Cyclone skips Mumbai, heads to south Guj

Cyclone skips Mumbai, heads to south Guj

Mumbai, Nov 11: Cyclone Phyan has spared Mumbai but heavy rains are expected later in the evening, the weather department said on Wednesday, Nov 11.

Phyan is now heading south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast, but the authorities are not taking any chances in Mumbai.

The civic authorities have kept pumps in readiness at several coastal areas of Mumbai like Worli, Bandra, Juhu, Versova and Malad which could get flooded during the impending storm.

All government offices schools, colleges in Mumbai and Thane have been asked to shut early on Wednesday, Nov 11.

The Phyan is right now positioned about 180 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 430 km south-southwest of Surat.

The IMD expects that maximum sustained surface wind speed under the influence of Cyclone Phyan will be 70-80 kmph between 05:30 pm and 11:30 pm on Wednesday, Nov 11.

Sea condition will be high to very high over along and off Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts.

Fishermen in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, besides the Lakshadweep Islands, have been advised not to go out to sea.

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Rain-related casualty in Tamil Nadu goes up to 71

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Girls use a thermocol raft to reach their home at a flooded street in Chennai on Monday

The rain-related casualty in the State went up to 71 with the Nilgiris accounting for the death of 42 persons in the landslides.

Tirunelveli and Villupuram districts recorded the death of six persons each. The overall figure took into account those who died since October 1, a senior official of the Revenue department said.

An official release stated that the Nilgiris District Collector was directed to pay Rs. One lakh each to the families of the deceased. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi asked Ministers Veerapandi S. Arumugam and Pongalur N. Palanisamy to rush to the Nilgiris. Commissioner of Revenue Administration and Principal Secretary N. Sundaradevan and Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) K. Radhakrishnan also left for the rain-hit district.

The services of the National Disaster Response Force had also been pressed in. The Chief Minister advised the officials to dispatch adequate strength of personnel from other departments such as Fire and Rescue Services, Health and Police, the official release said.

124 dead, 60 missing in El Salvador flooding

 SALVADOR

Residents stand on a bridge that collapsed due to heavy rain in Zacatecoluca, El Salvador on Sunday, Nov. 8 , 2009

 Mud and boulders loosened by heavy rains swept down a volcano and partly buried a small town on Sunday, swallowing up homes as flooding and landslides across El Salvador killed at least 124 people

Mud and boulders loosened by heavy rains swept down a volcano and partly buried a small town on Sunday, swallowing up homes as flooding and landslides across El Salvador killed at least 124 people, authorities said.

Hundreds of soldiers, police and residents dug through rock and debris looking for another 60 missing from the mudslide, which struck before dawn Sunday while people were still in their beds.

Matias Mendoza, 26, was at home with his wife Claudia and their year-old son, Franklin, when the earth began moving.

“It was about two in the morning when the rain started coming down harder, and the earth started shaking,” Mendoza recalled. “I warned my wife and grabbed my son, and all of a sudden we heard a sound. The next thing I knew I was lying among parts of the walls of my house.”

“A few minutes later, I found my wife and my son in the middle of the rubble, and, thank God, we’re alive,” said Mendoza, who suffered cuts on his check that emergency workers stitched up.

Almost 7,000 people saw their homes damaged by landslides or cut off by floodwaters following three days of downpours from a low—pressure system indirectly related to Hurricane Ida, which brushed Mexico’s Cancun resort on Sunday before steaming into the Gulf of Mexico.

President Mauricio Funes declared a national emergency and said that he would work with the United Nations to evaluate the extent of the damage.

“The images that we have seen today are of a devastated country,” Funes said. “The damages are for the moment incalculable.”

Some of the worst damage was in the town of Verapaz, where mudslides covered cars and boulders two yards (meters) wide blocked streets.

The rain loosened a flow of mud and rocks that descended from the nearby Chichontepec volcano and buried homes and streets in Verapaz, a town of about 3,000 located 50 kms east of San Salvador, the capital.

“It was terrible. The rocks came down on top of the houses and split them in two, and split the pavement,” recalled Manuel Melendez, 61, who lived a few doors down from Mendoza. Both their homes were destroyed Sunday morning.

“I heard people screaming all around,” Melendez said.

There were 10 confirmed dead and about 60 missing in Verapaz, said Red Cross spokesman Carlos Lopez Mendoza said.

Amid a persistent drizzle, rescuers dug frantically for survivors with shovels and even their bare hands. But the search was made difficult by collapsed walls, boulders and downed power lines that blocked heavy machinery.

“What happened in Verapaz was something terrible,” said Interior Minister Humberto Centeno, who flew over the city Sunday to survey the damage. “It is a real tragedy there.”

At least 13 other people were killed in San Vicente province, where Verapaz is located.

Provincial Gov. Manuel Castellanos said workers were struggling to clear roadways and power and water service had been knocked out, and at least 300 houses were flooded after a river in Verapaz overflowed its banks, Lopez Mendoza said.

In San Salvador, authorities reported 61 dead. Lopez Mendoza said the toll included a family of four — two adults and two children — who were killed when a mudslide buried their home Sunday morning.

The remaining victims were buried by slides or carried away by raging rivers in other parts of the country, Vice Interior Minister Ernesto Zelayandia told The Associated Press.

The days of rain in El Salvador’s mountains were quickly funneled down into populated valleys.

Hurricane Ida’s presence in the western Caribbean may have played a role in drawing a Pacific low—pressure system toward El Salvador, causing the rains, said Dave Roberts, a Navy hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

He added, however, that “if there were deaths associated with this rainfall amount in El Salvador, I would not link it to Ida.”

Digital rain gauges to forecast floods

 

 

 

They measure short duration rainfall using computerised loggers

KAKINADA: As relief and rehabilitation measures in the flood affected areas gain momentum, the debate is now shifting to the absence of a more precise and timely estimation of ‘probable maximum precipitation’, a parameter which forms the basis for calculation of Probable Maximum Flood, which could have averted the catastrophe. Heavy precipitation in coastal areas and deltas, known for their vulnerability to frequent cyclonic storms, trigger huge amounts of rainfall over short periods, but the mechanical rain gauges in use are designed to measure longer duration rainfall, not the shorter duration cloud bursts of less than an hour.

Huge inflows

These short duration rainfalls in catchment areas add huge inflows as a result of which the river swells within no time and lack of minute detail about the rainfall recorded in short duration in different stretches would make forecasting a flood a futile exercise. Digital rain gauges, according to experts, come in handy in such situation and two such instruments have been installed at the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH)’s Deltaic Regional Centre and Andhra Polytechnic, both in Kakinada.

A digital rain gauge, NIH scientist S.V. Vijay Kumar said, measures short duration rainfall of less than one hour with the help of computerised loggers. According to him, rain from the collector located at the top enters into a bucket that is calibrated to tip when an amount of 0.254 mm or 0.01 inch of rainfall occurs. Two buckets fitted to a hinge tip in tandem as the rainwater gets collected in them, with a digital clock recording the amount as well as the time of occurrence. This is aided by a logging system that stores the whole record.

Precise

The data, separated by distance, provides not only storm movement but also its distribution to the precise minute. Such recorded data can be used to quantify 5, 10, 15, 30 and 60 minutes duration rainfall over an urban watershed. Digital rain gauges would help plug the gaps in existing system that arise due to absence of data representing temporal and spatial variations of rainfall processes. They would serve as an effective way of recording finer data and bridge the nagging ‘information gap’.

.Monsoon vigorous in Konkan, active in coastal A.P., Orissa

 

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The southwest monsoon is vigorous in east Madhya Pradesh, Konkan, Goa, coastal Karnataka and Kerala and active in Orissa, central Maharashtra and coastal Andhra Pradesh, the Met office said on Saturday.

It has been subdued over Arunachal Pradesh, west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat, it added

.Rain leaves a trail of destruction

Karnataka Bureau

Flash floods in several north Karnataka districts affect life

Many stranded people take refuge on rooftops and trees

Rain claims six lives, damages 2,500 houses in Bellary district


Bangalore: For the third day on Thursday thunderstorms lashed parts of north Karnataka leaving a trail of destruction, cutting off entire villages and adding to the number of deaths. Stranded by flash floods, people were forced to take refuge on trees even as strong winds devastated thousands of homes in several districts.

Bellary

In Bellary, rain claimed six lives and damaged about 2,500 houses. Sirguppa taluk was the worst affected as a number of villages located on the banks of the Tungabhadra were marooned. Two farmers who were marooned in their fields took refuge on the roof of a pump house. Bellary city was paralysed by incessant rain. Storm-water gushed into houses, trees were uprooted and traffic came to a grinding halt on flooded roads. Telephone and power connections were disrupted.

Raichur

The toll touched nine in Raichur and Koppal districts where several people, including an 11-year-old girl, drowned while attempting to cross streams. No fewer than 12 villages have been completely marooned in Raichur. Six people who were stranded in Godihal village in Raichur taluk had to take refuge on a tree. A rubber boat was despatched to rescue them.

According to a preliminary estimate, more than 4,600 houses have been damaged in Koppal and 250 in Raichur. Just as normality was returning to Haveri, Gadag and Dharwad districts, an overflowing rivulet blocked access to several villages along its course and destroyed crops. Four villages in Dharwad district and 11 in Gadag have been cut off. In Haveri district, 400 hectares of crops in Hirekerur taluk were destroyed.

Bijapur

Rain claimed five lives and 24 head of cattle in Bijapur district. More than 3,819 houses have collapsed rendering the families homeless. Food and other amenities are being provided through tractors to residents of the stranded Tonshyal village on the banks of the Don. Fire and Emergency Services personnel and Home Guards have begun rescue operations to save people stranded in Indi taluk.

Gulbarga

Three died when their house collapsed in Surpur taluk in Gulbarga district. Several villages on the banks of the Krishna and the Bhima were cut off. In Chowdeshwarihal village authorities despatched expert swimmers from the Fire and Emergency Services and motor boats to rescue 15 people stranded in fields.

Five persons died in Bagalkot district’s Badami and Bagalkot taluks here on Thursday and more than 70 houses collapsed. The meteorological centre attributed the rainfall to a low pressure system and an associated upper air cyclonic circulation in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Andhra Pradesh. A heavy rainfall warning has been given for the next 36 hours.