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Typhoon Merbok to hit China

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Beijing, June 12: China’s national observatory on Monday issued a blue alert for typhoon Merbok, which is expected to hit the Guangdong province on Monday night.

At 8 a.m., the eye of the storm, this year’s second, was above the South China Sea some 295 km to the south of Shenzhen, packing winds of up to 20 metres per second, the National Meteorological Centre (NMC) said.

The NMC forecast that Merbok would move northwestward at a speed of 20 km per hour toward Guangdong and make landfall on the coast between Zhuhai and Shantou on Monday night, reports Xinhua news agency.

But the centre expected the typhoon to weaken gradually after its landfall.

From Monday to Tuesday, parts of South China Sea and the eastern coast of Guangdong will experience strong winds, while storms with up to 180 mm of precipitation are expected.

The NMC suggested local governments take precautions against possible geological disasters, and ships in affected areas should go back to ports.

China has a four-tier colour-coded system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

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6.1-magnitude quake jolts Japan

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Earthquake

Tokyo, Oct 23: An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted Japan’s Okinawa prefecture on Tuesday but no tsunami warning was issued, the weather agency said.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the temblor’s epicentre was located at a latitude of 24.0 degrees north and a longitude of 122.6 degrees east, and at depth of 30 km, reports Xinhua news agency.

The JMA said the earthquake posed no risk of triggering a tsunami.

There have been no reports of injury or damage to people or vessels in the vicinity of Yonagunijima as a result of the quake.

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‘Extremely dangerous’ hurricane nearing Mexico’s Pacific coast

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hurricane Wills
(Image Credit: CIRA/RAMMB)

Washington, Oct 23: An “extremely dangerous” category 4 hurricane is nearing the Pacific coast of Mexico, bringing in the potential for life-threatening storm surge, wind and torrents of rain, according to weather authorities.

The US’ National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that Willa weakened slightly on Monday afternoon, it was still expected to be a dangerous major hurricane when it slams into Mexico’s central Pacific coast “over or very near” Islas Marias on Tuesday morning, CNN reported.

Willa’s maximum sustained winds ticked down from 160 mph to 145 mph, bringing the hurricane down from Category 5 strength to Category 4.

Its current intensity is about the same as Hurricane Michael’s when it made landfall in Florida’s Panhandle two weeks ago.

Willa became a tropical storm on Saturday morning and was a Category 5 hurricane in less than two days.

As of Monday morning, Willa had swelled by 80 mph in just 24 hours.

Storm surge accompanied by “large and destructive waves” are forecast along portions of Mexico’s central and southwestern coast, the NHC said.

Dangerous surf and riptides were expected along the southern coast of Baja California late Monday.

Rainfall ranging from six to 12 inches could spawn life-threatening landslides and flash flooding in portions of the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, CNN quoted the NHC as saying.

There were 10 major hurricanes this year, including Willa, which ties 1992 as the most major hurricanes seen in the northeast Pacific in one year, CNN said.

Increasing numbers of major hurricanes, along with a greater propensity of storms to undergo “rapid intensification” are expected consequences of warmer ocean waters resulting from climate change.

The ocean waters off the western coast of Mexico are running 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit above average for late October.

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6.6 Magnitude earthquake hits Vancouver Island in Canada

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Earthquake

New Delhi, Oct 22: An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 hit Vancouver Island in Canada on Monday, the USGS Big Quakes reported.

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