**Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.5 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
Yesterday, 3/18/14 -
5.0 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.9 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.1 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.0 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
New Zealand - Quake stress creates the 'new vulnerable'. Middle-aged Cantabrians living previously comfortable lives have been identified as a new at-risk group for post-earthquake stress.
"Secondary stressors" - including insurance woes, living in a damaged environment and loss of recreational facilities - had replaced aftershocks and safety fears as the biggest concerns. An area of focus was the "new vulnerable" - a group aged between 35 and 49 whose lives were previously "under control". They were unlikely to have sought support from social agencies in the past.
"Prior to the quakes, they had ordered, easy lives, and they've become much more disordered because they may have had to move, their jobs may have become more difficult [or] may have had insurance issues." There is a "significant group of people whose lives are very difficult and frustrating". Their exact numbers could not be determined.
"There's a concept that previously vulnerable people in society were often linked up with support agencies and they knew how to ask for support. There's this new group of people who haven't needed support before and we've never really had to work out how we get them support and assistance."
A disaster recovery psychologist said the complexity of post-disaster stress was "hard for people to grasp". "We have to be cautious about simple measures of vulnerability, and this particular disaster has got so many issues to do with the rebuild that are essentially out of people's hands. In many other disasters, it's fundamentally up to the people."
Minor aggravations, including traffic and damaged roads, could snowball by creating more "work time". "It's this loss of leisure that I think really puts people in a very stressed lifestyle because they can never come down. When people are in routine they can have the constant periods when they can unwind." Because the new vulnerable were not used to seeking help they risked "not doing anything", which added to the stress. "They don't get found either because they think they have to sit it out and don't think they do have options."
Identifying them was a "bloody difficult job". "How do you connect with these people, apart from going to every individual household?"
TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.
No current tropical storms.
Australia - Wild weather could be on way as Hadi spins back. The Mackay region could be in for some more wild weather later this week. While nothing is certain, the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting ex-Tropical Cyclone Hadi will spin its way back towards the east coast over the next few days.
The former tropical cyclone would most likely approach the coast late tomorrow or Friday. "We are still unsure whether it will form back into a cyclone. At this stage ex-Tropical Cyclone Hadi will remain as a tropical low." Yesterday, the Bureau said the low was south of the Solomon Islands and moving west.
A potential cyclone entered the Philippine area of responsibility before dawn on Wednesday. A low pressure area (LPA) was spotted 845 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 4 a.m. The LPA entered PAR at 2 a.m. and was moving west-northwest at 19 kilometers per hour. The LPA still has a slim chance of developing into a tropical cyclone. The LPA is forecast to bring cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms to Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Mindanao.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
The California rainy season is close to its end. Rain-bearing low pressure systems typically stop bringing heavy rains to the state by mid-April, as the jet stream shifts to the north in its usual springtime migration.
With no rain in the forecast for the next seven days, and the 16-day GFS forecast showing mostly light rains affecting the northern portion of the state 8 - 16 days from now, California has likely seen at least 90% of the precipitation that it’s going to get this anemic rainy season.
That’s a huge concern for a state suffering through its worst winter drought conditions in recorded history, and Sierra snow pack and reservoir levels near record lows. This year’s drought could well be a harbinger of the future, as climate change is expected to cause increased water availability problems in California. The state is going to have to find new sources of water in the future to support its growing population.
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