Sunday, October 18, 2015

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster updates.

**Either you run the day or the day runs you.**
Jim Rohn

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday, 10/17/15 -

10/16/15 -

10/15/15 -
10/14/15 -

10/13/15 -
None 5.0 or larger.

Argentina - At least one dead as 5.9 quake hits Salta at 8:33 am this morning. The earthquake hit the province of Salta in the northern area of the country, claiming the life of one woman who lived in the locality of El Galpón, 160 km away from the provincial capital city. The tremor was felt also in the provinces of Tucumán, Jujuy, Santiago del Estero and Córdoba.


Tropical storm Olaf strengthening. Expected to become a hurricane today. Located about 1685 mi (2715 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

- Typhoon Koppu, donwgraded from a super typhoon, is located approximately 91 nm north of Manila, Philippines.

- Typhoon Champi is located approximately 343 nm south of Iwo To, Japan.
Super Typhoon Koppu Could Hit Philippines as a Category 5 - Intensifying Super Typhoon Koppu is pounding the Philippines' eastern Luzon Island with torrential rains as the storm crawls west-northwest at 6 mph. Koppu is called "Lando" locally in the Philippines. At 8 am EDT Saturday, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Koppu was a Category 4 super typhoon with top winds of 150 mph, and the Japan Meteorological Agency estimated a central pressure of 930 mb.
Koppu is the nineteenth Category 4 or 5 tropical cyclone this year in the Northern Hemisphere, SETTING A NEW RECORD for these most powerful of storms. The previous record was eighteen such storms in 2004.
Satellite loops on Saturday morning showed that Koppu had an impressive ring of eyewall clouds with very cold cloud tops that extended high into the atmosphere, and a prominent 23-mile diameter eye. The combination of low wind shear, warm ocean waters that extend to great depth and the presence of two impressive upper level outflow channels will support continued intensification right up until landfall.
Extreme winds, a large storm surge, and heavy rains are all major threats from Koppu, but it is the storm's rains that will cause most of the storm's destruction. Recent satellite estimates showed Koppu's maximum rainfall rate was likely 20 inches of rain per 24 hours.
Unfortunately for the Philippines, Koppu is moving very slowly, which will lead to extremely high rainfall rates. Koppu will slow down further after landfall, and spend at least three days over northern Luzon Island. With water temperatures an UNUSUALLY WARM 30 - 31°C (86 - 88°F) in the waters surrounding Luzon - about 1°C (1.8°F) above average - the typhoon will be able to pull in tremendous amounts of water vapor from the oceans, resulting in widespread rains of over two feet falling on Luzon Island.
More than four feet of rain will likely fall in some mountainous areas, and rainfall amounts of this magnitude are likely to cause devastating flooding. The Saturday run of the GFS model shows Koppu spending a full five days over Luzon, which would result in even more disastrous rainfall amounts than described here. The capital of Manila (population 12 million) lies right at the edge of where the most extreme rains of at least a foot will fall, so hopefully the monetary damage from the flooding will stay below a billion dollars. (maps at link)

Typhoon Koppu - video.

UPDATE - Philippines battered as Typhoon Koppu makes landfall. Homes have been flattened, power lines toppled, and thousands of people have fled their homes as Typhoon Koppu swept into the northern Philippines.
Disaster agency officials said the storm was also whipping up coastal surges 4m (12ft) high. The slow-moving typhoon made landfall near the town of Casiguran on the main island of Luzon on Sunday morning. Koppu is predicted to bring three days of torrential rain, triggering major flooding and possibly landslides. 10,000 people have been displaced in north-eastern Luzon but no casualties had been reported so far.
Why is Koppu slow-moving? There are two typhoons in the west Pacific at the moment - Typhoon Champi sits just to the east of Koppu. The complex interaction between these two typhoons and the warm air within these storms helps to build a ridge of high pressure over Taiwan this weekend. It is this ridge that effectively traps typhoon Koppu over the Philippines for a number of days rather than it being able to turn away from the Philippines and out of harm's way to the South China Sea.
Some computer models suggest the storm system will still be affecting the Philippines into the middle of next week allowing colossal amounts of rain to accumulate - 1m (39in) of rain is possible. Such extreme rainfall would bring some severe flooding to Luzon. (video and photos at link)

Worst case scenario begins to unfold - Super Typhoon Koppu made landfall close to 1 a.m. local time on Sunday morning near the town of Casiguran in Luzon's Aurora Province, as a powerful Category 4 or 5 storm. The storm was on the cusp of being declared a Category 5 monster from one of the official storm monitoring agencies in Japan and the U.S. before it crossed over land, officially with winds of 150 miles per hour, just shy of Category 5 strength.
Super Typhoon Koppu underwent a nightmarish period of rapid intensification that may have caught many of the 15 to 20 million residents of Luzon off guard. Just before people along the northeastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines — from Cabantuan City to the small towns along the coast, including Casiguran and Dipaulao — went to bed on Saturday evening, local time, Typhoon Koppu was a strong Category 2 storm.
It was powerful, worthy of respect, but not monstrously strong. The storm was not remotely near the scale of Super Typhoon Haiyan, for example, which struck well to the south of this area in 2013, leaving at least 7,300 dead or missing. Fast forward about eight hours, to chaotic pre-dawn Sunday as Koppu made landfall as a ferocious Super Typhoon with winds of 150 miles per hour or higher.
Such a storm is capable of wiping out entire towns from wind damage, and inflicting a grim toll along the coast from storm surge flooding. This storm is going to do something few storms of this strength do — sit and spin over land, and then near land, for three to four full days, dumping almost unheard of rainfall totals in the process. "We are looking at the possible worst scenario, not to scare but to allow us to prepare. If it stays 24 hours ... and the downpour is sustained, we will surely have floods and landslides."
This may prove to be an understatement. Some computer models are projecting that rainfall totals in northwestern Luzon will eclipse 50 inches, or 1,270 millimeters, by the time rain ends on Tuesday or Wednesday. If some projections are born out — and there is little reason to doubt them considering that there is historical precedent for such deluges from such tropical weather systems in the Philippines — rainfall totals could climb even higher, toward 60 to 80 inches, or about 1,500 to 2,000 millimeters or more.
This would be the equivalent of receiving an entire year's worth of average precipitation in Miami, Florida, which is 61.92 inches, in just three or four days. Such rains will cause potentially deadly flash flooding and mudslides as well as river flooding, and combined with the wind and storm surge damage, could lead to this storm being one of the most expensive natural disasters on record in a country that experiences the most natural disasters of any nation on Earth.
To prepare for the flooding, local officials have been conducting forced evacuations of communities historically affected by flash flooding and landslides. Authorities also evacuated coastal villages that risked getting hit by storm surge flooding.

Elsewhere in the Pacific: Typhoon Champi, Tropical Storm Olaf, and Tropical Cyclone Two -
Category 2 Typhoon Champi is expected to intensify into a Category 4 storm by Sunday, becoming the Northern Hemisphere's RECORD-SETTING twentieth Category 4 or stronger tropical cyclone of 2015. Champi is headed northwest, and will turn to the north and northeast on Sunday and Monday. By Tuesday, a weakening Champi may pass close enough to Iwo Jima to bring hurricane-force winds to that island.
In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Olaf is steadily organizing as it heads west at 12 mph towards Hawaii. Olaf is predicted to reach major hurricane strength by Monday, but will turn to the northwest well before reaching Hawaii, eventually dying in the waters between Hawaii and California more than a week from now. Olaf is not a threat to any land areas.
In the South Pacific, Tropical Cyclone Two, the second tropical cyclone of the 2015 - 2016 season, was expected to dissipate in the waters about 300 miles west of Fiji on Saturday night.


California - RAINFALL RECORDS for Oct. 15 were set Thursday in Palmdale, Sandberg and Fox Field in Lancaster. Homeowners in northern Los Angeles County communities were spending their Saturday digging mud out of their houses as crews continued to clear tons of dirt that clogged roadways and buried hundreds of cars. Route 58, the Mojave-Barstow Highway, remains closed, after nearly 200 cars were trapped under mud and debris. Officials have not yet given word on when it will reopen.

California - Dramatic Photos of the Mudslides That Stranded LA Drivers. Cars were stuck in place on Los Angeles highways Thursday night amid mudslides caused by flash flooding and thunderstorms. Both northbound and southbound traffic on Interstate 5 was blocked because of the flooding and cars had to be removed by crews of workers. "I've never seen it rain that hard in such a short period of time; the hail and wind, it was coming down hard. ... The debris was just intense: chunks of wood and rock flowing everywhere."

Wild dust storm rolls over US city of Phoenix - Video . A dust storm has been caught on camera as it rolls across Phoenix in the US state of Arizona.

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