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Archive for January 10th, 2016

Red Alert in Vanuatu as Cyclone ULA Approaches

Posted by feww on January 10, 2016

Cat 4 ULA packing winds of 175 km/hr continues to intensify

Vanuatu government has issued a red alert for the Tafea province, urging residents to stay indoors as powerful Cyclone ULA approaches the country’s southern portion.

TC Warning issued by

Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 11 for TAFEA province.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 11 issued by the Vanuatu Meteorology and 
Geo-Hazards Department, Port Vila at 8:54pm VUT Sunday 10 January 2016 for
TAFEA province.

At 8:00pm local time, Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula (941 hPa) Category 4 was 
located at 20.8 degrees South 170.5 degrees East. The Severe Tropical Cyclone 
is positioned at the bottow center of square letter J, number 10 (J,10) 
of the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map. This is about 95 KM southeast 
of Aneityum and 190 KM southeast of Tanna. Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula 
has moved in a southwest direction at 14 KM/HR in the past 3 hours.

Winds close to the center are estimated at 175 KM/HR and continue to intensify. 
Expected position of the system in the next 6 hours will be near 
22.6 degrees South 170.0 degrees East.  

Damaging Strong to Gale force winds of 65 to 75 KM/HR will continue to affect 
Anietyum, Futuna and south of Tanna tonight and slowlt decreasing as Tropical cyclone Ula
slowly moves southwards.

Forecast Positions
Date and Time                     Position                 Intensity
+06 hours (2am, 11 Jan)           21.6S, 170.1E            95 KTS (175 KM/HR)
+12 hours (8am, 11 Jan)           22.6S, 170.0E            90 KTS (165 KM/HR)
+18 hours (2pm, 11 Jan)           23.6S, 170.0E            90 KTS (165 KM/HR)
+24 hours (8pm, 11 Jan)           24.8S, 170.3E            90 KTS (165 KM/HR)
+36 hours (8am, 12 Jan)           27.2S, 171.5E            90 KTS (165 KM/HR)
+48 hours (8pm, 12 Jan)           29.3S, 173.4E            80 KTS (150 KM/HR)

Heavy rain and possible flooding in low lying areas and areas close to the river 
banks including coastal flooding are expected. Very rough to 
phenomenal seas with heavy swells are also expected.

The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) advises that RED Alert 
is still in effect for TAFEA province. For action on this alert, call NDMO on 
22699 or 33366.

The next warning on Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula will be issued at 12:00am.
Therefore, people over TAFEA are advised to continue to listen to all Radio 
Outlets to get the latest information on this system. 

This warning is also available on VMGD's website 

Last March Cyclone PAM tore through Vanuatu’s south islands, killing or injuring  dozens of people, leaving about 50,000 people homeless and destroying 90 percent of their crops.

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Down Under Blazes Burn Outside Chimneys

Posted by feww on January 10, 2016

Sent by a reader

Bushfires continue to threaten towns in WA

Out-of-control bushfires in Western Australia continue to threaten lives, homes and businesses in the state’s South West.

A massive blaze has razed the small town of Yarloop, killing two people and destroying at least 143 properties including 128 homes.

The fire—ignited by lightning on Wednesday—has so far devoured 72,657 hectares, within a perimeter exceeding 250 kilometers.

Only chimneys left standing after a massive blaze razed Yarloop (Western Australia). The bushfire losses in the small town have been described by authorities as catastrophic. [Image credit: ABC News, Australia.]

Bushfire emergency warnings

Bushfire emergency warnings are in effect east of Waroona, Hamel and Yarloop and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona.

Cookernup and Harvey are on “watch and act” alert.

Up-to-date alerts on the DFES website

Related Links

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Wildfire Stats – U.S. 2015

Posted by feww on January 10, 2016

Wildfires consumed record 10,125,149 acres in 2015 —NCDC

December saw 6,027 fires (7th highest since 2000) burning 312,668 acres (3rd highest on record), which is 51.9 acres burned/fire (5th most on record).

For January – December, some 61,922 fires (2nd lowest since 2000) burned a record 10,125,149 acres, which is 163.5 acres burned/fire, also a record high (rank out of 16 years).

Average  Figures (2000 – 2010)

  • Acres burned: 6,612,363
  • Wildfire: 77,951
  • Acres Burned per Fire: 85.2


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