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Archive for November 19th, 2013

Sardinia Declares a State of Emergency due to Cyclone CLEOPATRA

Posted by feww on November 19, 2013

Cyclone CLEOPATRA Leaves Thousands Displaced in Sardinia

Death toll in Sardinia storms has climbed to at least 17, with a dozen others reported missing, as thousands of people abandon their flooded homes taking refuge in hotels.

Cyclone Cleopatra dumped 450mm in 90 minutes late Monday, causing “apocalyptic” flooding in the region.

Swollen rivers have burst their banks, roads have been washed away and large swathes of countryside isolated throughout the province of Nuoro.

The calamity was described as a “national tragedy” by the Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

The regional governor Ugo Cappellacci told SkyTG24 television the town of Olbia had been flooded with several bridges collapsing.

“The situation is tragic. The hotels in Olbia are full of people who have had to escape but there are thousands who have damage to their homes,” he said.

Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovanelli described the deadly storm as “apocalyptic.”

sardnia floodingDeadly Flooding in Sardinia. Image credit:

“We’re at maximum alert,” said an official from Sardinia’s civil protection office.

“We haven’t seen a situation as extreme as this, perhaps for decades, especially because it’s hit the entire island.”

The civil protection authorities in Veneto (Venetia) have warned extreme weather could hit several other regions, according to SkyTG24 television.

The bad weather will continue throughout the week. On Thursday a cold air front from northern Europe is forecast to intensify CLEOPATRA, as she continues to “rage over NE Italy.”

Major snowfall is forecast for Umbria, Marche and Tuscany regions.

The storms have caused significant damage to crops in Sardinia, according to reports.

Meantime, the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has sent a message of condolence to the families of flood victims.

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Posted by feww on November 19, 2013


FIRE-EARTH Bulletin NO. 49 has been released.

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A Second Indonesian Volcano Erupts

Posted by feww on November 19, 2013

Mt Merapi eruption follows multiple explosions at Mt Sinabung

“Mount Merapi experienced a phreatic eruption. Its status remains normal due to a lack of activity,” said Yogyakarta’s Geological Disaster Technology Development and Research Agency (BPPTKG).

On November 16, 2013 FIRE-EARTH warned: 22 Indonesian Volcanoes Remain on High Alerts

Mt Merapi was placed on “Yellow Alert,” or “Level II” of the country’s 4-level alert system, on August 3, 2013.

Mt merapi
Latest Image of Mt Merapi. Credit: Badan Geologi.

“On Monday at 4:52 a.m. before the eruption, BPPTKG detected an earthquake in Ciamis, West Java, at a magnitude of 4.7 on the Richter scale. The tectonic quake is believed to have shaken the magma chamber of Mount Merapi causing it to release gas from below,” said BPPTKG spokesperson.

Merapi ejected volcanic materials about 2 kilometers into the air showering a 60-km radius area east of the volcano with ash, said the report.

The authorities have since imposed 1-kilometer exclusion zone around the volcano base.

The phreatic eruption on Monday was similar to one on July 22, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman. “But today’s was more powerful than the July 22 eruption.”

More than 600 families living in Kalitengah Lor, Kalitengah Kidul and Srune hamlets, in Glagaharjo village, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, have been evacuated.

Hundreds of other villagers living on the western flank of Mount Merapi also fled their homes.

“The volcanic ash also affected residents in nearby towns. In Surakarta, Central Java, residents were shocked by the sight of volcanic ash covering streets, gardens and roofs. The ash rain continued until around 10 a.m. on Monday.” said the report.

“Surowedanan village in Boyolali, located around 17 km from the peak of Mount Merapi, was also covered by volcanic ash. ‘This morning, when I went out of the house at around 5 a.m., I saw ash everywhere,’ said Veronica Maria Sayektiana, of Surowedanan. According to Veronica, residents were wearing masks when they ventured out of their homes as the ash was still falling along with the drizzle.”

Merapi eruptions have killed hundreds of people in the past couple of decades.

Mount Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. The 2010 its eruptions killed more than 300 people dead and forced about 400,000 people to evacuate their towns, while a 1930 eruption left at least 1,300 dead.

Mt Sinabung Update

The Indonesian ministry of transportation has diverted all flights to avoid routes near Mt Sinabung, located in Karo District, North Sumatra, which has erupted multiple times since last week.

The authorities say Mt Sinabung eruption on November 12 ejected  volcanic material that covered five districts destroying some 1,893 hectares of citrus plantations in Tanah Karo, which has impacted fruit production, said a report.

The explosive activity follows a series of most recent eruptions exhibited by the 2,460-meter high volcano that began in September 2013, leading to a significant eruption on October 24, which saw the volcano spewing smoke and ash to a height of about 3km above the crater summit, followed by other eruptions, especially the explosive eruption that occurred on Sunday, November 3.

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Seven IL Counties Declared Disaster Areas after Deadly Storms

Posted by feww on November 19, 2013

“We are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state” —IL Gov. Quinn

Sunday’s deadly storms killed at least six people and injured scores of others, while damaging and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses and cutting power to tens of thousands of residents.

The counties declared disaster areas are Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford, according to the Disaster Proclamation issued by Gov. Pat Quinn’s office on Monday.

“Although we are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state, we want to make sure people are getting the assistance and resources they need as quickly as possible,” said the governor. “As we pray for the families of those who have lost their lives and others who are injured, the state of Illinois will do everything necessary to help these communities recover.”

A large swarm of storms brought destructive winds and tornadoes to Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

Illinois took the brunt of the ferocious weather system, which spawned a total of 76 confirmed tornadoes, and 451 storm reports.

Washington (Population: 16,000), a small city in Tazewell County, about 140 miles southwest of Chicago, was the hardest hit area, with up to 500 homes damaged or destroyed, according to reports. of 16,000.

EF4 Tornadoes

Two of the deadly twisters were rated EF-4 tornadoes, reported the National Weather Service (NWS).

EF4 tornadoes pack destructive winds of between 166 and 260 mph (267 – 322kph), and can leave well-constructed houses leveled, blowing away structures with weak foundations blown away some distance;  throwing cars and generating large missiles.

F4 tornado touch down in IL 17Nov13
F4 F touch down in IL November 17, 2013.

Tacloban City, Philippines or the State of  Illinois?

IL deadly tornadoes aftermath - natalie martinez
IL deadly tornadoes aftermath – Image credit: Natalie Martinez

IL deadly storm 17nov13
Powerful tornadoes tore through large swathes of Illinois on Sunday. Image credit: @WCL_Shawn

Latest Weather Forecast

Strong winds in the Northeast and across the Great Lakes will subside today as the powerful storm system responsible for yesterday’s severe weather continues to move farther away into Canada. Meanwhile, another storm system will move into the Pacific Northwest bringing rain and mountain snow. NWS

“You don’t need temperatures in the 80s and 90s to produce severe weather [since] the strong winds compensate for for the lack of heating,”  said a forecaster at NWS. “That sets the stage for what we call wind shear, which may produce tornadoes.”

Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF scale)

EF Scale

Fujita-Pearson Tornado Scale

F-0  [39%]
40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken

F-1 [35%]
73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off foundation or overturned

F-2 [20%]
113-157 mph, considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees uprooted

F-3  [5%]
158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown

F-4 [0.9%]
207-260 mph, well-constructed walls leveled

F-5 [<0.1%]
261-318 mph, homes lifted off foundation and carried considerable distances, autos thrown as far as 100 meters

Source: US gov. [Figures in brackets represent long-term relative frequencies— revised by FIRE-EARTH]

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“Apocalyptic” Storms, Flash Floods Strike Sardinia, Italy

Posted by feww on November 19, 2013

Two dozen dead or missing, hundreds evacuated as extreme weather batters Sardinia

At least a dozen people were killed, more than a dozen others reported missing and hundreds evacuated after storms tore through the Italian island of Sardinia late Monday.

Powerful storms and torrential rains submerged roads sweeping cars and destroying several bridges, as rivers burst their banks inundating hundred of home and businesses reported local media.

The township of Olbia (Population: 57,000), located northeast of the island, was the hardest hit area.

Heavy rains were buffeting both northern and southern Italy with high winds and flooding reported in coastal areas, officials said.

sardnia - ap
Massive floods triggered by extreme rain events hit the island of Sardinia, Italy (Image Credit: AP/Diego Manunta).  The city was destroyed by the “apocalyptic” storm, with several dead and several missing. Olbia mayor Gianni Giovanelli told reporters.

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