. Strong to gale force winds may affect the seaboards of Luzon. Fishhing boats and other small seacraft were advised not to venture out to sea, and larger sea vessels warned to be alert against big waves.


COLUMBIA - As many as 200 people may have been buried in a landslide yesterday that swept over 10 houses in Medellin, Colombia's second largest city. "The initial count is that there may be 150-200 people considered missing. So far we have rescued three alive. We are focused on moving rubble to see if we find survivors." Medellin is 250 miles (400 km) northwest of Bogota. Colombia has been lashed in recent weeks by heavy rains that have left at least 176 people dead and 225 injured, as well as 1.5 million people left homeless nationwide.

ALBANIA hit by WORST FLOODS IN LIVING MEMORY. More than 12,000 people have now been moved from their homes in north-western Albania following days of heavy rain. The situation around the town of Shkoder was "critical", with 14,000 hectares (34,595 acres) under water. Other Balkan countries have also been badly hit, with three people killed after their home collapsed following a landside in the Bosnian city of Tuzla. Meteorologists say the torrential rains of recent days have now eased.
The River Drina, which had risen to its HIGHEST LEVEL IN OVER A CENTURY, has begun to recede, but the Bosnian authorities say houses are still underwater in the east of the country. The River Sava, however, is now rising. It flows east into Serbia, although the government in Belgrade says it does not foresee significant damage.
One of Europe's poorest and least developed regions is struggling to cope with the onslaught of these floods. The rains may be coming to an end, but saturated land and thousands of displaced people will cause problems for some time to come. (photo)

AUSTRALIA - Deluge continues in southern, central Qeensland. More thunderstorms are expected to hit southern Queensland later this week. Queensland authorities are monitoring the creek that runs through the southern inland town of Roma, with heavy rain drenching the region. Bungil Creek hit a peak of just under seven metres on the weekend and inundated some streets and fields in Roma, but so far no homes are at risk. It is the second time this year the town has faced a flood threat and the weather bureau has issued warnings for the Balonne, Warrego, Condamine and Paroo river systems. "We've got a lot of roads cut aorund the district. We've have something like four to five inches [of rain] and considerably more in some places in the council area and so a lot of those local and regional roads, the country roads are cut." The wet weather has led to several road closures, including the Cunningham Highway. The major freight route west of Brisbane could be closed for days because of the rockslide on the road, which destabilised a wall holding up a large boulder.
"The unknown factor is there is some storms predicted each afternoon this week. The inflow of local water and local rain - that's the unknown quantity." The flooding situation will be "extremely worrying" if a cyclone crosses the coast in the next few weeks. "This stage we're looking at a good chance of seeing a cyclone before the end of the year and then if we come into the early part of next year, we'll see plenty of cyclone activity around the Coral Sea. In terms of crossing the coast, I expect one, maybe two, to cross the coast."


The discovery of hard plastic inside packages prompted a nationwide recall of 72,000 pounds of canned chicken salad, one of several recalls involving poultry and meat products issued through U.S. food safety authorities in recent days. The Suter Company is recalling 8.2-ounce packages of the "Bumble Bee Lunch on the Run Chicken Salad Complete Lunch Kit" and 3.5-ounce packages of "Bumble Bee Chicken Salad with Crackers." The recalled products were put together and shipped out to distributors and stores between August 14 and 28 of this year. The recall was prompted by complaints from people who found pieces of loose plastic inside their Bumble Bee packages. The federal agency noted in its release that it hasn't received any reports of people getting hurt or sick as a result. The recall is a Class II, which means there is a "remote probability of adverse health consequences."
Meanwhile, two unrelated and separate but potentially more dangerous recalls announced late last week were categorized as Class I, equating to a "reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." Federal food safety authorities said Friday that Diana's Mexican Food Products, of Lawndale, California, is recalling 41,670 pounds of chicken tamales. The tamales contain whey, a known allergen. But the packages don't note the whey on its labels. One day earlier, Brooklyn-based N.Y. Gourmet Salads recalled various meat and poultry products because, prior to their distribution, they hadn't been inspected by federal health inspectors. While there have been no reports of sicknesses, a public health alert was issued October 30 for a host of Gourmet Salad's products packaged between March 11 and October 29 of this year. The recall list includes 12 items - ranging from Swedish meatballs to stuffed cabbage to grilled chicken - all wrapped in 4.5-, 5- and 6-pound packages.