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Hawaiian Island Vanishes Overnight

It is slowly being accepted, the term ‘Climate Change’ with the further acceptance of the scientific explanation that earth continues to evolve. Makes for interesting education, discussions and debates, especially among students, scientists and yes, politicians. What is real is that ‘preparations’ must take place to deal with the effects on mankind.

LiveScience

A hurricane has wiped a Hawaiian island completely off the map.

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East Island, a tiny speck of land in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in northwest Hawaii, was washed away by Hurricane Walaka on Oct. 3 and 4, Honolulu Civic Beat reported Tuesday (Oct. 23). The island had been a critical nesting site for threatened Hawaiian green sea turtlesand critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals, biologists told the news organization. 

“There’s no doubt that it was the most important single islet for sea turtle nesting,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) biologist Charles Littnan told Civic Beat.

East Island was a mere 11 acres (0.04 square kilometers) in area. Between 1944 and 1952, it hosted a small Coast Guard station, but the island has otherwise been a haven for wildlife, ranging from albatross to turtles and seals. Satellite imagery has confirmed the island’s demise, but a marine debris team will be headed to the area to survey the damage this week, the Civic Beat reported.

Researchers told Civic Beat that the island’s seals and turtles had left the island after their breeding season but before the hurricane struck. It’s unclear, so far, whether they’ll find a new haven on one of the nearby shoals.

“Species are resilient up to a point,” Littnan told Civic Beat. “But there could be a point in the future where that resilience isn’t enough anymore.”

The Hawaiian green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a genetically distinct species of green sea turtle found almost exclusively around Hawaii, according to NOAA. They are legally protected under Hawaiian law and the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and those protections have resulted in a 53 percent increase in population since the late 1970s. Their primary nesting grounds are the French Frigate Shoals, including the former East Island.

The Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi), which used East Island as breeding grounds, are in a more precarious position. These seals are found only in Hawaii, and despite their protections as a critically endangered species, their numbers are still declining, according to NOAA. Only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals are left in the wild, NOAA estimates. A couple hundred of those call the French Frigate Shoals home, Littnan told Civic Beat. And of those, about 30 percent were born on East Island.

The shoal was the victim of bad luck, given the storm’s direct hit. But researchers told Civic Beat that Walaka was strengthened by warmer-than-average ocean waters, a trend scientists predict will only worsen as the globe warms.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Hurricane Michael Is Officially More Powerful than Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Michael Is Officially More Powerful than Hurricane Katrina

Live Science

Hurricane Michael Is Officially More Powerful than Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Michael is seen from space just before landfall.

Credit: NASA

Hurricane Michael made an “unprecedented” landfall on the northern Gulf coast of Florida Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 10). Just as it came ashore, meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) released data showing that the rapidly strengthening storm made landfall as the third-strongest hurricane in continental U.S. history. It edged out Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf coast in 2005.

When meteorologists talk about the power of hurricanes, they talk about barometric pressure, not wind speed. A hurricane is an intense low-pressure system, and, as National Geographic reported in 2015, the extent of atmospheric-pressure drop in the storm is the best meteorological proxy for the storm’s overall strength and intensity.

Katrina made landfall in 2005 with a pressure reading of 920 millibars (about 8 percent lower than the average 1,000 mb air pressure at sea level), according to the NHC. The final recording from inside Michael before landfall was one tick lower: 919 mb. Two hurricanes in history have made landfall in the continental U.S. with lower pressures: Camille, which carved up the Mississippi coast at 900 mb in 1969, and the Labor Day storm that struck southern Florida at a peak intensity of 892 mb in 1935.

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St. Lucia back to normal after scare from Tropical Storm Kirk , earthquake

St. Lucia back to normal after scare from Tropical Storm Kirk , earthquake

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Sept 28, CMC – St. Lucia was returning to normal on Friday after Tropical Storm Kirk drenched the island with heavy rains and winds, causing electricity blackouts in some areas as a result of trees falling on power lines.

The director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Velda Joseph, in a statement, said that the organisation had been in contact with the St. Lucia Meteorological Services and other relevant parties and that the tropical storm warning for the island had been lifted.

Velda Joseph

“In that regard normal operations would resume at 1.00 pm (local time) today That applies to the private sector as well as the public sector,” she said. The authorities had already indicated that schools would remain closed until Monday.

The NEMO statement gave no details of any damage during the passage of the storm, but the St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCLEC) in a statement said that while the electricity system “held up fairly well…several areas were without power due to trees or branches falling on electricity lines, fallen poles, and a few areas where lines dropped due To the high winds and minor slides”.

It said that power restoration work has begun and some of the areas that were without power on Thursday night have been restored.

“There are still several areas without power, as well as some areas with fallen poles and lines on the ground. LUCELEC advises the public to exercise an abundance of caution and stay away from any downed lines.”

LUCELEC said that “steady progress is being made with power restoration work” and that the expectation is that power should be restored to the majority of the system by the end of the day”.

The telecommunication companies said their system “came through” the storm and that 64 per cent of mobile cell sites were fully operational.

“Those cell sites that are temporarily out of service will be restored once commercial power is reinstated,” Flow said in a statement.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC)  said Kirk was now located 185 miles west south west of the French island of Martinique and that the tropical storm watches and warnings for several Caribbean islands had been discontinued.

It said that the storm has sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (mph) and that there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

“Kirk is moving towards the west-northwest near 13 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Sunday.  On the forecast track, the center of Kirk or its remnants will move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea over the next day or two,” the NHC said, adding that Kirk is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression tonight, and then degenerate into a trough of low pressure on Saturday.

Earlier, St. Lucia was hit by a magnitude 5.6 earthquake but there were no reports of injuries or damages associated with the tremor.

The Seismic Research Unit of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that the earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 hit the island at 8.32 am (local time).

It said the location of the quake was Latitude: 15.11north, Longitude: 60.43 west at a depth of 10 kilometers (km).

The quake was felt 134 km north east of Castries, 108km east south east of Roseau in Dominica and

91 km north east of Fort-de-France, the capital of the French-speaking island of Martinique.

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TS Kirk Image 2018-09-28 at 8.43.15 AM

Update: The possible worst of TS Kirk has passed

Following warnings of caution, Tropical Storm Kirk which was due to pass well south of Montserrat, at 7.00 a.m., overnight had taken a dip to the south as it continued its westward journey. It was located Latitude: 13.5, Longitude:- 63, still with a windspeed of 50 mph and heading west, traveling 12 mph.

The reported forecast from Storm Tracks for TS Kirk as it moves into the middle of the Caribbean Sea is to continue on its westerly course at 50 mph.

 

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Canadian firm to construct hundreds of new houses in Dominica

Canadian firm to construct hundreds of new houses in Dominica

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept 24, CMC – The Canadian-based Montreal Management Consultations Est. (MMCE) LTD will construct more than 300 houses here across the island over the coming months as the battered hurricane island continues its efforts to become the world’s first climate resilient country.

MMCE project manager, Chris Timmins, speaking at the signing ceremony here on Monday, said that the project would entail the construction of 66 units in each of the several communities like La Plaine, San Sauveur, Grand Fond, Castle Bruce and Delices on the east coast in the first instance.

Financial Secretary, Rosemund Edwards and the MMCE
chief executive officer, Dr. Anthony Haiden signing agreement.

He said in the northern area of Picard, 68 units are under construction and that a further 68 are to be built in Cotton Hill.

“We are also at City Square which is due to start in the final quarter of this year. It is a total unit, including commercial of 125 units,” Trimmins said after the contracts were signed between the Financial Secretary Financial Secretary, Rosemund Edwards and MMCe chief executive officer, Dr. Anthony Haiden.

Trimmins told the ceremony that following the passage of Hurricane Maria last year that left a trail of death and destruction, revisions had to be made of the intimal housing project in Bellview Chopin, south of here.

“Castle Bruce is scheduled to be completed by June 2019, while everything on the east coast will be completed and handed over. In Georgetown, Picard we anticipate and are confident in July 2019. Cotton Hill we are comfortable in September 2019,” he said.

“The Roseau City Square, it will be twelve months from commencement, so given the present status, we anticipate the completion no later than December 2019,” Timmins said, adding that the units will comprise 10 one-bedrooms, 55 two-bedrooms, 35 three-bedroom units and 25 commercial units.

“We are proud of our products. We have been on the island now for two years, we started up in Bellevue on residential construction in May 2017,” he said, adding “we feel that we now are in a position to offer to the country the most resilient product that is available with modern technology”.

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One year later, Chief Minister pleased with progress after Hurricane Irma

One year later, Chief Minister pleased with progress after Hurricane Irma

By Kenton X. Chance

THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Sept 24, CMC — Chief Minister Victor Banks says he is pleased with the progress this British Overseas Territory has made in the year since it was impacted by Hurricane Irma that also  devastated a number of other Caribbean countries.

“I am extremely satisfied. I think we have done extremely well in Anguilla with the recovery process, as opposed to a number of other places that are still suffering as a result of it,” Banks told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

Chief Minister Victor Banks (CMC Photo)

Irma was the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region and claimed at least 130 lives as it made its way through the Lesser Antilles last September. The storm left USS64.76 billion in damage, making it the fifth-costliest tropical cyclone on record.

But one year later, Banks was happy to report that the electricity grid in Anguilla and the island’s telecommunications services were operating again.

“… the schools, have plans in place for reconstruction and rehabilitation, the port facilities at Blowing Point are being restored, the building has not started yet but we have put in place some temporary arrangements that we are improving on, as we speak, for the tourism season — a much more permanent temporary arrangement than the ones we have now in preparation for the construction of a state of the art terminal building in that area,” he told CMC.

The airport, an important piece of infrastructure in this tourism-dependent nation, is functional and is preparing to accept night flights.

“So, generally, I think that we have come a long way, restored ourselves to a level of normalcy,” Banks said, adding “the community is getting it together.

“Homes are being rebuilt, repaired and there are still a small group of persons, especially persons who had challenges with their homes even before hurricane Irma that we still have to provide assistance for,” he said, adding that Hurricane Irma was the most severe weather event of recorded history to make landfall.

“It was a Category 5 and being a part of the experience myself, I know the winds were gusting. It has been recorded way over 185 miles per hour (mph). Some persons have reported somewhere in the region of 210 mph.”

Banks said he was grateful that the storm was a fast-moving one, passing over the 91 km square island, which is approximately 16 miles long by three miles wide, in six to seven hours.

The 70-year-old politician said that other storms have taken up to 12 and as much as 18 hours to pass over the island.

“The impact of it in Anguilla was mainly in terms of the destruction of homes and destruction of the utility distribution system. Twenty-five per cent of the electricity poles were down, but, in addition to that, there was damage to the electricity distribution network, the wiring and so on, in various areas of the island, to the extent that we were without electricity for many, many months.”

Electricity was restored to the entire island in December 2017, just three months after the hurricane.

Anguilla relies heavily on tourism and, for the most part, the hotel plants were severely damaged.

“As a consequence, many of the properties were not able to open before the first quarter of this year. Obviously, with the hotel plants down, being the main provider of employment, some two to three thousand persons were directly affected in that sector, not to mention the businesses that provide services and support for that sector as well.

“So customs revenue being our main source of income and accommodation tax being the other, you would imagine how this would have impacted our economy.”

As regards housing, Banks told CMC that Anguilla was fortunate in that construction is informed by the experience of major hurricanes such as Hurricane Donna in 1960 and Hurricane Louise in 1995.

“The kind destruction that came as a result encouraged persons to build more study homes, so, I would say 75 per cent of the homes in Anguilla have concrete roofing. As a consequence, most of the damage was to windows and doors, and in those cases where there were other forms of roofing, maybe 30 to 40 per cent of those homes were damaged again.”

The road infrastructure was not severely damaged but there are areas where there is need for support, he said, noting that the community and extended families came together and made sure that persons did not remain in emergency shelters for extended periods of time.

Banks, however, said there are a number of persons who still have severe damage to their homes, which they are in the process of rebuilding.

And while, in some cases, the insurance companies, “came out very well and people were able to respond to the damage within a short period of time” there are still instances where the insurers were not as ready in providing support as expected.

“… but there is a definite move to correct that issue and try to find as much support as possible,” Banks said, noting that some persons were not insured and would need assistance from several agencies, including the government, persons in the community, and philanthropic organisations.

“The hotel sector came together and formed a relief fund that supported a number of persons across the island and the government put in place a small programme of assistance for person who would have lost doors, windows and certain other issues impacting their homes, as well as the need for persons who are out of work.”

The Chief Minister said that his administration provided a compensation programme for persons who lost jobs in the hotel sector as a result of Hurricane Irma.

They were provided with support over the last six months after the storm to get them back on track, meet some of their obligations and prepare themselves for the workplace, he said, noting that while the population was generally prepared, he observed that too many persons waited until the last minute to do so.

“The level of preparedness took place over a shorter period than is advisable. I think that we need to put programme for readiness is in place much earlier,” he told CMC.

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TS Kirk 2018-09-27 at 6.37.00 PM

Region urged to track progress of Tropical Storm Kirk

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 27, CMC (Adapted) – A tropical storm warning has been issued for Barbados and St. Lucia after the depression Kirk regenerated into a tropical storm over the Western Tropical Atlantic on Wednesday.

At four o’clock today, Thursday, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Matinique and even Dominica are experiencing effects from the storm, with winds up to 50 miles per hour. Montserrat seemed to be outside the band of expected effects, but it could experience rain and even some winds, depending on the structure of the storm.

Yesterday, the report was that a tropical storm watch has been into effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines as Kirk, with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, is located 470 miles east of Barbados and 595 miles east south east of the French island of Martinique.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in its 5.00 am (local time) bulletin, said the center of the storm was located near latitude 11.8 North, longitude 52.7 West and is moving toward the west near 18 mph.

The NHC said that a westward to west-northwestward motion is expected through Friday night and that on the forecast track, Kirk is expected to approach Barbados and the northern Windward Islands Thursday afternoon and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Friday morning.

It said that the winds could strengthen as Kirk moves through the central Lesser Antilles Thursday afternoon and evening. Rapid weakening is expected on Friday after Kirk emerges over theCaribbean Sea.

The NHC said that tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area by Thursday afternoon, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

“Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by Thursday afternoon or evening,” it said, adding that Kirk is expected to produce total rainfall totals of four to six inches with maximum totals of 10 across the northern Windward and southern Leeward Islands from Barbados and St. Lucia northward across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.

“These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

September is usually the peak month for Atlantic hurricanes, recording more hurricanes in that basin than any other month on record. The hurricane season ends on November 30.

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RFA Mounts Bay was helped out in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma. This year its regular civilian crew will be joined by 87 specialists

UK deploys experts to help with storm threats

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sep. 13, CMC  (Adapted) – The United Kingdom has deployed a team of specialists to the Caribbean to help mitigate the impact of impending storms threatening British Overseas territories.

According to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, 87 engineers, medics, maritime experts and other specialists have joined the regular crew of RFA Mounts Bay, which is the mobile hub of the British relief effort.

RFA Mounts Bay

He added that approximately 1,000 personnel are deployed or being held at high-readiness for if further storms head towards the region.

“I want to assure everyone in our Overseas Territories that our Armed Forces have been pre-positioned in the region and are absolutely prepared to help,” Williamson said. “We will be there to support during this hurricane season while still helping those whose lives were devastated by Irma and Maria to rebuild their lives and homes.”

Last September, several homes were  destroyed and infrastructure decimated when Hurricane Irma and Maria, two of the most powerful hurricanes for decades, hit the region back-to-back .

As well as being able to carry vital aid and equipment, RFA Mounts Bay will use the Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter on board to provide aerial support. RFA Mounts Bay is one of three Landing Ship Docks in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) troop, consisting of Royal Engineers from the British Army and Royal Marines, have been training with their French counterparts in Martinique to ensure they are fully prepared.

This training is part of a six-month deployment to the region for hurricane season, while RFA Mounts Bay also carried out a significant HADR exercise in July.

Some islands are expected to be impacted by Tropical Storm Issac on Thursday, raising concerns about the physical damage it could wreak.

RFA Mounts Bay was helped out in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma. This year its regular civilian crew will be joined by 87 specialists
 
The RFA Mounts Bay visted Montserrat on Friday after the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac from 12 p.m. on Friday September 14. A release from the Governor’s office had advised: “The officials from the ship will be meeting with local stakeholders and members of the MOD who are currently on island a part of the UK’s Hurricane response efforts to the region. The media are ‘united’ (invited) to a huddle with officials at Little Bay playing field before the departure of Mounts Bay. This is scheduled from 14.30 to 15.00 pm. 
 
From RFA Mounts Bay Retweets, following the visit
 

BrigJohnRidge

BrigJohnRidge
 
@BrigJohnRidge
 
Mounts Bay tweeted: The Montserrat JFHQ team carrying out a last minute check on the turtles at the sanctuary and the full Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team back in the UK ready for whatever we are asked to do next. It was great to see the people of#Montserrat again today. A fleeting visit whilst MNTS is in the area on standby during this Core Hurricane Season. MNTS has now resumed our previous tasking however will remain in striking distance the OTs until November.
Below are some images of the visit
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnEmxJdWwAIL7AH.jpghttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnEmxJoX4AEYsB0.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnEmxJYXsAAOJ7L.jpg

BrigJohnRidge
BrigJohnRidge
 
@BrigJohnRidge
 

Captain and

@CommandoCaribb1

from

@RFAMountsBay

visiting

@UKinMontserrat

Deputy Premier, Director of Disaster Management and other representatives of #Montserrat Goverment

 

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TS Isaac - Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac closes down Montserrat?

NOTICE

Cabinet has taken a decision to close all schools and government offices at 12 noon today for the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac. The private sector is also encouraged to close their businesses at 12 noon today as well, especially those with parents who have school-aged children.

According to Major Alvin Ryan, Interim Director at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), although, tropical storm conditions on Montserrat are not expected to get significantly worst, they are not anticipated to improve before 3 pm today and significant rainfall activity is forecast for this afternoon. Therefore, Mr Ryan says to err on the side of caution, all schools, government offices be closed at mid-day and the private sector is encouraged to do likewise.

By B. Roach

As The Montserrat Reporter is not obliged to carry ‘notices’ provided to us merely as information with no request for ‘paid’ publication which then obliges us, we cannot help but editorialise on what we consider to be poor decisions made without due regard for the economic status of the country. We of course regard this merely as a Notice to us, not otherwise, but find it aggravating. Oh for several reasons, not all mentioned here!

The very nature of the NDPRAC statement outlining the status of TS (Tropical Storm) Isaac suggests “to err on the side of caution’ is very questionable as to the understanding of the information available from all sorts of sources.

Along with what they are saying, for those concerned a constant look at the www.themontserratreporter.com does provide simple guide and information to the weather status affecting Montserrat from www.AccuWeather.com. We use also additional sources. There you will find hourly weather situations. E.g. Today, unlike earlier in the forecasts which promised possible thunderstorms etc. it shows showers and cloudy conditions from time to time into the evening. Tomorrow a national day of mourning , the passing of former CM Bertrand Osborne – is a holiday.

The question when all other circumstances, including ‘official’ forecasts should this encourage our government to take a decision to close down the country for the rest of the day, when the possible worst would have past. (See diagrams here).

current information:

Center location already west of the most affected islands, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe

TS Isaac – Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM – (See Montserrat outside the ball of activity!

These decisions are so symptomatic of the miserable state Montserrat has evolved into the over the past several years. Unfortunately, we see this situation as continuing for some time, throughout this decade, already too long especially as one listens to the ongoing discussions regarding an inquiry invoked by the UK Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) into the UK’s future relationship with the OT’s. We will later inform of some 11-year-olds opinion on the matter.

And also the ill-advised and misguided, unprepared and bad futuristic calls being made these days.

l8r…

 

 

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Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac (Update)

by Bennette Roach

TS Isaac Image 2018-09-12

Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

The National Disaster Preparedness Response Advisory Committee (NDPRAC) met today, Tuesday September 11th, 2018 to review Montserrat’s preparedness for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles late on Wednesday night, (chain of Islands from Grenada north to the BVI).

In a release from the NDPRAC it says: “The Antigua Meteorological Service (with responsibility for Montserrat) has placed Montserrat on a Tropical Storm Watch and expects the island to be affected by tropical storm force winds.”

“NDPRAC notes that there will be no air and sea access to and from Montserrat on Thursday, September 13th, 2018. Air access is expected to resume on Friday September 14th, 2018, weather permitting, whilst ferry operations are expected to resume on Saturday September 15th, 2018.”

Meanwhile, NDPRAC NDPRAC continues to advise that all residents and visitors secure their properties, businesses and livestock in preparation for the impending storm.

A further update is expected later today when from sources, it is expected they will advise a further downgrading of the storm, but no doubt plans except for schools, government buildings etc. will be firmly determined.

Funeral services for Bertrand Osborne

Meanwhile, funeral and burial plans for Hon. Bertrand Osborne former Chief Minister have been postponed to Saturday.

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