Archive | Climate/Weather

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.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Environment, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

earthquake-and-flooding

Amid Flood Disaster in Trinidad & Tobago, Earthquakes Hit

An aerial view of the flooding in sections of Trinidad (left) and the location
of one of two quakes that struck off the twin-island republic over the weekend.


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday October 22, 2018
– Two earthquakes struck off Trinidad and Tobago within 24 hours over the weekend, as the twin-island republic was dealing with massive flooding that caused destruction in some sections of the country and led Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to declare a national disaster.

There were no reports of any injuries as a result of the quakes, however.

According to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre, the first, smaller one occurred on Saturday, around 4:41 p.m. That magnitude 4.2 tremor struck 92 km south of Barbados’ capital, Bridgetown; 166 km northeast of Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago; and 191 km southeast of Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Then on Sunday afternoon, at approximately 12:35 p.m., a 5.1 magnitude quake was recorded 78 km northeast of Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago; 161 km northeast of Arima, Trinidad and Tobago; and 181 km northeast of the capital, Port of Spain.

 

In both instances, there were reports of residents of Trinidad and Tobago feeling the tremor. But the focus there was on the massive flooding that resulted from days of heavy rainfall that started on Friday.

Works Minister Rohan Sinanan said the country had received the equivalent of one month’s rainfall in a three-day period.

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Several homes were flooded out, and residents were trapped on roofs and on top partially-submerged vehicles as they sought to escape the rising flood waters.

Some of the severe flooring stemmed from the overflowing of the Caroni River.

Both disaster officials and residents used boats and dinghies to get the marooned residents to safety and deliver food and other supplies to areas inundated by flood waters.

“This is a national disaster, the flooding is quite widespread and quite severe and it is going to cost a lot of money to bring relief to people who have been affected,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said on Saturday after touring some of the affected areas.

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“Notwithstanding whatever shortages we are experiencing we will have to find the resources to help,” he added.

He said he would seek Cabinet’s approval to get TT$25 million (US$3.7 million) to assist those affected by the floods.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Entertainment, Featured, News0 Comments

PM to seek Cabinet approval for flood relief funds

PM to seek Cabinet approval for flood relief funds

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct. 21, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley says he will approach Cabinet for funds to help with flood relief.

Rowley was speaking during a joint media conference on Saturday

“I would speak ahead of the Cabinet here and indicate that I would ask Cabinet to approve and authorize TT$25 million initially to assist persons who may require assistance from the treasury. We will ensure that this money is well spent and is spent as quickly as possible on those persons who have been affected,” he said.

Heavy rainfall over the last few days have resulted in widespread flooding across Trinidad and Tobago.

“This is a national disaster, the flooding is quite widespread and quite severe and it is going to cost a lot of money to bring relief to people who have been affected. Notwithstanding whatever shortages we are experiencing we will have to find the resources to help,”   Rowley said after touring some of the affected areas.

According to the Prime Minister, the Defence Force, especially the Coast Guard and Fire Service have been using small boats going streets to reach residents stranded in their homes.

Meanwhile, there are no re­ports of fa­tal­i­ties as a re­sult of the floods in sections of the twin island republic.

During a press conference on Saturday, National Security Minister   Stu­art Young  made the state­ment in reference to information being circulated on  so­cial me­dia.

He told reporters that  fake in­for­ma­tion be­ing cir­cu­lat­ed on­line has caused first re­spon­ders to di­vert at­ten­tion from af­fect­ed ar­eas.

Young has also mobilised    the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) to conduct an aerial reconnaissance .

The ODPM says the adverse weather situation will continue until Sunday and urged motorists to seek alternative routes where possible and be extremely vigilant of rising flood waters.

“The ODPM appeals to all persons to take the necessary precautions to preserve life and property,” it said, adding that people should also desist from driving or walking through flood waters.

“Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. Vehicles can be swept away or may stall in flood waters,” the agency said.

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Serious flooding in Trinidad and Tobago

Serious flooding in Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct 20, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Saturday said teams were working to rescue people trapped by floods and landslides caused by heavy rains here over the past 48 hours and that the full extent of the damage caused will be revealed as the water subsides in the coming days.

“This is a national disaster, the flooding is quite widespread and quite severe and it is going to cost a lot of money to bring relief to people who have been affected. Notwithstanding whatever shortages we are experiencing we will have to find the resources to help,” Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said after touring some of the affected areas.

The Met Office said that an active ITCZ continues to produce periods of rain/showers and thunderstorm activity which can lead to flash or riverine flooding as well as landslides/landslips in areas so prone. Gusty winds can be experienced in the vicinity of heavy downpours.

Flooding in La Horquetta along the east-west
corridor in Trinidad

Many parts of the country were flooded and there have been widespread reports of landslides and road blocks caused as a result.

While there have so far been no reports of deaths or injuries, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service has issued a “Red Riverine Flood Alert” warning persons to take all precautions to protect life and property.

“Riverine flooding occurs when water levels in a river over-tops its banks and spills into surrounding areas. This type of flooding is more widespread and usually lasts for several days,” the Met office said, adding that currently river levels have exceeded threshold levels and some have already over spilled their banks.

In a statement early Saturday, Prime Minister Rowley said that he had been receiving “timely updates” from the relevant government agencies responsible for spearheading the ongoing rescue operations as well as those coordinating relief efforts in the communities affected by severe flooding.

He said “throughout the night and into this morning the men and women of our protective services and the various Regional Corporations have been working diligently on the ground to respond to this disaster”.

Rowley said that members of the Coast Guard and Defence Force are working to rescue those who are trapped, adding “for those of you who are still stranded I know that patience may be running thin but help is on the way”.

Rowley said that National Security Minister Stuart Young is mobilising with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) to conduct an aerial reconnaissance “so that we can better ascertain the scope of the intervention required.

“The Government through its respective agencies is working to ensure that much-needed resources reach those who require assistance. In the coming days the full extent of the damage will be revealed as the water subsides. Today there are families seeking shelter at community centers and schools,” Rowley said, urging citizens to ‘continue to remain vigilant and heed the warnings and alerts from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management and the Meteorological Office”.

The OPDM said that the adverse weather situation will continue until Sunday and urged motorists to seek alternative routes where possible and be extremely vigilant of rising flood waters.

“The ODPM appeals to all persons to take the necessary precautions to preserve life and property,” it said, adding that people should also desist from driving or walking through flood waters.

“Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. Vehicles can be swept away or may stall in flood waters,” it said.

CMC/rl/ir/2018

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Barbados rocked by 4.2 magnitude earthquake

Barbados rocked by 4.2 magnitude earthquake

by STAFF WRITER

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Oct. 21, CMC – An earthquake with a  magnitude of 4.2 was recorded here on Saturday afternoon but there were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

The Seismic Research centre (SRC) of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West indies (UWI), in Trinidad and Tobago said that the quake occurred at 4.41 p.m. (local time).

It was located Latitude: 12.29N, Longitude: 59.74W with a depth of 60 km.

The SRC said the quake was felt 92 km south of Bridgetown, 166 km north east of Scarborough, Tobago and 191 km south east of Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

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High levels of seismic activity reported at Kick ‘Em Jenny

High levels of seismic activity reported at Kick ‘Em Jenny

While the Caribbean region maintains high lookout for tropical storms and hurricanes during the official hurricane season, volcano serves reminder they are always there…
 

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Oct 2, 2018 – (Adapted) The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center (UWI SRC) on Tuesday reported there have been high levels of seismic activity at the Kick ’em Jenny underwater volcano in the past few days.

Grenada’s National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) said in a statement that since the episode began on the afternoon of September 30, several events have taken place. The largest of those occurred on Monday at 3:24 a.m., 3:35 a.m. and 3:56 a.m. of magnitudes 3.5, 3.5 and 3.3 respectively.

The UWI SRC said it is currently analyzing the data and will update further after complete processing,

NaDMA has informed marine interests and the general public that the threat level at the volcano, located  about five miles north of Grenada, remains at yellow, so the exclusion zone of 1.5 kilometres must continue to be observed.

The yellow alert means “the volcano is restless: seismicity and/or fumarolic activity are above the historical level, or other unusual activity has been observed, or can be expected without warning”.

“NaDMA in collaboration with the UWI SRC will continue to monitor, update and inform as necessary,” the agency said in its statement.

Kick ‘Em Jenny rises 1,300 m (4,265 ft) above the sea floor.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Environment, International, Local, News0 Comments

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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Death toll climbs as Haiti assesses damage caused by earthquakes

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 8, CMC – The death toll has climbed by 15 and more than 300 people injured as Haiti Monday assesses the damage caused by several earthquakes that hit the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country over the last weekend.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said the “partial assessment of the earthquake of October 6, 2018 is 15 dead” and that most of those killed were in Port-de-Paix, north-west of here.

Haitian officials discussing the damage caused by earthquakes.

It said at 333 people were injured and treated in hospitals in the north west and that more than 7,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged.

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday night was followed by several aftershocks, with one registering 5.2 and another 4.2

The DPC said that the quake caused the damage to the central police station of Port-de-Paix and that Civil Protection teams are at work across assessing the damage. It has called on people to keep calm and not to rely on rumours.

President Jovenel  Moise, accompanied by several ministers including Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant has visited several areas devastated by the quake.

Meanwhile, CARICOM countries are expressing sympathy and condolences to the government of Haiti as a result of the quake, the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010 when the country was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude quake that left more than 220,000 people dead and over 300,000 injured.

St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has called on citizens to keep the people of Haiti in “all our thoughts and prayers.

“Right now the fear is that there will be strong aftershocks. These are our brothers and sisters in Haiti who have suffered immensely and are now living in fear and this may create panic. We also know that the people of Haiti are still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake.

“We must continue to offer support where we can, especially at the OECS and CARICOM levels. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims and to those injured in this most recent earthquake,” he said in a statement.

The Bahamas government said it is in contact with The Bahamas’ Embassies in Haiti and Cuba as it relates to the safety of Bahamians.

“Initial reports from our Embassies indicate that Bahamians residing in Haiti and Cuba are safe.  Further, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has extended sincere sympathy to the Republic of Haiti following the devastating impact of this tragic event. The Ministry will endeavour to inform the general public of new developments relating to this issue as deemed necessary,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The United States has also indicated a willingness to assist as it send condolences to all affected in Haiti.

“The United States and Haiti are strategic partners and friends, and we stand ready to assist in the relief effort, if requested,” Washington said.

 

Posted in Earthquake, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Earthquake kills at least 10, injures more than 100, then minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

Earthquake kills at least 10, injures more than 100, then minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 7, CMC – At least 10 people were killed and several others injured after an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rocked northwest Haiti on Saturday night, officials have confirmed.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said that the quake was felt across several parts of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and that it created panic in several cities.

The DPC said that most of the deaths occurred in Port-de-Paix , north west of here, where seven bodies had been found and three others in the Gros Morne.

It said at least 135 people have been injured and taken to hospitals. “Many houses are destroyed or damaged,” it said.

The DPC said that rescue teams are working across the country especially in the north west where two slight aftershocks have been felt since.

“The Directorate of Civil Protection invites people to keep calm and not to rely on rumours. The earthquake did not require the launch of a tsunami warning,” the DPC said in a statement.

The DPC said that the 10 people killed after they were caught in collapsed buildings and that the earthquake shook the island late Saturday night.

“I urge the population to keep calm, following the passage of the earthquake whose epicenter is located in the northwest coast,” President Jovenel Moïse posted on Twitter.

‘The (disaster) risk management system and the regional branches of the Civil Protection are on standby to assist the inhabitants of the affected areas,” he added.

The earthquake occurred about 12 miles north of Port-de-Paix in northwest Haiti.

In 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 killed an estimated 160,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking country.

 

On Sunday, rescue  teams in Haiti were working to provide relief in the aftermath of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked sections of the country late Saturday.

According Secretary of State for Communications Eddy Jackson Alexis, a preliminary report indicated that 11 people had died and 135  injured.

It’s reported that seven people died in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix and three people died in the community of Gros-Morne in the province of Artibonite.

The injured are being treated at medical centers in the northern part of the country.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. Saturday (local time) and was centered 12 miles  northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles  from here.

The quake was 7.3 miles below the surface.

The tremor was also felt in the neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba.

The civil protection agency issued a statement saying that some houses were destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island.

Haiti President Jovenel Moise said civil protection brigades were working to clear debris and help victims. He also said the government had sent water and food.

Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is especially vulnerable to earthquakes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

In 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 killed an estimated 160,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking country.

Haiti rattled by several aftershocks

Haiti, Oct 8, CMC – An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale rattled Haiti during the early hours of Monday, less than 48 hours after one killed 12 people and left more than 150 others injured.

The quake occurred at 1.04 am (local time) and was located 17 kilometers (km) north of Turtle Island, 32 km north-west of Port-de-Paix. It had a depth of 10 km.

Destruction caused by earthquake in Haiti last Saturday

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

On Sunday, Turtle Island was also rocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of .5.2. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the aftershock was located 9.8 miles north-northwest of Port-de-Paix.

Officials say the quakes are aftershocks from Saturday’s deadly 5.9 tremor that as felt across several parts of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and that it created panic in several cities.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said that at least 12 people were confirmed dead and 188 injured and that most of the deaths occurred in Port-de-Paix , north west of here. It said that rescue teams are working across the country especially in the north west.

Meanwhile, the United Nations says it is prepared to assist the French-speaking Caribbean country following the earthquakes.

In a statement, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he ‘is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the earthquake in north-west Haiti on 6 October”.

The UN chief extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of Haiti.

“The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of Haiti in the response efforts,” the statement noted.

Saturday night’s quake is the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010, when the country was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude temblor, which killed more than 100,000 people.

Minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct. 8, CMC – An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.6 was felt in sections of the island late Sunday.

The United States Geological Survey says that the earthquake, with its epicenter west northwest of Hope Bay in the eastern parish of Portland was felt in the neighboring parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew and St Thomas.

There have been no reports of injuries or damages.

This is the third tremor to rock sections of the island in recent weeks.

Last month, two minor earthquakes were recorded.

This earthquake follows a 5.9 magnitude tremor   in Haiti on Saturday that left 11 dead and more than 30 injured .

Posted in Earthquake, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

St Lucia to host two events on impact of climate change

St Lucia to host two events on impact of climate change


by staff writer 

CASTRIES, St. Lucia Oct 6, CMC – St. Lucia will host the first Forum of the Caribbean Nationally Determined Contributions Finance Initiative (NDC FI) later this month.

The October 11-12 initiative is one of two events being held here to raise public awareness on the impacts of climate change.

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission said that an exhibition under the theme “Building Resilience on the Frontlines of Climate Change” is being organized in collaboration with the European Union and the Department of Sustainable Development of the St. Lucia government.

It said the gallery will highlight the role of biodiversity and other factors in climate mitigation.

The exhibition coincides with the NDC FI that is being convened under the theme “Caribbean Climate Leadership: Accelerating NDC Implementation”.

The organisers said that the objectives of the forum are to generate a roadmap for NDC implementation and investment until 2020 as well as identify and validate key NDC investment sectors/sub-sectors.

The forum is also intended to address implementation barriers and processes for updating NDCs, linking them with national needs for mitigation, adaptation and their co-benefits; establish a process for project pipeline development and matchmaking with potential investors and to identify and engage development partners to support NDC implementation.

The organisers said it is hoped that the forum will establish a network of sector experts, development partners, potential investors and other stakeholders with a view to building new partnerships and catalyzing investments.

The two day event will be attended by government ministers and experts from the nine-member OECS and the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries as well as representatives of regional institutions ; development partner organisations and the the regional and international private sectors.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

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