#NASA; #NASANOAASuomiNPPsatellite; #PhilippineSea; #Typhoon; #VIIRS; #JTWC; #Hurricanes, #tropicalCyclones
Washington, Sep 5 (Canadian-Media): NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Philippine Sea on Sept. 4 and provided a visible image of Haishen that had strengthened into a super typhoon, NASA reports said.
NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Super Typhoon Haishen moving through the Philippine Sea on Sept. 4.
Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard Suomi NPP provided a visible image of Haishen that revealed a large, circular, organized structure of strong thunderstorms circling the open eye. The eyewall, the strong thunderstorms that circle the open eye, is estimated to be 81 nautical miles-wide. Satellite data indicate the eye is about 31 nautical miles wide. The storm is at least 450 miles in diameter, as tropical storm-force winds extend up to 225 miles from the center.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Honolulu, Hawaii noted at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Sept. 4, that Super Typhoon Haishen had maximum sustained winds near 135 knots (155 mph/250 kph). It is currently a Category 4 hurricane/typhoon. It was centered near latitude 22.2 degrees north and longitude 134.3 degrees east, about 439 nautical miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Island, Japan. The storm was moving to the northwest.
JTWC forecasters expect Haishen will turn to the north-northwest while intensifying more. It is expected to peak later on Sept. 4 with sustained winds near 140 knots (161 mph/259 kph) which would make it equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. JWTC forecasts Haishen to pass west of Kyushu, Japan and make landfall in South Korea after 3 days.
NASA Researches Tropical Cyclones
Hurricanes/tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.
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#Afghanistan, #AfghanistanFloods; #HumanitarianAid
Kabul (Afghanistan), Sep 1 (Canadian-Media): About 190 people have been killed and 172 injured since Aug 25 due to the floods triggered by heavy rains and onrush of water in the mountainous eastern Afghan region, media reports said.
Image: Floods. Image credit: Splash
Thirteen provinces, mostly in the country's north, had been affected by floods, according to the Ministry for Disaster Management.
Ongoing efforts in assistance in recovery efforts and distribution of aid had been done by the Ministry of Defense said Afghan security forces.
Afghan security forces had also been dealing with rising violence from the Taliban as the start of peace talks in Doha hit delays.
NATO said that its forces were also supporting the Afghan military in providing food, water and blankets to the area earlier in the week.
According to the national and local officials, Parwan, just north of the capital Kabul, 116 people had been killed and more than 120 injured, with 15 people still missing,
"Rescue teams are still in the area and searching for the missing bodies," said Wahida Shahkar, a spokesperson for Parwan's governor, reported by CBC News.
Widespread damage have been caused by the floods to agriculture lands, crops, roads and highways in many provinces.
Taiwan, Aug 31 (Canadian-Media): A video footage posted on social media on Sunday showed the survival of a three-year-old girl's terrifying rid when she was entangled in the tail of a giant kite after being swept more than 30 metres into the air during a kite festival in Taiwan, media reports said.
The girl's nightmare ended after 30 seconds before she was pulled back to the ground by members of the crowd when the kite was brought back under control.
The girl only suffered minor cuts.
The shock of the impending danger forced organizers to cut short the festival in Hsinchu city in northwestern Taiwan.
Video of the incident was shared by festival-goers on social media and quickly racked up millions of views.
Kite flying. Image credit: Unsplash
Louisiana (United States), Aug 27 (Canadian-Media): Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday in southwestern Louisiana, packing winds of 240 km/h, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
U.S. National Hurricane Center. Image credit: Twitter handle
One of the most powerful to hit the state, with forecasters warning that the storm could push a massive wall of water nearly 65 kilometres inland from the sea.
Officials said that the area in the direct path of the storm, home to about 4 million people, most had left for safer areas under evacuation orders.
Hurricane-strength winds could blow as far as 320 kilometres inland to Shreveport, La., said the forecasters
U.S. has set a new record for landfalls by the end of August when Laura, the seventh named storm to strike the U.S. this year.
The old record was six in 1886 and 1916, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, reported by CBC News.
#Lebanon; #MassiveBeirutExplosion; #AtLeast100Killed; #ThousandsWonded
Lebanon, Aug 5 (Canadian-Media): A massive explosion at the port sent shock waves across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 100 people and wounding thousands, which could rise further, George Kettaneh, an official with the Lebanese Red Cross said, media reports said.
Beirut Explosion. Image credit: Wikipedia
Scores of people were missing and an Instagram page called "Locating Victims Beirut" was created with photos of missing people, and radio presenters read the names of missing or wounded people throughout the night.
It was unclear what caused the blast, which appeared to have been triggered by a fire and struck with the force of an earthquake. There is no evidence the Beirut explosion was an attack.
It appeared the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse at the dock after it was confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014, Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi told a local TV station.
It was the most powerful explosion and one of the local newspapers described it as "The Great Collapse."
Already being on the brink of collapse amid a severe economic crisis with its hospitals confronting a surge in coronavirus cases.
Security forces cordoned off the port area on Wednesday as a bulldozer entered to help clear away debris.
Numerous apartment buildings were destroyed by the blast, potentially leaving large numbers of people homeless at a time when many Lebanese were financial crisis.
The government of Lebanon was also concerned how it will continue to import nearly all of its vital goods with its main port devastated.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab, in a short televised speech, appealed to all countries and friends of Lebanon to extend help to the small nation, saying: "We are witnessing a real catastrophe."
There is also the issue of food security in Lebanon, with 80 percent of Lebanon's wheat supply is imported, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department with estimated 85 percent of the country's grain having been contaminated.
Rooted in decades of systemic corruption and poor governance since the end of the civil war, Lebanese have held mass protests calling for sweeping political change since last autumn but due to the economic situation having steadily worsened, few of their demands have been met.
The explosion came three days before a UN-backed court is due to deliver a verdict in the trial of four suspects from the Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah over a 2005 bombing that killed former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 others.
It was on the same waterfront, that Hariri was killed by a huge truck bomb, about two kilometres from the port.
Canada stands ready to assist Lebanon in the aftermath of an explosion in Beirut earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.
"Absolutely tragic news coming out of Beirut. Canadians are thinking of everyone who has been injured and all those who are trying to locate a friend or family member or have lost a loved one. We’re keeping you in our thoughts and we stand ready to assist in any way we can," Trudeau said via Twitter on Aug 4.
#UN; #Explosion; #BeirutPort
Geneva/United Nations, Aug 4 (Canadian-Media): The United Nations has said that it is “actively assisting” in the response to the horrific explosions that ripped through the port area of Beirut on Tuesday, reportedly leaving dozens dead and thousands wounded, among them some UN naval peacekeepers.
Wide view of the city of Beirut, Lebanon. (file). Image credit: World Bank/Dominic Chavez
A statement from a UN spokesperson said Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Lebanon, following the horrific explosions in the capital.
The UN chief wished a speedy recovery to the injured, including several UN personnel working in Lebanon.
News reports suggest that along with dozens of deaths, perhaps several thousand people were injured in the massive blasts, which sent shockwaves across the bustling city of Beirut, bursting out windows and shaking buildings. The cause of the explosions has not yet been confirmed.
“The United Nations remains committed to supporting Lebanon at this difficult time and is actively assisting in the response to this incident,” Mr. Guterres said.
Separately, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the President of the UN General Assembly,also extended his deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the explosion in Beirut today and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.
“Mr. Muhammad-Bande would like to reiterate his solidarity with Lebanon during this time,” said the Assembly President’s Spokesperson.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), said that as a result of a huge explosion, a ship from its Maritime Task Force docked in the port was damaged, leaving some UNIFIL naval peacekeepers injured – some of them seriously.
“UNIFIL is transporting the injured peacekeepers to the nearest hospitals for medical treatment. UNIFIL is currently assessing the situation, including the scale of the impact on UNIFIL personnel,” said a statement from the operation, which was set up in 1978 initially to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, as well as to ensure the area returned to Beirut's control.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Del Col said: “We are with the people and the Government of Lebanon during this difficult time and stand ready to help and provide any assistance and support.”
#HamiltonFire; #Ontario; #HousesDestroyed
Hamilton, Jul 27 (Canadian-Media): A multiple-alarm fire early morning of July 27 in Winona, a suburban area of Hamilton, Ontario resulted in engulfing and completely destroying eleven townhouses, media reports said.
Massive fire. Image credit: Wikimedia commons
David Cunliffe, chief of Hamilton Fire Department, said that the fire to a three-storey townhouse was quite advanced when firefighters arrived, after they received a call around 2:41 a.m. with reports of a structure fire at 49 Edenrock Dr.
"We had fire venting from the roof and out the rear of the building," he said and added damages could be in the multiple millions of dollars.
In spite of more than 60 firefighters on scene, the wind caused the fire to spread to a neighbouring block of eight townhomes, and nearly spread to another before firefighters were able to stop it.
No injury was reported and a displacement centre has been set up at a local hotel.
There's been a structure or roof collapse in "pretty much all of the 11 units," Cunliffe said.
Investigation is being done by the fire marshal's office.
Crews will be on scene for the majority of the day.
#Texas; #US; HurricaneHanna; #NHC; #HeavyRains
Washington, Jul 26 (Canadian-Media): Heavy rains and life-threatening flooding is expected in Texas on July 26 due to Hurricane Hanna's landfall in Texas on July 25, US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a statement.
Hurricane Hanna. Image credit: Twitter handle
"The eye of Hurricane Hanna made landfall on Padre Island, Texas, at 5:00 PM CDT (22:00 UTC) about 15 miles (20 km) north of Port Mansfield, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 km/h)," NHC said on Saturday.
According to NHC, the center of Hanna, which was to move inland over south Texas on July 25, will move into northeastern Mexico on Sunday.
"Hanna is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches through Monday in south Texas and into the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and northern Tamaulipas. This rain will produce life-threatening flash flooding, rapid rises on small streams, and isolated minor to moderate river flooding. Hanna is also expected to produce 3 to 5 inches of rain along the upper Texas and Louisiana coasts," NHC said.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Douglas continues to move northwest toward Hawaii, according to NHC.
Ahead of Hurricane Hanna's landfall, an emergency declaration was issued July 25 for Hawai, by US President Donald Trump, in anticipation of hurricane Douglas, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On July 25 Texas Governor Gregory Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 32 counties in Texas.
#Ontario; #ForProfitLongTermCareHomes; #NonProfitCareHomes
Ottawa, Jul 23 (Canadian-Media): Significantly worse outbreaks of COVID-19 and more related deaths were experienced by for-profit long-term care homes in Ontario than their non-profit or municipally run counterparts, according to a new study released in the peer-reviewed Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) July 22.
Long Term Care Homes. Image credit: Wikipedia
Questions were raised by this paper about the ownership status of nursing homes, and quality of care.
All the 623 long-term care homes in Ontario housing more than 75,000 seniors, from March 29 — the date of the first reported case of coronavirus in a home — until May 20 were looked at by the research.
Most of the seniors suffered from multiple health conditions, both physical and cognitive.
Of more than 5,200 residents contracted COVID-19 during the study period, 1,450, more than one quarter of those infected, died.
57 percent of nursing homes in Ontario are set up to be profit-making, the highest rate in the country, 26 percent are non-profit, and 16 percent are run by municipalities.
“We did find evidence that for-profit LTC homes have larger COVID-19 outbreaks and more deaths of residents from COVID-19 than non-profit and municipal homes,” the study said.
“Those with older design standards appear to show worse outcomes.”
The study, co-authored by Dr. Nathan Stall with the Sinai Health System and University Health Network in Toronto, also found that chain-operated for-profit homes -- 85 percent of the commercial facilities -- run a significantly higher risk of worse COVID outcomes.
Many beds are at or below 1972 standards.
Dr. Samir Sinha, a Toronto-based geriatrician not involved in the study, said 30,000 long-term care beds in Ontario are in dire need of upgrades.
"Many of these older multi-bedded homes happen to be owned by for-profits," Sinha said. "The study really speaks to the need to redevelop that."
Ontario Premier Doug Ford's had initially promised to build 15,000 beds in five years and redevelop another 15,000, Sinha said.
But, only a relative handful have been built or redeveloped.
Last week, it was announced by Ontario government that it is changing the way it funds long-term care home expansions in a bid to spur construction, while conceding it would now pay for 8,000 new beds, and 12,000 renovated beds in the same five-year period.
It has also limited room occupancy to two, further increasing bed shortages.
The Ontario Long Term Care association, responsible for nursing homes and has complained about underfunding, did not respond to a request for comment on the study.
The Ontario Health Coalition said on July 22 that 95 percent of staff in Ontario's nursing homes reported basic care needs of residents -- such as bathing, oral care and emotional support -- were not being unmet due to staff shortages.
Others said they didn't have enough time to properly feed residents, get them to the washroom on time, or make sure they didn't develop pressure ulcers -- a situation especially problematic at night and on weekends. Most respondents reported the situation had worsened since the pandemic hit in March.
In response, Ford said the survey findings show why his government passed ongoing emergency powers to be able to "flow staff from the hospitals into long-term care."
Previous research has shown staffing levels play a key role in COVID-19 outcomes, with one California study finding under-staffing doubled the chances of residents' becoming infected.
"If requirements to fund adequate levels of staffing affect the bottom lines of for-profit facilities, then it might be time for this care to be turned over to public and non-profit entities," the journal commentary says.
#Alberta; #NationalJasperPark; #BusCrash
Alberta, Jul 20 (Canadian-Media): A bus crashed near the Columbia Icefield in the National Jasper Park in Alberta on Saturday afternoon killing three people and injuring 24 others, many of them critically, media reports said.
Image : Columbia Icefield, Brewster Inc.
A witness to bus crashed said he was surprised anyone survived after the glacier sightseeing vehicle rolled four or five times, CBC News reported.
The cause of the rollover could was not confirmed, said Jasper RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Rick Bidaisee on July 20.
The investigation is in progress, said Bidaisee and added that the work was in progress to remove the bus from the crash site so it can be examined.
Identities of the victims in the crash, said Bidaisee, could not be shared at that time as investigators are still trying to notify next-of-kin.
It was shown in the photos and video that the red-and-white bus flipped onto its roof on a rocky slope near the Athabasca Glacier, which is one of the toes of the Columbia Icefield about 100 kilometres south of Jasper.
Vanja Krtolica and his family, he said were on an earlier bus tour and after visiting the glacier, were waiting for a later tour bus when Krtolica heard gasps as people on his bus watched the oncoming bus gain speed, careening down the hill.
"That's when the bus hit the embankment sideways, flipped and probably rolled about four or five times, from what I could tell," he said.
"My gut feeling was that it was very, very bad," Krtolica said. "The initial impression of the accident was that I don't know if anybody made it out," CBC News reported.