Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Love is like playing the piano.
First you must learn to play by the rules,
then you must forget the rules
and play from your heart.**

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 2/10/14 -

Indonesia - Despite recent eruption, some Mt. Sinabung evacuees going home. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency is sticking to its plan to send home evacuees living beyond a 5-kilometer radius from Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, despite the eruption last week that killed 16 people.
The agency has been given the green light by the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center to go ahead with the repatriation, which was scheduled to start Sunday. There are 17 evacuated villages located 5 km from the volcano, which has been erupting since September 2013. For the first phase, the BNPB will send home evacuees living in four villages, namely Batu Karang, Rimo Kayu, Cimbang and Ujung Payung.
Each head of the family had been allowed to go home a few days ago to clean up their houses. As of Sunday, the total number of evacuees reached 32,351 or 9,991 families in 42 shelters across the regency. The evacuees come from 32 villages and 2 hamlets. People from the 15 villages and two hamlets within 5 km of the volcano are still forbidden from returning home.
“Residents in the 15 villages and two hamlets still have to stay at shelters," as the Mt. Sinabung eruptions were still frequent. “All activity within the 5-km radius is still restricted due to the high intensity of volcanic activities.” The ongoing eruptions have forced the agency to extend the emergency relief period to Feb. 15. Last week, after a lull during which people dared approach the volcano, Mt. Sinabung erupted, killing 16 and injuring one. The 17 victims, mostly students, reportedly wanted to see the crater up close.
Prior eruptions had caused the death of 31 residents and destroyed thousands of hectares of agricultural land in the regency, which is a major vegetable and fruit producer. The eruptions have caused total losses of more than Rp 1 trillion (US$82 million) in the agricultural and housing sectors.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Fobane is located approximately 646 nm east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius.


UK floods - Flooded homes along the River Thames are being evacuated and thousands more are at risk, with water levels expected to keep rising for the next 24 hours. Residents in one Berkshire village say the scenes are from a "horror movie". Fourteen severe flood warnings are in place in Berkshire and Surrey, while two remain in Somerset.
Homes, shops and businesses in the Berkshire village of Datchet are underwater and hundreds more along the lower River Thames, as far as Shepperton, are under threat. Several Thames gauges are showing their HIGHEST LEVELS since being installed in the 1980s and 90s. Fire crews, who have been rescuing people from their homes in Staines-upon-Thames, say they have never known waters so deep or a flood rescue operation on this scale.
On Monday night, Surrey Police said more than 150 people had been rescued from flooded homes in the previous 24 hours. "We've got 50 volunteers here, we've got the vulnerable people out of their homes, now we need to get everyone else out." Thames Valley Police have declared a "major incident" in east Berkshire. A major incident has also been declared in Surrey by the county's police force.
The Environment Agency said they expected conditions in the county to deteriorate as more rain fell over the coming days. "We have issued flood warnings from Datchet down to Shepperton, and we urge people to take heed of the flood warnings. We are anticipating another three or four inches on the Thames over the next 24 hours." The Environment Agency said it HAD NEVER ISSUED AS MANY SEVERE FLOOD WARNINGS and that many areas had seen more than double their average rainfall. The Environment Agency has issued 14 severe warnings - meaning "danger to life" - along the River Thames, in areas including Staines, Chertsey and Datchet. Two severe warnings are in place for the South West of England in Salt Moor and East Lyng, in Somerset.
Railway lines have also been badly affected with passengers facing severe delays. Trains between Staines and Windsor and Eton have been cancelled until at least Thursday. The main route into and out of Devon and Cornwall, via Bridgwater, has been cut off by floods and storm damage. Network Rail says it is concerned about 400 to 500 railway sites. Normally, at this time of year, it would be about a dozen. It is also warning that problems on the rail network could last for some months.
Large parts of Worcester city centre could be closed for a week because of flooding. An earth bank has been built to protect the town of Bridgwater, on the edge of the Somerset Levels, from flooding. More than 300 less serious warnings and alerts have been issued by the Environment Agency, mostly in southern England and the Midlands. Rain and strong winds were expected to hit areas already affected by flooding on Tuesday. It is expected to start raining on the Somerset Levels at between 2am and 3am, with 10-20mm falling widely and as much as 30mm in some areas.
The band of rain is due to approach the Severn basin by dawn on Tuesday and the Thames areas around the time of the morning rush hour. Wednesday will bring wintery showers, gale force winds and heavy rain in parts of south and west England, with gusts of over 70mph expected in Devon and Cornwall. There is a "high risk that the Thames, the Severn and the Wye will flood in the middle of the week". But extra efforts were being made to deal with the problem. (flood map, videos & photos at link)

Australia - Major flooding forecast for the Pilbara. The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting that a tropical low will cause moderate to major flooding in Nullagine, Newman and Marble Bar, in the Pilbara. The tropical low was expected to form into a cyclone after crossing the Kimberley and causing flooding in Kununurra. But the system took a more southerly track, staying over land and not reaching cyclone intensity.
Now the tropical low is expected to produce falls of up to 200 millimetres in the upper areas of the De Grey River catchment. The Pilbara has already received widespread rainfall this wet season, which increases the risk of flooding. "Most of the area will find moderate floods, and also there's the potential for major floods, depending on where that really heavy rainfall will end up." The Department of Emergency Services have issued an alert for major flooding in the area, and are asking people in the area to avoid driving through floodwater, prepare a relocation kit and to stay up to date with road closures and the latest information.


U.S. - A storm bringing heavy ice and snow to the interior South Tuesday and Wednesday will reach the Northeast Wednesday night and Thursday with disruptions to travel and daily activities. The same storm disrupting flights at the major hubs of Atlanta, Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., in the South will take affect the Northeast before Valentine's Day. Airports from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston will experience trouble with this storm.
Flight delays and cancellations are possible throughout much of the nation well away from the storm, due to aircraft and crews being displaced. A swath of heavy snow is projected by AccuWeather.com to reach from portions of western and central Virginia, the West Virginia mountains and northern Maryland to southeastern and central Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, southeastern New York and central New England.
"The exact track of the storm after it finishes its run through the South will determine whether or not all snow falls on the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to New York City and Boston." If the storm were to shift a bit farther to the east, the zone of heavy snow may center over the I-95 cities in the Northeast and coastal areas. If the storm were to hug the coast, a wintry mix or a change to rain would occur in these same areas due to a surge of warm air from the ocean.
"Either way, it appears there will be a period of accumulating snow in the I-95 corridor, which will be enough to make for slippery roads and travel delays." Even though the storm will move much faster through the Northeast, when compared to the South, it has the potential to bring a foot of snow in a swath north and west of the track of the center of the system. This is most likely in the northern and western suburbs of the I-95 cities in the mid-Atlantic and New England.
The storm could track in such a way that part of the I-95 corridor experiences a change from snow to rain, but temperatures could still remain near freezing. Such a scenario could result in a buildup of ice on top of the snow from the first part of the storm. Inland of the coast, the storm will garner enough wind to cause blowing and drifting snow at the height of the storm, where the precipitation remains all snow.
In any scenario, it appears the storm is now much less likely to swing well offshore. As a result, the storm is not likely spare coastal areas, I-95 cities and their northern and western suburbs from heavy precipitation. Details on the primary form of precipitation along the coast will unfold over the next couple of days. Folks from the I-95 cities to the Appalachians should prepare for a major winter storm at this stage.
For folks looking for a break in the cold and wintry pattern, a change to milder, less stormy weather is possible beginning around Feb. 17 or 18. However, cold weather and storms may once again come back toward the end of the month. (maps at link)

Louisiana - Freezing rain predicted in week four of record breaking cold weather in Avoyelles. The National weather service has more ice in the forecast for Avoyelles. This could be the fourth week in a row they see some form of frozen precipitation here.
The cold weather this winter has SET RECORDS FOR THE MOST DAYS OF FROZEN PRECIPITATION here. The last time Avoyelles saw measurable snowfall was in 2008. The last time there was more than one cold front producing snow in Avoyelles was over 104 years ago. In 1973, there were were three days of sleet and snow, but all during the same week. This week, frozen rain is likely Tuesday evening, if not earlier. There is a 70 percent chance of frozen rain Tuesday night.

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