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02 October 2011

HAMNET News: 2 October 2011

The past week again was dominated by a few names that spelt fear and trepidation into many people!

Whether it is called a typhoon, a cyclone, a twister, a tornado or a tropical storm, one can be sure of one thing – here comes trouble!

With names like Ophelia, Hilary, Philippe, Nesat and Nalgae, the North West Pacific and the Atlantic bore the brunt of a few tropical cyclones during the past few days.

Tropical cyclone Ophelia affected about three quarters of a million people from the Bahamas across the Caribbean towards Mexico. It was a category 2 cyclone with winds up to about 65km per hour.

Tropical cyclone Hilary, a category 4 cyclone packed winds of up to 65km per hour and affected around half a million people across Mexico.

Tropical storm Philippe off Cape Verde affected few people but packed winds of up to 75km per hour.

Tropical cyclone Nesat affected the Philippines and more than 113 million people knew that they were experiencing extremely heavy rain and flooding. This cyclone caused the death of 43 people.

The tropical Island of Hainan had to evacuate over 300,000 people as the cyclone approached but this storm has now been down graded to a severe tropical storm.

But it is cyclone Nalgae which is headed toward North Vietnam which is causing concern. This category 3 cyclone has already caused damage in southern China and Vietnam is now bracing itself for rain and floods.

Schools have been closed, flights cancelled and people are now preparing to weather the storm as it hits the mainland. The coastal town of Haiphong sent out a warning to residents to find more secure shelters for the next 48 hours until the storm peters out over land.

Almost 40,000 fishing boats were ordered to harbour to ensure no loss of life at sea as the storm approached.

Japan again suffered a quake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale in the Fukushima region where the nuclear power plant had to be shut down after the March 11 quake and tsunami.

As South Africa heads into summer, we sincerely hope that we will not suffer too many severe storms and flooding.

Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha – ZS6BUU.