Thursday, May 16, 2013

Texas - Six confirmed dead and as many as 100 injured as grape-fruit sized hail and tornadoes hit. The tornado ripped through a picturesque lakeside North Texas town, resulting in multiple fatalities and destroying or damaging homes. The death toll "could climb higher." At least fourteen people are unaccounted for. It was not clear if they were missing or were away from the area for other reasons. "It's definitely a nightmare."
Three tornadoes have been reported to have struck. The twisters damaged areas 5km east of Granbury that have about 110 homes. "Some [dead] were found in houses. Some were found around houses." About 50 people were taken to a Granbury hospital, where 14 were admitted for treatment of injuries and two were transferred to a hospital in Fort Worth.
Hardest hit were two neighborhoods, Rancho Brazos Estates and DeCordova Ranch, in the southern end of the town of about 8,000 residents about 65 miles southwest of Dallas. Injuries are also reported in Cleburne, where a mile-wide tornado was reported. There was no estimate on the number of homes damaged, but the number was expected to soar into the dozens based oninspection of damage ranging from roof damage to total destruction.
Another tornado hit the small town of Millsap, about 80km west of Fort Worth. Roof damage was reported to several houses and a barn was destroyed, but no injuries were reported. Hail as large as grapefruit also pelted the area around Mineral Wells. (photos)

**Nothing is more tragic than the man who did nothing
because he could only do a little.**
Edmund Burke


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
5/15/13 -

The Jammu and Kashmir government asked the people of quake-hit areas of Doda and Kishtwar districts not to panic due to frequent tremors and assured that no stone would be left unturned to save their lives and properties.

Volcano Webcams

Alaska - Lava Flows and Ash Plume as Eruption Continues at Pavlof. The eruption that started on Monday at Pavlof in Alaska continues unabated. The Alaska Volcano Observatory is reporting a dark steam-and-ash plume reaching ~6 km (20,000 foot) and drifting to the southeast by pilots passing nearby. Satellite imagery showed the mountain was "very, very hot." The Cleveland Volcano and the Pavlof Volcano, both in the Aleutian Island range southwest of mainland Alaska., appear to be erupting simultaneously. The Alaska Volcano Observatory has issued a watch due to heightened activity, plus an orange code regarding how they might affect planes in the area.

Mexican volcano rumbles, but residents shrug it off - Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano has blown steam for days, prompting authorities to prepare for possible evacuations, but residents are used to their towering neighbor's rumblings and keep fearlessly heading to work. Hundreds of soldiers have been sent to the area in case the Popocatepetl volcano does erupt.


In the Indian Ocean -
Tropical Cyclone Mahasen was located approximately 151 nm southeastward of Kolkata, India.

In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical storm Alvin was located about 700 mi (1125 km) S of Manzanillo, Mexico. Alvin is expected to become a hurricane by Friday.

Cyclone Mahasen strikes Bangladesh - Mahasen hit Bangladesh's southern coast, killing at least five. Hundreds of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Myanmar [Burma] were ordered Wednesday to move to safety as the cyclone barrelled towards low-lying coastal areas. A U.N. agency is warning that more than 4 million people could be in danger.
Cyclone Mahasen buffeted Bangladesh's low-lying coast on Thursday, bearing down on the ports of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, as tens of thousands of people huddled in shelters. Winds of up to 100 kph (60 mph) lashed the coast and whipped up waves, with an expected 2.1 metres (seven foot) storm surge and heavy rain likely to cause widespread flooding.
Media reports said five people were killed, some by falling trees, and thousands of rickety huts were destroyed as the storm brought torrential rain. "We have shifted most of the people who are vulnerable." About 1 million people had been moved into hundreds of cyclone shelters. "We had to force some because they refused to leaves their homes."
Bangladesh, where storms have in the past killed many people, has more than 1,400 cyclone-proof buildings. Witnesses said low-lying coastal areas were covered in waist-deep water as the storm crossed and trees were uprooted and houses damaged. There are also fears of a storm surge. Bangladesh raised its storm warning to seven, on a scale up to 10, as Mahasen approached. All schools, colleges and some hotels have been declared cyclone shelters. These centres are crowded and people are still rushing in.
The storm earlier killed at least seven people and displaced 3,881 in Sri Lanka as it tracked across the Bay of Bengal towards Bangladesh. Meteorologists said Mahasen should weaken quickly into a tropical rain depression over land. "Mudslides will also be a concern as the heavy rain spreads farther north and east on Thursday night and Friday into easternmost India and northern Myanmar."
Distrustful Rohingya resist cyclone evacuation in Myanmar - A massive evacuation to clear low-lying camps ahead of a cyclone has run into a potentially deadly snag as many members of the displaced Rohingya minority living there have refused to leave because they don't trust Myanmar authorities. Information about the threat posed by the cyclone has been patchy at best. The government admits there are no cyclone shelters in Rakhine state, and moving Rohingyas into solid buildings risks provoking the anger of the Buddhist population.
One volunteer told me they had managed to hire six non-military trucks to try to persuade the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to leave. But even if they agree, far more trucks are needed. IDPs at the Nget Chaung camp in Pauktaw, which is very exposed to the storm, decided to organise their own evacuation. This led to the accident on Monday night in which more than 50 IDPs drowned when their boat capsized.
Most of the nearly 8,000 inhabitants of Nget Chaung have now moved themselves to another, smaller camp, but there is not enough shelter. The remaining 1,000 IDPs are seeking refuge in a mosque, though that is probably too small for them.

The first tropical storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season has formed off the coast of Mexico. Tropical Storm Alvin formed Wednesday and is no threat to land. Alvin looks well organized on satellite images, especially for a 35 kt tropical storm.


United Kingdom - Snow fell across parts of Britain Tuesday night while another area had a MONTH'S WORTH OF RAIN IN JUST 24 HOURS as winds of up to 65mph battered the country’s coastlines in UNUSUAL WEATHER for the month.
Up to 3 inches of snow fell in Princetown in Dartmoor, Devon, Rhayader in Powys, and Newcastle-on-Clun in Shropshire – while Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, had 3 inches of rain in the 24 hours. ‘It’s crazy. Last night I couldn’t see out of my front window for the snow. I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never known weather like it at this time of year.’
The southern coast was hit hardest last night with police in Devon and Cornwall reporting slates coming off roofs and trees blocking roads, as rain lashed across much of the country. In Devon and Cornwall hundreds of homes were left without electricity. Residents were also bracing themselves for floods – with 14 separate alerts in place across the two counties. The Isles of Scilly bore the brunt of the Atlantic gales but freak snow flurries were reported in Exmoor and Dartmoor, where residents said the conditions were more like mid-winter than May.