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Disaster Update March 13

Posted by feww on March 13, 2010

Cyclone Hubert: 14 dead, 500 homes destroyed, 32,000 affected, thousands homeless

The seemingly innocuous tropical cyclone drenched Madagascar’s eastern coastline killing 14 people, destroying 500 homes and leaving 32,000 people affected, the government said on Friday.

The National Office for Risk and Catastrophe Management (BNGRC) said Hubert had also flooded thousands of other properties.


Hubert’s visible image
captured by NASA’s AIRS instrument as the storm was making a landfall, showing half of the storm is over land, and half is still over the Southern Indian Ocean on March 11, 2010. Source: NASA/JPL

Home to more than 5 percent of the world’s animal and plant species, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island. Madagascar is rich in oil, uranium, nickel and cobalt deposits. The country has a population of 21 million with a per capita GDP of $486 ($1.28 dollars per day). About 80 percent of the population live on less than a dollar per day.

The island is located in the southwestern Indian Ocean on a cyclone path and experiences storm landfalls almost every year.

Chile Quake Aftershocks

Rancagua, Chile. Two powerful aftershocks measuring 7.2M and 7.3M struck central Chile causing significant damage in the city of Rancagua according to various reports. As of posting there were no report of fatalities, however there were reports of extensive damage to roads throughout the region where the shocks occurred.

The aftershocks prompted the closure of several ports.

“All packinghouses stopped working yesterday as employees returned home. Also, because of the tsunami alert, ports were closed for around 24 hours.” Juan Pablo Vicuna, president of Santiago-based Dole Chile S.A. reportedly told the media on March 12.

“The originally expected shipments for this week [week of March 8] will be down around 45%,” Vicuna said.

“The Port of Valparaiso, through which most Chilean fruit exports pass, reopened March 12 and was running at about 60% capacity,” an industry spokesperson said, according to a report.

There were several reports of extensive road damage, power outages and employee fears reducing capacity at several other ports by 40 to 60 percent.

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