Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Extreme weather report - 05/29/2017

Sri Lanka floods: Residents afraid as more rain forecast


Sri Lankan authorities are urging hundreds of thousands of people displaced by flooding not to return to their homes -- warning of more landslides. About 180 people have been killed since monsoon rains struck on Friday

Bangladesh raises highest danger warning as cyclone takes aim


Bangladesh raised its storm danger signal to the highest level of 10 on Monday as a severe and intensifying cyclone churned toward its low-lying coast and was expected to make landfall in the early hours of Tuesday.

Impoverished Bangladesh, hit by cyclones every year, warned that some coastal areas were "likely to be inundated by a storm surge of four to five feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters)" above normal because of approaching Cyclone Mora.

The Disaster Ministry ordered authorities to evacuate people from the coast, the ministry's additional secretary, Golam Mostafa, told reporters in Dhaka. About 10 million of Bangladesh's population of 160 million live in coastal areas.

River ferries had suspended operations and fishing boats called in to safety.

"Maritime ports of Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar have been advised to lower danger signal number seven but instead hoist great danger signal number ten (repeat) ten," a government weather bulletin said.

"The coastal districts of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands ... will come under danger signal number ten (repeat) ten."

Bangladesh is hit by storms, many of them devastating, every year. Half a million people had their lives disrupted in coastal areas such as Barisal and Chittagong in May last year.

It is still recovering from flash floods that hit the northeast, affecting millions of people, in April. Rice prices have reached record highs and state reserves are at 10-year lows in the wake of flooding that wiped out around 700,000 tonnes of rice.

The cyclone formed after monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides in neighboring Sri Lanka, off India's southern tip, which have killed at least 177 people in recent days, authorities said, with 24 killed in storms in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, either by lightning strikes or under collapsed village huts.

India warned of heavy rain in the northeastern states of Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh as Mora moved further up the Bay of Bengal.

RUBBER AND TEA PLANTATIONS HIT

Floods reached roof level and cut off access to many rural Sri Lankan villages, disrupting life for 557,500 people, many of them workers on rubber plantations, officials said. Nearly 75,000 people had been forced out of their homes.

Villagers in Agalawatte, in a key rubber-growing area 74 km (46 miles) southeast of the capital, Colombo, said they were losing hope of water levels falling soon after the heaviest rain since 2003. Fifty-three villagers died and 58 were missing.

"All access to our village is cut off. A landslide took place inside the village and several houses are buried," Mohomed Abdulla, 46, told Reuters.

Some areas in the southern coastal district of Galle, popular with foreign tourists, have not received relief due to lack of access.

"My entire village is cut off and nobody can come to this village," C.M. Chandrapla, 54, told Reuters by phone from the tourist village of Neluwa.

"There have been no supplies for the past two days. Water has gone above three-storey buildings and people survive by running to higher ground."

Sri Lanka's flood survivors threatened by dengue, disease: aid workers

The Sri Lankan military has sent in helicopters and boats in rescue efforts in the most widespread disaster since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. About 100 people were missing in total.

The meteorology department forecast torrential rains over the next 36 hours.

Residents in seven densely populated districts in the south and center of Sri Lanka were asked to move away from unstable slopes in case of further landslides.

The wettest time of the year in Sri Lanka's south is usually during the southern monsoon, from May to September. The island also receives heavy rains in the North West monsoonal season from November to February.

Reuters witnessed some people stranded on the upper floors of their homes. Civilians and relief officials in boats distributed food, water and other relief items.

One of the worst-hit areas was the southern coastal district of Matara which is home to black tea plantations. Rohan Pethiyagod, head of the Tea Board in the world's largest exporter of top quality teas, said supplies would be disrupted for the next auction due to a lack of transportation.

Sri Lanka has already appealed for international assistance from the United Nations and neighboring countries.


Mercury rising: India records its highest temperature ever



India recorded its highest-ever temperature on Thursday when the heat in the town of Phalodi, in the western state of Rajasthan, shot up to a burning 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

It was the second day in a row the town experienced temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius.

Other towns in the state, such as Churu, also recorded highs of about 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) the same day.

In New Delhi, the capital, the temperature reached nearly 47 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

The previous temperature record in India was held by Alwar, also in Rajasthan, at 50.6 degrees Celsius (123.1 Fahrenheit) in 1956. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest temperature ever was recorded at 56.7 degrees Celsius (134 degrees Fahrenheit) in Death Valley, California, on July 10, 1913.

Rajasthan, home to the Thar desert, typically records the highest temperatures in India. Temperatures can soar as a result of incoming western winds from hot areas.

Red alert issued

The IMD has issued a red-level alert for Rajasthan as well as for other states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, where temperatures, despite not having crossed the 50-degree mark, are higher than average.
India has recorded higher than normal temperatures throughout 2016.
Many areas are experiencing severe heat waves and state governments estimate more than 370 people killed so far.
India recorded its highest ever temperature on Thursday, in Phalodi, Rajasthan, where numbers shot up to a burning 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit)
India recorded its highest ever temperature on Thursday, in Phalodi, Rajasthan, where numbers shot up to a burning 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit)
This comes on the back of a searing 2015, when more than 2,500 died in the summer. 2015's high casualty rate has led to India's National Disaster Management Authority coordinating with states on heat wave action plans to spread awareness and establish preventative measures.
Double whammy of heat wave and drought
The heat wave has also coincided with another major environmental problem: drought.
After two successive below-average monsoons in 2014 and 2015, ground water levels have receded, impacting many rural Indians who rely on ground wells for drinking water.
The western Indian state of Maharashtra is one of the worst impacted, with the state government organizing emergency 'water trains' to bring daily supplies to villages.
The double whammy of heat and drought has led to accidents and fatalities.
On Monday, five men died in the northern state of Haryana when they attempted to restore a well that had fallen into disuse.
Authorities say the men were killed when they inhaled poisonous gas trapped in the well.
India's meteorological department says the heat wave will continue into next week. Many schools across the country have been operating on shortened days.
The monsoons are expected to hit India in June, bringing much-needed rain and relief. The 2016 monsoons are forecast to bring an above-average amount of rainfall.
Unrelated to the annual monsoons, large parts of Sri Lanka and now southern India have beenlashed this week by rains caused by a tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal.

Pakistan’s hottest day recorded in Turbat

PHOTO: VANCITYBUZZ


Citizens of Turbat sweltered through the hottest day recorded in Pakistan’s history, as the mercury shot up to 53.5°C on Sunday.

The temperature equalled the one measured on May 27, 2010 in Mohenjo Daro which broke a 12-year record – 53°C in Larkana on May 31, 1998.

According to a senior meteorologist at the Met Department, the previous highest temperature recorded in Turbat was 52°C on May 30, 2009. He said the temperature in Turbat kept fluctuating between 50°C and 52°C over the past few days, but peaked on Sunday.

He predicted that the current heat wave would persist across the country for the next three to four days in interior Sindh, southern Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Weather in these parts of the country is expected to remain very hot and dry, he said.

Pakistan is under the influence of extreme climate change and over the past few years, we have witnessed several extreme weather events,” he said. Last month’s heat wave broke old temperature records for the month of April in many cities, he added.

According to data compiled by the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the temperature in Sukkur on April 16 was recorded at 47°C. The previous highest temperature recorded in April was 46.5°C on April 25, 2000. Meanwhile, temperatures in Larkana, Sibi, Dera Ismail Khan and Faisalabad broke decades-old records for April, according to the Met Department’s data.

Dehydration, gastro cases surge as city grapples with heat

However pre-monsoon is expected to start in Pakistan in the second week of June, which will help bring the temperature down,” said the meteorologist.

The Met Department earlier published a temperature reading of 54°C for Turbat on Sunday – which, if true, would have been one of the highest ever temperature readings recorded in the world.

The current record is 56.7°C, recorded in Death Valley, US on June 10, 1913, though some scientists believe that this number is questionable for various reasons. The next highest and most reliable is 53.9°C which was also recorded in Death Valley on five occasions – July 20, 1960, July 18, 1998, July 20, 2005, July 7, 2007, and June 30, 2013.

A figure of 54°C was also recorded at the Mitribah weather station in Kuwait on July 21, 2016, while Basra, Iraq recorded 53.9°C the very next day. The readings are currently being investigated by the World Meteorological Organisation.

No concrete proposals presented on climate change

At one point, the record was believed to be 57.8°C, recorded on September 13, 1922 in Azizya, Libya, but this was discredited by the World Meteorological Organisation



CONFIRMED: 13 dead, 150 injured after rare hurricane hits central Moscow (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

At least 13 people have died, and over 150 have been hospitalized, including 22 children, when a severe thunderstorm hit the Russian capital Monday, health officials say.



13 Muscovites have lost their lives, with over 400 trees toppled, and more than 150 people seeking medical help, including 22 children, after what Russians are calling a ‘hurricane’ or in Russian ‘ураган’. Reports say that electrical cables were damaged as Moscow was lashed with high winds, hail and torrential rain.


The winds of up to 110 km/h (70 mph) were described by meteorologists as extremely rare for the city, and caused structural damage to buildings.




Over 19 million people from 100 countries were forced to relocate in 2014 due to the effects of natural disasters including drought, soil degradation, typhoons, cyclones, and other extreme weather events, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre 2015 Report. The International Organization for Migration has estimated that by 2050, there will be as many as 200 million climate migrants globally.

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