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11 September 2011

HAMNET News: 11 September 2011

To say the least, the world is at present in a bit of a mess! Cyclones, Storms, conflict, floods, droughts and famine seem to rule the roost.

Looking at the map of Africa, the areas of conflict and other disasters seem to be concentrated in this continent.

As recent as Saturday morning comes a report of a ferry sinking off the coast of Tanzania with a death toll that varies from 300 to 600 people. The famine in Somalia continues with the South African group ‘Gift of the Givers’ have already done two trips to this region to render help and assistance.

Not forgetting cyclones, tornadoes, tropical storms and hurricanes, the major concentration at present is around the Caribbean with tropical storm ‘Maria’ heading west toward Mexico and with tropical storm ‘Nate’ already in the Gulf.

A few weeks ago we had Cyclone ‘Irene’ creating a mass evacuation of east coast towns and cities including New York. The big fear in New York was that if there was a deluge of water due to heavy rains, the Underground or Metro could be flooded. This in itself caused major problems as the NY underground can carry as many as 3 million people a day!

Cyclone ‘Katia’ seems to have headed north east and gave the Americans time to breathe and mop up after Cyclone Irene.

Off the coast of China at present is a depression called ‘Kulap’ and we are watching this storm and wonder if it is going to develop in a full blown cyclone.

The various cold fronts that hit South Africa seem to have ended but you never can tell. By some accounts, this winter appears to have been colder than normal. Van Reenen Pass on the N3 linking KZN with Gauteng was closed twice this winter which is unusual. However, some of the Eastern Cape Passes like Lootsberg, Naudes and the Wapadsberg Passes did not get as much snow this winter.

We could still get a cold snap later on so lets not relax too much as I recall one year as late as December, we have snow on the Drakensberg.

Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha – ZS6BUU.