Cyclone Amphan is Intensifying as a Serious Storm Surge, Heavy Rain and Wind Threat to India, Bangladesh #Cyclone #Amphan #India #Bangladesh
Cyclone Amphan is quickly strengthening in the Bay of Bengal as it tracks toward India, Bangladesh and Myanmar as a serious threat to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations to cyclones.
Cyclone Amphan (pronounced AM-pun) is currently in the central Bay of Bengal and will track generally northward this weekend and then a turn toward the north-northeast is likely. Its exact track remains uncertain and will determine where the greatest threat from this system will be.
Atmospheric conditions are favorable for development and sea-surface temperatures are very warm. Rapid intensification is a possibility and this tropical cyclone needs to be monitored closely.
Amphan is becoming a hurricane strength system, but could become a major hurricane equivalent system by early Tuesday.
The exact track remains uncertain and as a result areas from northeastern India into Bangladesh and northwestern Myanmar need to be prepared.
As the cyclone approaches the coast on Tuesday night, strong winds, very rough sea conditions, storm surge and heavy rain are likely across Odisha and West Bengal coasts. The Indian Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert to both Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal (South Bengal). The alert urges the residents to be prepared for gale winds and very heavy rainfall.
A red alert has been issued for Gangetic West Bengal, which urges residents to take action to protect themselves from the extremely heavy rainfall and severe winds forecast for that day.
Sailors and fisherman in Bangladesh have been told to not venture into the Indian Ocean.
Depending on where it makes landfall, significant storm surge is possible, which could be destructive. Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to dangerous storm surge flooding.
Heavy rainfall with the threat of flooding is also a serious concern. It is too early to know how much rain will fall but areas in yellow, orange and red in the map below have the greatest chance of flooding rain.
Heavy rain and gusty winds are also expected this weekend over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Strong, gusty winds are also anticipated. Winds near hurricane force are possible, especially in areas closer to where the center of the storm tracks.
The name Amphan is suggested by Thailand and will be the last name from the original list of 64 cyclone names proposed back in September 2004 for storms over the north Indian Ocean. The WMO guidelines stipulate that the countries in the region must name storms in any ocean basin. For the northern Indian Ocean, now thirteen countries suggest the names. The IMD’s regional specialised meteorological centre (RSMC) in New Delhi monitors the cyclogenesis, issues advisories and names the cyclones.
Courtesy of weather.com
Coronavirus: Italy shuts all schools and universities as deaths rise #COVID19 #coronavirus #Italy #emergency #quarantine #epidemic
Italy is shutting all schools and universities in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Italian authorities say 107 people have died and 3,089 have been infected, making it by some distance the worst-affected European nation.
Only schools in the north of the country, where the coronavirus outbreak is centred, had closed so far, but the wider shutdown will last until 15 March.
Announcing the move, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the country’s health service risked being overwhelmed.
Italy’s sports minister has also said the government is likely to order all top division football matches to be played in empty stadiums until the situation stabilises.
Authorities also plan to extend the quarantine “red zone” to some municipalities in the Bergamo area.
The outbreak is currently centred on the Lombardy region around Milan, and neighbouring regions of Veneto and Emilia Romagna.
Museums, cinemas and other public places have closed and many events such as fashion shows and trade fairs have been cancelled.
But cases have been reported around the country, including 18 in Sicily and at least 20 people in Rome’s Spallanzani infectious diseases hospital.
Tunisia also said on Wednesday that it was halting ferry services to northern Italy.
Italy’s educational shutdown comes as countries such as Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Morocco reported their first cases of the virus.
Italy’s national health institute has told people to remain at least a metre apart, stop hugging each other and avoid crowded places.
The fatality rate from COVID-19 in the country is around 3.16%.
Italy’s weak economic growth is likely to suffer significantly – particularly the huge tourist sector as holidaymakers pull the plug and airlines cut flights.
An exhibition of the Renaissance artist Raphael, which has sold nearly 70,000 tickets, is also threatened.
Organisers at the Scuderie del Quirinale gallery in Rome said they are “keeping our fingers crossed and praying it can go ahead as planned” on Thursday.
Courtesy of Sky News
Coronavirus UK: NHS declares HIGHEST emergency level – comprehensive care now undeliverable #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #NHS #Emergency #Epidemic
CORONAVIRUS has been declared a level 4 emergency by NHS England – the highest warning that can be issued.
With the epidemic continuing to spread across the UK and the globe, urgent measure are being put in place to contain the outbreak. Over 50 cases have now confirmed in Britain, and the outbreak has forced the NHS to warn some care services are now undeliverable.
A level 4 emergency is defined as when “pressure in the local health and social care system continues to escalate leaving organisations unable to deliver comprehensive care.
“There is increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised.
it follows the release of the government’s battle plan to tackle the crisis earlier today in the event of a major escalation in the virus’ outbreak across the country.
The Government is preparing to encourage people to work from home, introduce an “emergency registration” of retired health professionals, and call in the Army if necessary.
However, Prime Minister has urged calm from the public in responding to the epidemic.
He said at a press conference this morning: “Let me be absolutely clear that for the overwhelming majority of people who contract the virus, this will be a mild disease from which they will speedily and fully recover, as we have already seen.
“But I fully understand public concern about the global spread of the virus and it is highly likely that we will see a growing number of UK cases.”
Courtesy of express.co.uk
‘Immediate evacuation’ ordered as flood barriers ‘overwhelmed’ in Ironbridge, Shropshire, UK #MajorAlert #Flooding #RiverSevern #Evacuation #Ironbridge #Shropshire #UK
An “immediate evacuation” has been ordered in a town in Shropshire after rising water levels from the River Severn breached flood barriers.
West Mercia Police said it is “currently carrying out an immediate evacuation in Ironbridge due to the temporary barriers becoming overwhelmed”.
Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said the evacuation affected premises on the Wharfage in Ironbridge because water from the River Severn was breaching flood barriers “and in areas it appears it is buckling”.
Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford and Wrekin Council, said the flood barriers were “shunting backwards quite significantly”.
He warned: “Please do not come to Ironbridge. The situation is developing.”
It comes after temporary flood defences in Bewdley in Worcestershire were breached on Tuesday night – with homes being evacuated over fears that the River Severn will not reach its peak until tonight.
The Environment Agency forecasts the river level in the town, which has risen more than two metres in the past 72 hours, will peak at 5.48m on Wednesday and remain at a near-record high into Thursday. It reached its highest level of 5.56m in November 2000.
Courtesy of Sky News