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Tsunami hits without warning in Indonesia, killing over 220

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CARITA BEACH, Indonesia (AP) — The deadly tsunami struck in the dark, without warning.

At least 222 people were killed as waves smashed into houses, hotels and other beachside buildings Saturday night along Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, in a disaster that followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands.

More than 800 others were injured and dozens were reported missing after the tsunami hit coastal areas along western Java and southern Sumatra islands at 9:27 p.m. Saturday amid a Christmas holiday weekend, the Disaster Management Agency said. The death toll could increase once authorities hear from all stricken areas.

It was the second deadly tsunami to hit Indonesia this year, but the one that killed more than 2,500 people on the island of Sulawesi on Sept. 28 was accompanied by a powerful earthquake that gave residents a brief warning before the waves struck.

On Saturday night, the ground did not shake beforehand to alert people to the oncoming wave that ripped buildings from their foundations in seconds and swept terrified concert goers on a popular resort beach into the sea.

Azki Kurniawan, 16, said his first warning about the tsunami was when people burst into the lobby of the Patra Comfort Hotel shouting, “Sea water rising!”

Kurniawan, who was undergoing vocational training with a group of 30 other students, said he was confused because he had not felt a big earthquake. He said he ran to the parking lot to try to reach his motorbike but discovered it was already flooded.

“Suddenly, a 1-meter (3.3-foot) wave hit me,” he said, his eyes red and swollen from crying. “I was thrown into the fence of a building about 30 meters (100 feet) from the beach and held onto the fence as strong as I could, trying to resist the water, which felt like it would drag me back into the sea. I cried in fear … ‘This is a tsunami?’ I was afraid I would die.”

Dramatic video posted on social media showed the Indonesian pop band Seventeen performing under a tent on popular Tanjung Lesung beach at a concert for employees of a state-owned electricity company. Dozens of people sat at tables while others swayed to the music near the stage as strobe lights flashed and theatrical smoke was released. A child could also be seen wandering through the crowd.

Seconds later, with the drummer pounding just as the next song was about to begin, the stage suddenly heaved forward and buckled under the force of the water, tossing the band and its equipment into the audience.

The group released a statement saying their bass player, guitarist and road manager were killed, while two other band members and the wife of one of the performers were missing.

“The tide rose to the surface and dragged all the people on site,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, when the current receded, our members were unable to save themselves while some did not find a place to hold on.”

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 222 deaths had been confirmed and at least 843 people were injured.

The worst-affected area was the Pandeglang region of Java’s Banten province, which encompasses Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches, the agency said.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expressed his sympathy and ordered government agencies to respond quickly to the disaster.

“My deep condolences to the victims in Banten and Lumpung provinces,” he said. “Hopefully, those who are left have patience.”

A woman cries after identifying a relative among the dead. (AP Photo/Fauzy Chaniago)

 

At the Vatican, Pope Francis prayed for the dead, the missing and the homeless in Indonesia, telling tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square that his thoughts were with victims “struck by violent natural calamities.”

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted support for Indonesia: “We are praying for recovery and healing. America is with you!”

In the city of Bandar Lampung on Sumatra, hundreds of residents took refuge at the governor’s office, while at the popular resort area of Anyer beach on Java, some survivors wandered in the debris.

Tourists who were enjoying the long holiday weekend ahead of Christmas were also affected.

“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m (meters, or 50-65 feet) inland,” said Norwegian Oystein Lund Andersen, in a Facebook post. The self-described photographer and volcano enthusiast said he was taking pictures of the volcano when he suddenly saw the water racing toward him. He and his family fled safely to higher ground.

People inspect the wreckage in Carita, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

 

The damage became apparent after daybreak Sunday. Nine hotels and hundreds of homes were heavily damaged by the waves. Broken chunks of concrete and splintered sticks of wood littered hard-hit coastal areas, turning beach getaways popular with Jakarta residents into near ghost towns. Vehicles were tossed into the rubble or were buried under collapsed roofs. Debris from thatch-bamboo shacks was strewn along beaches.

Yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead.

Scientists, including those from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics agency, said the tsunami could have been caused by landslides — either above ground or under water — on the steep slope of the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano. The scientists also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.

The 305-meter (1,000-foot) -high Anak Krakatau, whose name means “Child of Krakatoa,” lies on an island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, linking the Indian Ocean and the Java Sea. It has been erupting since June and did so again about 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said.

The volcanic island formed over years after the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, one of the largest, most devastating in recorded history. That disaster killed more than 30,000 people, launched far-reaching tsunamis and created so much ash that day was turned to night in the area and a global temperature drop was recorded.

Most of the island sank into a volcanic crater under the sea, and the area remained calm until the 1920s, when Anak Krakatau began to rise from the site. It continues to grow each year and erupts periodically although it is much smaller than Krakatoa.

A damaged house in Carita, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

 

Gegar Prasetya, co-founder of the Tsunami Research Center Indonesia, said Saturday’s tsunami was likely caused by a flank collapse — when a big section of a volcano’s slope gives way. It’s possible for an eruption to trigger a landslide above ground or beneath the ocean, both capable of producing waves, he said.

“Actually, the tsunami was not really big, only 1 meter (3.3 feet),” said Prasetya, who has studied Krakatoa. “The problem is people always tend to build everything close to the shoreline.”

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and home to 260 million people, lies along the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas of the disaster-prone country, making access difficult in the best of conditions.

Saturday’s tsunami also rekindled memories of the massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake that hit Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004. It spawned a giant tsunami off Sumatra island, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries — the majority in Indonesia. (Click to Source)

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Associated Press writers Margie Mason and Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed.

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Death toll from massive earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia jumps to 1,203 as rescuers battle to save scores of people screaming from within the rubble

  • A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday caused a massive tsunami to crash into Sulawesi island on Friday
  • The cities of Palu and Donggala were worse hit as beachgoers were swept away by the enormous waves
  • A government spokesman confirmed Sunday the death toll had risen to 1,203, doubling the last number
  • Access to several towns along the coastline has hampered relief efforts as transport networks are down
  • Criticism has been levelled at the government for initially lifting a tsunami warning after Friday’s quake

The death toll from an earthquake and tsunami that devastated part of the island of Sulawesi has risen to 1,203 – with the total number expected to climb higher still.

The tsunami, which was triggered after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake, ripped through the Pacific Ring of Fire and crashed into the Palu at 500mph, causing widespread destruction into the evening on Friday.

Figures collected by the National Police Headquarters put the number killed at 1,203 people. The death toll is expected to climb even higher. Search and rescue team have struggled to reach cut-off communities feared wiped out by the disaster.

Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said access to Donggala, as well as the towns of Sigi and Boutong, is still limited and there are no comprehensive reports from those areas.

Government officials said rescuers could hear screams from within the rubble of several buildings on Saturday evening as they battled through the night and into Sunday to free those trapped.

Samidah, a relative of a victim, cries while gathered outside the collapsed Roa Roa hotel in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi

Samidah, a relative of a victim, cries while gathered outside the collapsed Roa Roa hotel in Palu, Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi

A woman cries as she waits to be evacuated by military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

A woman cries as she waits to be evacuated by military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

A man walks inside a damaged area at the Airport in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu in Indonesia today

A man walks inside a damaged area at the Airport in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu in Indonesia today

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station, in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station, in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu

Rescuers try to rescue a 15-year old earthquake victim Nurul Istikharah from her damaged house following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu on Sunday

Rescuers try to rescue a 15-year old earthquake victim Nurul Istikharah from her damaged house following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu on Sunday

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu today

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu today

Rescue personnel carry the body of an earthquake victim to the compounds of a police hospital in Palu

Rescue personnel carry the body of an earthquake victim to the compounds of a police hospital in Palu

A team of rescuers helping to pull a trapped woman from the mud on Sunday as thousands more are still feared to be trapped under rubble from Friday's earthquake

A team of rescuers helping to pull a trapped woman from the mud on Sunday as thousands more are still feared to be trapped under rubble from Friday’s earthquake

Striking aerial shots show a mosque which has been razed first by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and then the 2 meter high wave on Friday afternoon 

Striking aerial shots show a mosque which has been razed first by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and then the 2 meter high wave on Friday afternoon

A road traffic bridge could be seen completely collapsed along the coastline in the outskirts of Palu as first the earthquake and then the tsunami swept away enormous pieces of the city's infrastructure

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (C) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (C) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2-L) talking to residents as he visits a devastated area in Palu

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2-L) talking to residents as he visits a devastated area in Palu

An injured man is evacuated on a military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

An injured man is evacuated on a military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

In this photo released by the Indonesian Presidential Office, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter

In this photo released by the Indonesian Presidential Office, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter

‘The death is believed to be still increasing since many bodies were still under the wreckage while many have not able to be reached,’ Nugroho said.

Fears are mounting for the the fishing town of Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre of the quake, but which rescuers have not been able to reach.

The town of Mamuju was also severely affected but currently impossible to access due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications.

Meanwhile criticisms have been levelled at the country’s geophysics agency for lifting the tsunami warning 34 minutes after it was first issued, which may have led to confusion and exacerbated the death toll.

Many of those killed in Palu were swept away by giant waves more than 10ft high as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station in Palu today

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station in Palu today

Indonesia quake: 832 people confirmed dead according to national agency
Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 832 people had died by Sunday afternoon but that figure later rose to 1,203

Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 832 people had died by Sunday afternoon but that figure later rose to 1,203

Rescuers carry an earthquake survivor at restaurant building damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning

Rescuers carry an earthquake survivor at restaurant building damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning

Indonesian rescuers search for the victims on the a collapsed Roa Roa hotel building in Palu as frantic efforts to save those trapped continued over the weekend

Indonesian rescuers search for the victims on the a collapsed Roa Roa hotel building in Palu as frantic efforts to save those trapped continued over the weekend

Members of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency sift through the rubble of a collapsed building on Sunday in their desperate search for survivors

Members of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency sift through the rubble of a collapsed building on Sunday in their desperate search for survivors

Motorists pass by a half-collapsed shopping mall heavily damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami as darkness falls on Palu on Sunday

Motorists pass by a half-collapsed shopping mall heavily damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami as darkness falls on Palu on Sunday

People carry items looted from a shopping mall badly damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning as water still fills the streets of the coastal city

People carry items looted from a shopping mall badly damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning as water still fills the streets of the coastal city

People take gasoline from a truck as the bare essentials are shipped in to the worst affected areas around the city of Palu on Sulawesi island

People take gasoline from a truck as the bare essentials are shipped in to the worst affected areas around the city of Palu on Sulawesi island

Hordes of people could be seen taking items from a damaged shopping mall in downtown Palu on Sunday as supply lines to the island remain down

Hordes of people could be seen taking items from a damaged shopping mall in downtown Palu on Sunday as supply lines to the island remain down

A mannequin lies on the ground amid the wreckage of a destroyed shopping mall in Palu on Sunday as the island struggles to cope with the effects of the devastating quake and tsunami

A mannequin lies on the ground amid the wreckage of a destroyed shopping mall in Palu on Sunday as the island struggles to cope with the effects of the devastating quake and tsunami

Looters take away items from a shopping mall as government agencies struggle to get fresh aid to the affected areas of coastline

Looters take away items from a shopping mall as government agencies struggle to get fresh aid to the affected areas of coastline

The number of casualties was no doubt increased by the fact that hundreds of people had descended on Palu’s beach for a festival to celebrate the city’s anniversary, due to start Friday night.

TV footage showed images of destroyed houses in Donggala and areas that were once land now inundated with water. Aerial video also showed the battered coastline surrounding Palu.

Looters were stealing from a badly damaged shopping centre in Palu that was not being guarded. They did not appear to be concerned about their safety, despite ongoing aftershocks and the structure’s questionable stability.

Residents were also seen returning to their destroyed homes, picking through waterlogged belongings, trying to salvage anything they could find.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second right, talks with tsunami survivors in Palu on Sunday as he flew into Sulawesi to oversee relief efforts

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second right, talks with tsunami survivors in Palu on Sunday as he flew into Sulawesi to oversee relief efforts

President Joko Widodo stands in front of the ruins of a house in Palu on Sunday as he jetted in to inspect the damage for himself

President Joko Widodo stands in front of the ruins of a house in Palu on Sunday as he jetted in to inspect the damage for himself

Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter in Palu as thousands have been left homeless by the disaster

Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter in Palu as thousands have been left homeless by the disaster

People sifting through the rubble on Sunday after the earthquake razed several thousand of Palu's most vulnerable buildings to the ground on Friday

People sifting through the rubble on Sunday after the earthquake razed several thousand of Palu’s most vulnerable buildings to the ground on Friday

Thousands of people queue for gasoline in the streets of Palu following the disaster as many of the cars and motorbikes being used by civilians to adjust to the crisis have run out of fuel

Thousands of people queue for gasoline in the streets of Palu following the disaster as many of the cars and motorbikes being used by civilians to adjust to the crisis have run out of fuel

The damage outside a shopping mall in central Palu where dozens of motorbikes and cars have been submerged by the flooding from Friday's tsunami

The damage outside a shopping mall in central Palu where dozens of motorbikes and cars have been submerged by the flooding from Friday’s tsunami

Two men push a shopping trolley filled with goods away from the carcass of a destroyed shopping mall as people with motorbikes lined up in the streets to take away the looted goods on Sunday

Two men push a shopping trolley filled with goods away from the carcass of a destroyed shopping mall as people with motorbikes lined up in the streets to take away the looted goods on Sunday

Terrifying footage shows people fleeing in panic as giant tsunami wave smashes mosque in Indonesian coastal city

Horrific video footage uploaded to social media has revealed the extensive damage caused by a tsunami.

A dramatic video filmed from the top floor of a parking ramp spiral in Palu and posted on Twitter, showed a wall of whitewater crashing into houses along the shoreline, scattering shipping containers and almost flattening a large mosque.

People can be seen fleeing in panic as the tsunami devastates the surrounding area which, just moments before, had a car driving in it.

The impact of the disaster and the number of casualties is though to have been worsened by the fact that hundreds of people had descended on Palu’s beach for a festival to celebrate the city’s anniversary.

One clip even showed a baby being treated as the people grimly tried to deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

Another gives a view of the impact of the tsunami from the position of a fishing boat, with the fishermen heard praying as they take in the extent of the devastation.

It’s clear that thousands of buildings have been damaged, with some entirely swept away or demolished, leaving scores of families missing among the debris.

The survivors were to be evacuated to the Sulawesi city of Makassar in the island’s far south.

It’s the latest natural disaster to hit Indonesia, which is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the ‘Ring of Fire,’ an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Last month, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people.

Looters were stealing from the badly damaged shopping mall, which was not being guarded Sunday. They did not appear to be concerned about their safety, despite ongoing aftershocks and the structure’s questionable stability.

Residents were also seen returning to their destroyed homes, picking through waterlogged belongings, trying to salvage anything they could find.

A family sleeps in front of a restaurant in Palu on Sunday as thousands of people in the coastal city have been left homeless by the natural disaster

A family sleeps in front of a restaurant in Palu on Sunday as thousands of people in the coastal city have been left homeless by the natural disaster

People view the damage at the beach hit by tsunami as a road can be seen to be completely collapsed into the floodwater around the shore at Palu

People view the damage at the beach hit by tsunami as a road can be seen to be completely collapsed into the floodwater around the shore at Palu

Indonesian Air Force members stand in line as they prepare to board a military plane on its way to join emergency efforts in the coastal disaster area

Indonesian Air Force members stand in line as they prepare to board a military plane on its way to join emergency efforts in the coastal disaster area

Relief efforts are struggling to get through to most areas because of damage to airports, roads and rails with local rescuers in Sulawesi desperate for more support

Relief efforts are struggling to get through to most areas because of damage to airports, roads and rails with local rescuers in Sulawesi desperate for more support

Government officials said they expected the death toll to rise on Sunday despite it doubling to 832 over the weekend as more and more bodies are found in the rubble of destroyed buildings

Government officials said they expected the death toll to rise on Sunday despite it doubling to 832 over the weekend as more and more bodies are found in the rubble of destroyed buildings

Indonesian workers load donations into a military transport aircraft as those in affected areas are lacking the most basic necessities to survive

Indonesian workers load donations into a military transport aircraft as those in affected areas are lacking the most basic necessities to survive

A woman carries a meager ration of fuel away from a filling station after queuing for hours to get a supply in crisis-racked Palu, Indonesia on Sunday

A woman carries a meager ration of fuel away from a filling station after queuing for hours to get a supply in crisis-racked Palu, Indonesia on Sunday

The collapsed dome of a mosque in Palu which was brought down in the huge earthquake on Friday as some of the city's most notable landmarks fell victim to the tremors

The collapsed dome of a mosque in Palu which was brought down in the huge earthquake on Friday as some of the city’s most notable landmarks fell victim to the tremors

Residents make their way along a street full of debris, including the wreckage of a shipping container. Power lines have come down and in the background is a mosque which was a badly damaged by the 10ft waves 

Residents make their way along a street full of debris, including the wreckage of a shipping container. Power lines have come down and in the background is a mosque which was a badly damaged by the 10ft waves

Palu city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as they raced into the tight inlet

Palu city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as they raced into the tight inlet

Nugroho described the damage as 'extensive' with thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed, a bridge washed away and the main highway to Palu cut due to a landslide 

Nugroho described the damage as ‘extensive’ with thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed, a bridge washed away and the main highway to Palu cut due to a landslide

Some people climbed trees to escape the tsunami and survived the towering waves caused by the two earthquakes: the first, a 6.1 magnitude quake hit the densely populated region on Friday morning, and was quickly followed by even fiercer 7.5 magnitude tremors

Some people climbed trees to escape the tsunami and survived the towering waves caused by the two earthquakes: the first, a 6.1 magnitude quake hit the densely populated region on Friday morning, and was quickly followed by even fiercer 7.5 magnitude tremors

A woman cries as people begin to realise the extent of the damage and the number of casualties after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu. Thousands of buildings have been damaged, with some entirely swept away or demolished, leaving scores of families missing among the debris

A woman cries as people begin to realise the extent of the damage and the number of casualties after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu. Thousands of buildings have been damaged, with some entirely swept away or demolished, leaving scores of families missing among the debris

Many of those killed in Palu were swept away by giant waves more than 10ft high as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned early on of reports showing that 'victims died in the rubble of a collapsed building'

Many of those killed in Palu were swept away by giant waves more than 10ft high as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned early on of reports showing that ‘victims died in the rubble of a collapsed building’

Fears are mounting for the the fishing town of Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre of the quake, but which rescuers have not been able to reach. 

Fears are mounting for the the fishing town of Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre of the quake, but which rescuers have not been able to reach.

Indonesian media said Sunday that 832 people had died in Palu City, on the the Indonesian island of Sulawesi after two earthquakes in quick succession caused a tsunami that sent locals fleeing their homes.

Indonesian media said Sunday that 832 people had died in Palu City, on the the Indonesian island of Sulawesi after two earthquakes in quick succession caused a tsunami that sent locals fleeing their homes. (Click to Source)

‘Unstoppable’ Super Typhoon Trami is closing in on mainland Japan with violent 134mph winds set to rip through the nation over the weekend

  • Super Typhoon Trami is about 186 miles (300 km) southeast of Miyako island
  • The typhoon is forecast to pick up speed and approach western Japan on Sunday
  • It is the latest storm to threaten Japan in a year filled with natural disasters
  • Less than a month ago, a typhoon flooded Kansai International airport

A large, very strong typhoon is set to rip through mainland Japan over the weekend, bringing violent winds and torrential rain.

The ‘unstoppable’ Super Typhoon Trami, which is rated category 2 by Tropical Storm Risk, with category 5 the highest, has destructive winds gusting at speeds as high as 134 mph (216kmh).

It is the latest storm to threaten Japan in a year filled with more than the usual number of disasters, including punishing heat, heavy rains and landslides.

Less than a month ago, a typhoon flooded Kansai International airport near Osaka, leaving thousands of tourists stranded.

Scroll down for video 

A large, very strong typhoon (pictured) is set to rip through mainland Japan over the weekend, bringing violent winds and torrential rain

A large, very strong typhoon (pictured) is set to rip through mainland Japan over the weekend, bringing violent winds and torrential rain

Trami is currently about 186 miles (300km) southeast of Miyako island.

Although the Japanese capital of Tokyo is set for heavy rain, current predictions show it avoiding a direct hit.

‘As it is forecast to go across Japan at a high speed, we are urging people to be vigilant’ in the days ahead, Sakiko Nishioka from the meteorological agency told AFP.

‘Please be on high alert against violent winds, high waves and heavy rainfall,’ the agency said in a statement.

After dumping torrential rain on the outlying islands, the typhoon is forecast to pick up speed and approach western Japan on Sunday, remaining very strong as it barrels over the mainland.

Images from the International Space Station posted on Twitter by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Tuesday showed Trami’s enormous eye which he said was ‘as if somebody pulled the planet’s gigantic plug’.

‘Staring down the eye of yet another fierce storm… Trami is unstoppable and heading for Japan and Taiwan. Be safe down there!’ he wrote.

4600132-6217291-churning_north_across_okinawa_on_saturday_trami_is_then_predicte-m-12_1538132704517

Churning north across Okinawa on Saturday, Trami is then predicted to rake across the islands of Kyushu and the main island of Honshu on Sunday, a path similar to that taken by typhoon Jebi early in September

The 'unstoppable' Super Typhoon Trami, which is rated category 2 by Tropical Storm Risk, with category 5 the highest, has destructive winds gusting at speeds as high as 134 mph (216kmh)

The ‘unstoppable’ Super Typhoon Trami, which is rated category 2 by Tropical Storm Risk, with category 5 the highest, has destructive winds gusting at speeds as high as 134 mph (216kmh)

Japan’s main two airlines JAL and ANA have already started to cancel some domestic flights, scrapping more than 100 between them to the islands.

If the forecast holds, it will be the latest in a series of extreme natural events to strike Japan.

Jebi, the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years, brought some of the highest tides since a 1961 typhoon and flooded Kansai airport near Osaka, taking it out of service for days.

Images from the International Space Station posted on Twitter by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Tuesday showed Trami's enormous eye which he said was 'as if somebody pulled the planet's gigantic plug'

Images from the International Space Station posted on Twitter by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Tuesday showed Trami’s enormous eye which he said was ‘as if somebody pulled the planet’s gigantic plug’

'Staring down the eye of yet another fierce storm... Super Typhoon Trami is unstoppable and heading for Japan and Taiwan. Be safe down there!' Mr Gerst wrote

‘Staring down the eye of yet another fierce storm… Super Typhoon Trami is unstoppable and heading for Japan and Taiwan. Be safe down there!’ Mr Gerst wrote

Trami (pictured) is about 186 miles southeast of Miyako island, with winds gusting as high as 134 mph. If the forecast holds, it will be the latest in a series of natural events to strike Japan

Trami (pictured) is about 186 miles southeast of Miyako island, with winds gusting as high as 134 mph. If the forecast holds, it will be the latest in a series of natural events to strike Japan

Seventeen people died in the storm, whose high winds sent trees crashing to the ground and cars scudding across parking lots.

Even for a nation accustomed to disasters, this year has been hard for Japan, starting with a volcanic eruption in January that rained rocks down on a ski resort, killing one.

July brought record-breaking heat that killed at least 80 people and sent over 20,000 to hospital for treatment, along with torrential rains in western Japan that set off floods and landslides, killing more than 200.

Just two days after Jebi hit in September, the northernmost main island of Hokkaido was rocked by an earthquake that set off landslides, knocked out power throughout the island and killed at least 44 people. (Click to Source)

 

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Indonesia earthquake: Tsunami seen in terrifying footage crashing into island with huge wave

It comes after a major earthquake rocked central Sulawesi today, with terrified locals filmed screaming and running down streets

And as some were saying of the temple that it was decorated with handsome (shapely and magnificent) stones and consecrated offerings [a]”>[a]laid up to be kept], He said,

As for all this that you [thoughtfully] look at, the time will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.

And they asked Him, Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when this is about to occur?

And He said, Be on your guard and be careful that you are not led astray; for many will come in My name [b]”>[b]appropriating to themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me], saying, I am He! and, The time is at hand! Do not go out after them.

And when you hear of wars and insurrections (disturbances, disorder, and confusion), do not become alarmed and panic-stricken and terrified; for all this must take place first, but the end will not [come] immediately.

10 Then He told them, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

11 There will be mighty and violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences (plagues: c]”>[c]malignant and contagious or infectious epidemic diseases which are deadly and devastating); and there will be sights of terror and great signs from heaven.

12 But previous to all this, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be led away before kings and governors for My name’s sake.

13 This will be a time (an opportunity) for you to bear testimony.

14 Resolve and settle it in your minds not to meditate and prepare beforehand how you are to make your defense and how you will answer.

15 For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.

16 You will be delivered up and betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and [some] of you they will put to death.

17 And you will be hated (despised) by everyone because [you bear] My name and for its sake.

18 But not a hair of your head shall perish.

19 By your steadfastness and patient endurance you d]”>[d]shall win the e]”>[e]true life of your souls.

20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know and understand that its desolation has come near.

21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside [the city] get out of it, and let not those who are out in the country come into it;

22 For those are days of vengeance [of rendering full justice or satisfaction], that all things that are written may be fulfilled.

23 Alas for those who are pregnant and for those who have babies which they are nursing in those days! For great misery and anguish anddistress shall be upon the land and indignation and punishment andretribution upon this people.

24 They will fall by f]”>[f]the mouth and the edge of the sword and will be led away as captives to and among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).

25 And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [g]”>[g]without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (h]”>[h]the echo) of the tossing of the sea,

26 Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and i]”>[i]caused to totter.

27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor).

28 Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near.

29 And He told them a parable: Look at the fig tree and all the trees;

30 When they put forth their buds and come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and perceive and know that summer is already near.

31 Even so, when you see these things taking place, understand andknow that the kingdom of God is at hand.

32 Truly I tell you, this generation (j]”>[j]those living at that definite period of time) will not perish and pass away until all has taken place.

33 The k]”>[k]sky and the earth (l]”>[l]the universe, the world) will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

34 But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the m]”>[m]giddiness andheadache and n]”>[n]nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the o]”>[o]business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;

35 For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.

36 Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man. (Luke 21:5-36Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

 

Terrifying video footage shows massive waves crashing into an Indonesian island as a tsunami struck after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

In the shocking footage, recorded in Palu, Sulawesi, today, enormous waves can be seen surging forward amid terrified screams.

Officials had earlier withdrawn a tsunami warning.

Authorities say a communications blackout means it is impossible to confirm the extent of the devastation caused, but confirmed there were several casualties.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said: “The earthquake and tsunami caused several casualties … while initial reports show that victims died in the rubble of a collapsing building.

“The number of casualties and the full impact is still being calculated.”

The water knocks down homes and smashes into trees, leaving a trail of destruction in its path, as residents cry out and try to run to safety.

The video comes as officials have confirmed a tsunami of up to two metres hit the city after a powerful earthquake rocked central Sulawesi.

Officials say waters have since receded, but families are missing.

Search operations are set to begin at first light to determine how bad the damage is, amid reports of whole families being missing in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

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Dramatic footage shows waves surging forward towards the island as terrified crowds scream (Image: Youtube)

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An earlier quake left one person dead and at least 10 others injured

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The water is filmed making its way towards the shore following an earlier earthquake (Image: Youtube)

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Aftershocks continued to occur in the area

The earthquake hit the island earlier today – just hours after a smaller tremor destroyed buildings, killing one person and injuring 10 others.

The US Geological Survey said the second quake was centred at a depth of six miles around 35 miles northeast of the town of Donggala.

In the tsunami footage, waves can be seen tumbling at a great speed towards the land, as crowds of people shout and run frantically.

The person recording the dramatic scene focuses on the fleeing crowds, before turning back to the water, where giant waves are surging forward.

The water then crashes into the island before everything suddenly goes dark, with the sounds of panicked people heard in the background.

Some families are missing following the tsunami (seen before hitting the shore) (Image: Youtube)
People are heard screaming as they flee the area
Locals look on in horror at the terrifying scene

Moments later, the camera refocuses, showing water streaming below through the streets, bringing chunks of debris with it.

The Palu Grand Mall and the Baiturrahman Mosque were hit by huge waves close to the shore, the Jakarta Post reports.

Critics have questioned why a tsunami warning was lifted before the huge waves struck in Indonesia.

The country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) first issued a warning for western and central Sulawesi at 5.07pm, but revoked it around 30 minutes later.

The country’s disaster agency confirmed a tsunami had hit Palu and the city of Donggala, sweeping away homes that were in its path.

Earlier, a tsunami warning had been issued for people in Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi provinces following the earthquake. The same area had been hit by a deadly, 6.1-magnitude quake just hours before.

Although the warning was lifted within the hour, officials asked people to remain on the alert as a number of moderate aftershocks hit.

The first quake also destroyed some houses
Another shot of the tsunami, which swept onto the island following the two quakes

“We advise people to remain in safe areas, stay away from damaged buildings,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a TV interview earlier.

He added that the national agency in Jakarta was having difficulties reaching some authorities in the area.

The Geological Survey put the magnitude of the second quake at 7.5, after first saying it was 7.7.

According to Nugroho, the quake was felt “very strongly”.

“We expect more damage and more victims,” he said.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

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Gempa ablum magrib didonggala

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Dapat dari group, Kondisi setelah gempa 7.7 SR Sulawesi Tengah, Donggala. #PrayForDonggala

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Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

And in 2004, a big earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Footage of the incidents today, posted on social media, shows a number of buildings collapsed, with mounds of rubble lying on the ground.

Other clips show locals screaming and crying.

The area that was damaged was in the Sinreja District, Donggala Regency
A shake map with the epicenter of the second earthquake (Image: REX/Shutterstock)
It is later seen flooding the streets
It is later seen flooding the streets (Image: Youtube)

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Suasana sesaat setelah gempa Donggala, Palu, Sulteng

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Last month, we reported that the Indonesian island of Bali had been hit by a major tremor for the third time in less than a month.

Panicked holidaymakers and locals rushed into the streets amid fears buildings would collapse during that incident.

The quake, which sparked a tsunami warning that was later stood down, struck Bali’s neighbouring island of Lombok at the same location that was hit by a 6.4-magnitude quake that killed 14 people previously.

Model Christine Teigen and Take That star Gary Barlow were among numerous people sharing their horror experiences in the aftermath. (Click to Source)

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North Carolina nuclear power plant declares “unusual event” following storm, “hot shutdown”

The Brunswick Nuclear Plant’s two reactor went into a “hot shutdown” following and “unusual event” last Saturday

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is being tight-lipped about an “unusual event” which occurred at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant last Saturday which forced a “hot shutdown” of both the plant’s Generation IV-type reactors 1 and 2.

The NRC classified the emergency as an “unusual event” but provided little to no details on the situation.

Additionally, the NRC reports that weather conditions from Tropical Storm Florence are currently preventing workers from accessing the plant.

“A hazardous event has resulted in on site conditions sufficient to prohibit the plant staff from accessing the site via personal vehicles due to flooding of local roads by Tropical Storm Florence.”

From the NRC regarding Event 53609:

NRC

The current rector mode is showing as “hot shutdown” and more rain is on the way.

River waters in the area are expected to rise as much as 20 feet in the coming days. Not to mention, local dams in the area may be to capacity.

We will provide updates as we get them.

Update: The NRC “unusual event” warning appears to be unrelated to the planned shutdown of the plant which occurred last Thursday, two days prior to the alert, as reported by Weather.com in the Sept 13 report titled North Carolina Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down Ahead of Florence; It’s One of 9 in the Path of the Storm. (Click to Source)

 

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Photos: Typhoon Mangkhut ravages Philippines, Hong Kong, and southern China

Dozens were killed, many in a deadly landslide in the Philippines.

The aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut in Alcala, Philippines on September 15, 2018.
Jes Aznar/Getty Images

Typhoon Mangkhut made its deadly march across the Philippines, Hong Kong, and southern China over the weekend, unleashing flooding, dangerous winds, and landslides, and killing dozens.

Mangkhut was the world’s most powerful storm this year so far, according to meteorologists, reaching sustained winds as high as 170 miles per hour — about the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane — and spanning as wide as 550 miles. (Hurricanes and typhoons are both tropical cyclones, but called different names based on the regions where they form; hurricanes exist in the Atlantic or northeastern Pacific, and typhoons originate in the northwest Pacific.)

The typhoon slammed into the region around the same time Hurricane Florence was battering the Carolinas. Florence was a Category 2 storm (winds between 96 and 110 miles per hour) when it made landfall — though the slow-moving storm and its relentless rains created different hazards.

Here are some scenes of Mangkhut’s devastation as it ripped through the region.

The Philippines got hit first — and the hardest

Super Typhoon Mangkhut Batters the Philippines as it Makes Landfall
Debris in Alcala, Philippines.
Jes Aznar/Getty Images

The typhoon slammed into the northern Philippines early Saturday morning, where the death toll stands at 66, though it’s expected to rise. Many were killed by landslides, including more than 34 miners who were buried when a mountain collapsed on a bunkhouse in the remote mining town of Itogon.

Typhoon Mangkhut causes deadly landslide in Philippines.
Rescuers assist people in Itogon, which was hit by a deadly landslide, on September 16, 2018.
Jayjay Landingin/AP

Dozens remain missing, including children who were working at the illegal mining site, Philippines authorities said. The mayor of the town, Victorio Palangdan, said it was likely that those who had not yet been recovered were dead. “I am 99% sure the people there are dead,” he said, according to the Guardian.

Typhoon Mangkhut landslide in Philippines.
The aftermath of landslides in Itogon on September 16, 2018.
Jayjay Landingin/AP

Tens of thousands are said to have been affected by the storm, and the government is still trying to assess the extent of the damage.

Mangkhut was the strongest storm to hit Hong Kong in decades

Hong Kong Sets Highest Storm Alert As Super Typhoon Mangkhut Arrives
The aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut on September 17, 2018, in Hong Kong.
Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

After devastating the Philippines, Mangkhut veered toward Hong Kong, making it one of the strongest storms to make landfall there in decades. The storm had weakened, with sustained winds of about 96 miles per hour, but the still-powerful gusts blasted out windows and downed trees, crippling the city and its transportation network.

Hong Kong Sets Highest Storm Alert As Super Typhoon Mangkhut Arrives
Hong Kong after Mangkhut on September 17, 2018.
Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Storm surge threatened the coastal areas, and reached as high as 11 feet — which broke a more than century-old record, according to the BBC. The seaside town of Heng Fa Chuen was particularly hard-hit, with rapid flooding and wind damage.

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Residents held hands and helped each other cross the flooded streets. “Heng Fa Chuen has become a reservoir,” a longtime resident said in dismay. #Mangkhut #HongKong#HengFaChuen

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Hundreds of people were injured, though authorities said no one had been killed.

China deals with a weakened Mangkhut

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People’s Daily,China

@PDChina

Super Typhoon #Mangkhut landed at 5 p.m. (Beijing time) Sun on the coast of Jiangmen, S China’s Guangdong, packing winds up to 162 km/h (101 mph); it also slammed China’s Hong Kong on Sun with strong winds and heavy rain, leaving 213 people injured.

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Mangkhut arrived in China late Sunday into early Monday morning, killing at least four people and forcing millions to evacuate from the province of Guangdong and other coastal areas.

Macau, the autonomous region also in its path, was forced to shut down its casinos, as the area was inundated with flood waters.

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Typhoon #Mangkhut: Major roads near #Macau‘s Inner Harbour are severely flooded http://buff.ly/2My3zdc #TyphoonMangkhut

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The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression on Monday afternoon as it moved west from Guangdong, on the southern coast of mainland China. (Click to Source)

 

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After Floods and Heatwave, Japan Braces for Typhoon Jongdari

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High temperatures in Tokyo on July 24. Photographer: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

Typhoon Jongdari is set to make landfall on Japan’s mainland this weekend, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to much of a country hit in recent weeks by a deadly heatwave and historic flooding.

The typhoon was located off Chichijima, an island in the Pacific about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) southeast of Tokyo, as of 2 p.m. Japan time Friday. Carrying sustained winds of 144 kilometers (89 miles) per hour, it’s expected to speed up and maintain its intensity as it nears the mainland on Saturday afternoon, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

After skirting Tokyo on Saturday, the typhoon is predicted to track towards the west of the country, near regions that were the worst hit by the historic rain and flooding. More than two hundred were killed in the floods, with some roads still impassable and train lines suspended.

“It’s possible that the typhoon could have a very large impact” on the flood-hit areas, a spokesman for the Japan Meteorological Agency said, and while the agency has yet to issue any specific warnings for these areas, it could do so over the weekend.

For now, the agency is warning many regions of strong rainfall of up to 500 millimeters over 24 hours, and urging people to be on guard for the risk of landslides and flooding. Tokyo’s Sumidagawa fireworks festival, which attracts close to a million visitors, has been postponed to Sunday as a result of the approaching storm.

Jongdari would be the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Japan this year. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of typhoons directly hitting Japan, with at least four in each of the past four years. (Click to Source)

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Tropical Storm “Son-tinh” leaves over 5k homes destroyed, 17k animals dead and over 30 people killed

Storm kills 20 in Vietnam
July 21 2018 10:45 PM

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A man looks at motorbikes damaged by flash flooding in Yen Bai province of Vietnam yesterday.

Reuters/AFP/Hanoi

Tropical storm Son Tinh has killed 20 people, left 16 missing and injured 14 in Vietnam, the country’s rescue committee said yesterday.

Floods triggered by heavy rains hit northern Vietnam after tropical storm Son Tinh made landfall in northern coastal areas on Thursday, while the capital Hanoi was flooded and lashed by torrential rains.

More than 5,000 houses were damaged, swept away, submerged or collapsed, around 82,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of crops were damaged and nearly 17,000 animals were killed nationwide, the Vietnam National Committee for Search and Rescue said in a report.

Heavy rains are expected to continue over the next few days, Vietnam’s steering committee for disaster prevention said in a separate statement yesterday.

The Southeast Asian country is prone to monsoon storms and floods, which frequently claim hundreds of lives every year.

Typhoon Son Tinh – the third tropical storm to hit Vietnam since the start of the year – damaged infrastructure and crops through Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces.

State media ran images of floods in remote areas where villagers are using boats to move around. Several communities are still isolated, reports said.

In Hanoi, flood water inundated several streets.

“We had to move all our furniture upstairs because the ground floor was flooded,” Hanoi resident Tran Anh Huong said.

“We were all trapped in the house.”

Vietnam’s rainy season is between June and November, bringing about serious human and material damage.

Last year, 389 lives were claimed by natural disasters, with material damages reportedly reaching $2.6bn, the government said. (Click to Source)

 

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The world has never seen a Category 6 hurricane. But the day may be coming

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Hurricane Patricia in 2015 achieved sustained wind speed of 215 mph. By comparison, last year’s Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, had winds of 180 mph.


As a ferocious hurricane bears down on South Florida, water managers desperately lower canals in anticipation of 4 feet of rain.

Everyone east of Dixie Highway is ordered evacuated, for fear of a menacing storm surge. Forecasters debate whether the storm will generate the 200 mph winds to achieve Category 6 status.

 

This is one scenario for hurricanes in a warmer world, a subject of fiendish complexity and considerable scientific research, as experts try to tease out the effects of climate change from the influences of natural climate cycles.

 

Some changes — such as the slowing of hurricanes’ forward motion and the worsening of storm surges from rising sea levels — are happening now. Other impacts, such as their increase in strength, may have already begun but are difficult to detect, considering all of the other climate forces at work.

 But more certainty has developed over the last few years. Among the conclusions: Hurricanes will be wetter. They are likely to move slower, lingering over whatever area they hit. And although there is debate over whether there will be more or fewer of them, most researchers think hurricanes will be stronger.

 

“There’s almost unanimous agreement that hurricanes will produce more rain in a warmer climate,” said Adam Sobel, professor of applied physics at Columbia University and director of its Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. “There’s agreement there will be increased coastal flood risk, at a minimum because of sea level rise. Most people believe that hurricanes will get, on average, stronger. There’s more debate about whether we can detect that already.”

 

No one knows how strong they could get, as they’re fueled by warmer ocean water. Timothy Hall, senior scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said top wind speeds of up to 230 mph could occur by the end of the century, if current global warming trends continue. This would be the strength of an F-4 tornado, which can pick up cars and throw them through the air (although tornadoes, because of their rapid changes of wind direction, are considered more destructive).

 

Does that mean the five-category hurricane scale should be expanded to include a Category 6, or even Category 7?

The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, developed in the early 1970s, ranks hurricanes from Category 1, which means winds of 74-95 mph, to Category 5, which covers winds of 157 mph or more.

 

Since each category covers a range of wind speeds, it would appear that once wind speed reaches 190 or 200 mph, the pattern may call for another category. Last season saw two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, with Irma reaching 180 mph. And in 2015, off Mexico’s Pacific coast, Hurricane Patricia achieved a freakish sustained wind speed of 215 mph.

 

“If we had twice as many Category 5s — at some point, several decades down the line — if that seems to be the new norm, then yes, we’d want to have more partitioning at the upper part of the scale,” Hall said. “At that point, a Category 6 would be a reasonable thing to do.’’

 

Many scientists and forecasters aren’t particularly interested in categories anyway, since these capture only wind speed and not the other dangers posed by hurricanes.

 

“We’ve tried to steer the focus toward the individual hazards, which include storm surge, wind, rainfall, tornadoes and rip currents, instead of the particular category of the storm, which only provides information about the hazard from wind,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center. “Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale already captures ‘catastrophic damage’ from wind, so it’s not clear that there would be a need for another category even if storms were to get stronger.”

 

Among the most solid predictions is that storms will move more slowly. In fact, this has already happened. A new study in the journal Nature found that tropical cyclones have decreased their forward speed by 10% since 1949, and many scientists expect this trend to continue.

 

This doesn’t mean a hurricane’s winds would slow down. It means the hurricane would be more likely to linger over an area — like last year’s Hurricane Harvey. It settled over the Houston area and dropped more than 4 feet of rain on some areas, flooding thousands of houses.

 

In addition to moving slower, future hurricanes are expected to dump a lot more rain. A study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research this year looked at how 20 Atlantic hurricanes would change if they took place at the end of the century, under the average projection for global warming. Warm air holds more water than cold air — which is why no one complains about the humidity when it’s cold out. The study found hurricanes would generate an average of 24% more rain, an increase that guarantees more storms would produce catastrophic flooding.

 

The production of horrifying amounts of rain shows another way in which Harvey is a window into the future. One study, which looked at how much rain Harvey would have produced if it had formed in the 1950s, found that global warming had increased its rainfall by up to 38%.

 

Other scientists see Harvey less as a symptom of climate change than an indication of what we can expect in the future.

 

“Whether we’re talking about a change in the number of storms or an increase in the most intense storms, the changes that are likely to come from global warming are not likely to be detectable until 50 years from now,” said Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Warm ocean water provides the fuel for hurricanes, but a hotter world would not necessarily produce more of them. While many scientists for a long time did think an increase in temperatures would produce more storms, they have begun focusing on factors that could suppress the formation of hurricanes.

 

Many models for future climates show an increase in wind shear, the crisscrossing high-altitude winds that tear up incipient tropical cyclones. And they show less of the atmospheric instability necessary for the generation of thunderstorms.

But now the thinking is swinging back.

 

“We used to think 20 years ago that in a warmer climate there would be more hurricanes,” said Sobel, of Columbia. “Then the computer models got better. Most of those started to show fewer hurricanes, not more. No one knew why. Then some of the models started to show increases with warming. So I think we’re back to where we don’t know.” (Click to Source)

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