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  • #46

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • #47
      • Powerful Typhoon Haishen approaches Japan after earlier storm leaves several injured

      A powerful typhoon approaching southwestern Japan has intensified into a dangerous storm, with officials warning of record rainfall, huge waves and high tides.

      The approach of Typhoon Haishen comes after Typhoon Maysak left at least 20 injured in Kyushu before making landfall on the Korean Peninsula.

      That storm caused widespread blackouts in Kyushu and led to the suspension of some bullet trains and flights in the region. In South Korea, the storm killed at least two people and caused widespread power outages, reports said.

      Separately, the Japan Coast Guard said on Friday that it rescued a man likely to be a crew member from a capsized ship carrying cattle. The man was unconscious and transferred to the hospital, it added in a statement. He was found about 120 kilometers north-northwest of Amami Oshima island. A life jacket and a cattle carcass were collected in the area, it said.

      The Coast Guard said earlier on Friday it was still searching for more than 40 crew members who went missing after the ship carrying cattle from New Zealand to China capsized.

      Typhoon Haishen, forecast to near Okinawa by Sunday, has the potential to be even more dangerous. On Thursday, a Meteorological Agency official urged residents of Kyushu and Okinawa to brace for the storm.

      “People in affected areas should not hesitate to evacuate their homes and find shelter, even though they may be worried about becoming infected with the new coronavirus,” the official said.

      In an online meeting with government officials earlier in the day, Ryota Takeda, minister for disaster management, urged people to brace for the approaching typhoon, calling on them to remain alert and not go out unnecessarily.

      The typhoon is projected to have an atmospheric pressure of 915 hectopascals at its center and winds of up to 288 kilometers per hour on Sunday, warranting a special alert, the weather agency official said. That strength would put it on par with a Category 5 hurricane. While the storm is expected to weaken slightly as it moves toward Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula, it will still be powerful and dangerous, forecasts show.

      In an effort to prevent damage from floods caused by the typhoon, water was being discharged at nine dams in Wakayama, Nagasaki and Kagoshima prefectures on Friday morning, the land ministry said. Such discharges were planned for other dams as well.

      Meteorologist Robert Speta, a Western Pacific weather expert, said Typhoon Haishen could match Hurricane Laura — which made landfall in Louisiana in August — as the strongest storm on the planet this year. Speta said Kagoshima Prefecture’s Amami Islands could face winds on par with a Category 4 or 5 hurricane but that for Kyushu, the bigger threat could be heavy rain and mudslides.

      Speta said Typhoon Haishen was being powered in part by high sea-surface temperatures. “Right now Haishen is moving over a hot bed of warm water upwards of 31 to 32 degrees,” he said.

      With such temperatures rising globally, more dangerous storms are likely to maintain their strength at higher latitudes, Speta said.

      This week, the Meteorological Agency said that sea-surface temperatures south of Japan were considerably higher than normal in August, with many areas marking record highs since 1982, when comparable data became available. The higher temperatures are expected to continue this month, the agency said, warning that typhoons tend to maintain their development and strength when passing over warm seas.

      A report released last month by Climate Central, an organization of scientists and journalists, said climate change is increasing the frequency and duration of marine heat waves, which can contribute to stronger storms while also impacting ecosystems. Over the last 100 years, sea-surface temperatures have risen by 1.3 degrees Celsius, increasing the likelihood of marine heat waves, the report said.:
      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • #48
        Typhoon Haishen:

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • #49

          Super Typhoon Haishen expected to make historic landfall in South Korea. The country has not previously been hit by three typhoons in a single year, according to records dating back to 1945.

          Super Typhoon Haishen bombed into a mighty category 4 storm with 155 mph winds on Thursday, becoming Earth’s third-strongest storm of 2020. Haishen is expected to hit South Korea on Sunday, making the third landfalling typhoon in Korea (including both North Korea and South Korea) in a two-week period.

          On August 27, Typhoon Bavi made landfall over North Pyongan Province, North Korea, as a minimal category 1 typhoon with 75 mph winds. On September 2, Typhoon Maysak made landfall as a category 2 storm with 100 mph winds just west of Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city and the world’s fifth-largest port.

          Haishen put on an impressive display of rapid intensification on Thursday, strengthening in 24 hours from a low-end category 3 storm with 115 mph winds to a 155-mph super typhoon with a central pressure of 915 mb by 2 a.m. EDT Friday, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Haishen maintained that intensity through the 11 a.m. EDT Friday advisory, when the typhoon was located over the record- to near-record warm waters about 700 miles south of Japan, heading northwest at 10 mph towards Korea. Haishen was already bringing heavy rains to the islands south of mainland Japan, as seen on Japanese radar.

          Only two storms so far in 2020 have been stronger than Haishen: category 5 Tropical Cyclone Harold in the Southeast Pacific, which peaked with 165 mph winds and a pressure of 912 mb on April 6, and category 5 Tropical Cyclone Amphan, which peaked with 160 mph winds and a pressure of 907 mb on May 18 in the North Indian Ocean.

          Forecast for Haishen
          Haishen likely has hit its peak intensity, with the JTWC forecast calling for slow weakening to begin on Saturday morning. Haishen will be over record- to near-record warm ocean waters of 30 – 31 degrees Celsius (86 – 88°F) through Saturday. But it will cross over the cold wake left by Typhoon Maysak, to the south of Korea by Sunday morning, perhaps inducing more rapid weakening. Haishen is expected to pass near the Japanese island of Amami Oshima, located about 100 miles northeast of Okinawa, around 2 a.m. EDT Sunday. Storm chaser James Reynolds is on Amami Oshima (population 73,000), and will be sending reports via Twitter (

          JTWC predicts that Haishen will hit South Korea on Sunday afternoon (U.S. EDT) as a weakening category 3 or category 2 storm. The typhoon likely will bring significant wind and storm surge damage to the coast. Even if Haishen passes far enough west of Busan to spare the city its strongest winds, the storm’s broad, powerful circulation likely will push a substantial storm surge toward the Busan area, where the geography is particularly prone to surge impacts.

          What’s more, typhoons appear to be delivering larger storm surges to the Busan area even after taking into account sea-level rise caused by climate change. A 2016 study in the Journal of Coastal Research led by Sang Myeong Oh and co-authors found that typhoon landfalls from 1962 to 2014 drove a seven-inch increase in the annual maximum surge height in Busan, a rate of increase about 50% higher than the local trend in mean sea-level rise. The researchers attributed the higher surges to stronger typhoons resulting from increasing sea surface temperatures and decreasing wind shear.

          It appears that Typhoon Maysak’s storm surge on September 2 in Busan was not severe, possibly because Maysak’s angle of approach was somewhat oblique (from the south-southwest) and because Maysak’s eastern eyewall and its strong onshore winds ended up reaching the coast east of the metropolitan area. In contrast, Haishen is expected to strike west of Busan, and the typhoon’s more perpendicular angle of approach would suggest more storm surge in Busan.

          Another serious concern is the widespread four-to-eight inches of rain Haishen is expected to dump over both North Korea and South Korea. These rains will be falling atop ground soaked by South Korea’s second wettest monsoon season on record, and also by rains from Typhoon Bevi and Typhoon Maysak.

          An unprecedented battering for Korea
          According to NOAA’s historical hurricanes database, Korea between 1945 and 2019 has not been hit by three typhoons (sustained winds of at least 74 mph) in one year, so Typhoon Haishen’s landfall will be historic. The NOAA database lists 14 typhoons that have passed over South Korea prior to 2020 – 10 at category 1 strength, three category 2s and one category 3. Only three typhoons passed over North Korea prior to 2020, all minimal category 1 storms with 75 mph winds.

          Typhoon Maysak is being blamed for two deaths in South Korea and three in Russia. In addition, 41 crew members of a livestock ship are missing after their ship sank in the typhoon. Two crew members have been rescued.

          Damage reports from North Korea from Typhoon Bavi’s landfall there are hard to come by, but there are reports that the typhoon caused major flooding in portions of the secretive nation.: -
          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • #50
            Southwest Japan braces for Typhoon Haishen

            What could be the most powerful typhoon in decades is threatening the country's southwest.

            Weather officials expect the typhoon to develop to emergency-warning level as it approaches or makes landfall in the Kyushu region from Sunday to Monday.

            Japan Meteorological Agency official Nakamoto Yoshihisa said, "The large and very powerful Typhoon Haishen is expected to intensify to emergency-warning level as it nears the regions of Okinawa early on Sunday and Amami later the same day."

            Japanese Land Ministry official Takamura Yuhei said, "There is an increasing risk of flooding from large rivers in Kyushu. There is also the danger of flooding in regions other than Kyushu."

            The Meteorological Agency is warning of record-breaking winds, high waves, storm surges and unprecedented heavy rains.

            Weather officials say Typhoon Haishen was 160 kilometers south of Minami Daito Island in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning. It was moving north-west at 15 kilometers per hour.

            It has a central atmospheric pressure of 920 hectopascals and is packing maximum winds of more than 180 kilometers per hour near the center -- and gusts of up to 252 kilometers per hour.

            The typhoon is affecting major transport networks. The operator of the Kyushu Shinkansen says services may be partially suspended on Sunday and cancelled all day Monday.

            Airlines have canceled more than 80 domestic flights for Saturday. Most are to and from the southern parts of Kyushu and Okinawa.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • #51
              • Typhoon Haishen: 200,000 ordered to evacuate as Japan braces for storm

              More than 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate areas of Japan threatened by an approaching storm.

              Typhoon Haishen is expected to intensify on Sunday, bringing heavy rain, storm surges and winds of more than 100mph (160km/h).

              It will move past Kyushu on Sunday, and is expected make landfall in South Korea on Monday.

              It comes days after Typhoon Maysak, one of the strongest storms to hit the region in years.

              The latest typhoon has led to the closure of factories, schools and businesses across western Japan. Hundreds of flights and train services have also been cancelled.

              Japan's government will be holding an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday to address the storm.

              The country's weather agency said it was not likely to issue its most serious typhoon warning, but added that residents should exercise their "most serious caution" for possible record rains and high waves along the coast.

              Yoshihisa Nakamoto, director of the agency's forecast division, told reporters that surging tides may also cause flooding in low-lying areas, particularly around river mouths.

              As a result of the storm, hundreds of thousands of people have been advised to move to designated shelters in places like schools and community centres. This includes all 36,600 residents of the city of Goto, in Nagasaki, where the typhoon may hit directly.

              But local media report that some people have chosen to find safety in local hotels to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in crowded public shelters.

              Typhoon Haishen has also forced Japan's coast guard to suspend its search for missing sailors from a cargo ship that sank during Typhoon Maysak.

              The Gulf Livestock 1 was carrying 43 crew members and 6,000 cows when it went missing on Wednesday.:
              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • #52
                • Typhoon Haishen
                • Rescued crewman dies; records reveal defects with cattle ship sunk off Japan

                A crewman from a cattle ship that capsized enroute from New Zealand to China has died after being pulled unconscious from water by the Japanese coast guard on Friday, while it emerged the vessel had a history of mechanical issues.

                The unidentified man was only the second crewman to be found. The search is still on for the remaining 41 crew members after the ship carrying 6,000 cattle capsized in the East China Sea on Wednesday.

                Rescuers also found a life jacket and cattle carcasses in the area where the Gulf Livestock 1 is believed to have sunk after it sent a distress call amid strong winds and heavy seas whipped up by Typhoon Maysak.

                Gulf Livestock 1, owned by UAE-based Gulf Navigation, lost engine power before it was hit by a massive wave, according to Chief Officer Sareno Edvarodo, who was rescued on Wednesday.

                The ship is technically managed and crewed by Germany's Marconsult Schiffarht GMBH, while the commercial manager is Jordan-based Hijazi & Ghosheh Co.

                "We are monitoring the situation closely," a spokesman for Gulf Navigation said in an emailed statement. "Our hearts go out to those onboard and their families at this time."

                The company is working with those involved in rescue efforts and regrets the loss of livestock, he added.

                Several maritime reports logged over the past two years showed the ship may have had some mechanical defects and revealed operational concerns.

                A December inspection report from Indonesian authorities on the website of Equasis, which collates ship safety information from both public and private sources, logged issues with the ship's propulsion and auxiliary machinery.

                The issues included "deficiencies" with the propulsion main engine and gauges, thermometers.

                A 2019 report by the Australian government on the cattle ship's transit in June from Australia to Indonesia noted the vessel's departure was delayed for a week because of "stability and navigation issues identified by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)".

                AMSA's website showed Gulf Livestock 1 was detained by the Australian authorities for three days in May 2019, because of issues related to its navigation Electronic Chart Display and Information System. The report cited both a lack of up-to-date charts and training for officers using the system.

                A report on the website of FleetMon, a German-based maritime tracking site, shows the ship, under its previous name of Rahmeh, anchored off the Turkish coast in September 2018 "to fix a mechanical problem" that required the delivery of spare parts.

                The FleetMon report also noted some concern from local residents about the ship's extended stay at Cesme port, because livestock on a previous voyage had been found to be infected with anthrax.

                Gulf Navigation, Marconsult Schiffarht and Hijazi & Ghosheh Co did not immediately respond to questions about the reports.

                SEARCH CONTINUES

                The Japanese coast guard said on Friday it had not set a deadline to end the search for survivors from the ship, which left Napier port in New Zealand on Aug 14 and was due to arrive 17 days later at the Port of Jingtang in Tangshan, China.

                Four vessels, an airplane and several divers were scouring the waters on Friday when they discovered the second crew member, who has not been publicly identified.

                The coast guard said the man had died a short time after they pulled him from the sea about 120 km (75 miles) north-northwest of Amami Oshima island and transferred him to hospital.

                Melbourne-based Australasian Global Exports confirmed it employed four of the people onboard, with the remaining crew engaged by Gulf Navigation.

                "We are in full contact with the families of our four colleagues and are offering them all the support we can," it said in a statement.

                The crew was made up of 39 people from the Philippines, two from New Zealand, and two from Australia, the coast guard said.

                Edvarodo, the 45-year-old Filipino crew member rescued on Wednesday, remains in hospital.:
                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • #53
                  Typhoon Haishen hits South Korea after battering southern Japan

                  A powerful typhoon lashed South Korea on Monday after smashing into southern Japan with record winds and heavy rains that left four people missing in a landslide.

                  Half a million people were without power after Typhoon Haishen roared past Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, ripping off roofs and dumping half a metre (20 inches) of water in just a day.

                  Rescuers were picking through mud and detritus after a hillside collapsed in rural Miyazaki. Dozens of police officers were on their way to help, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo. At least two deaths had been reported during the storm, he said, although the causes were not immediately known.

                  Haishen, which came on the heels of another powerful typhoon, crashed into Okinawa on Saturday and moved northwards throughout Sunday.

                  Around 1.8 million people were told to seek shelter for fear that the 200km/h (135mph) winds would wreak havoc on Japan’s wooden housing stock.

                  By lunchtime on Monday, the storm had moved over South Korea, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and triggering landslides.

                  Traffic lights and trees were felled in and around Busan, streets were flooded and power was knocked out for around 20,000 homes across the country.

                  The typhoon cut electricity supplies to Hyundai Motor’s assembly lines in the city of Ulsan, bringing production to a halt for several hours.

                  Haishen churned its way up the eastern side of the peninsula into the Sea of Japan, known as the East Sea in Korea, having lost some of its destructive force, but still packed winds of up to 112km/h.

                  The streets of the port city of Sokcho were largely empty, but some residents braved the rain and wind to take photos and marvel at the swell crashing into the harbour wall.

                  Outside the city, swollen rivers surged through the countryside carrying debris and the occasional fallen tree.

                  Haishen was forecast to make landfall again in Chongjin, North Hamgyong province in North Korea, at around midnight, according to South Korea’s Meteorological Administration.

                  Pyongyang’s state media have been on high alert, carrying live broadcasts of the situation, with one showing a reporter driving through a windy, inundated street in Tongchon, Kangwon province.

                  “Now is the time when we must be on our highest alert,” he said, adding that winds were as powerful as 126km/h.

                  State broadcaster KCTV showed flooded streets and trees shaking from the strong gusts.

                  North Korea is still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Maysak last week.

                  Leader Kim Jong-un appeared in state media over the weekend inspecting the damage. He also sacked a top provincial official in South Hamgyong. He ordered 12,000 ruling party members in Pyongyang to help with recovery efforts, and the official KCNA news agency reported on Monday that around 300,000 had responded to his call.

                  The North’s state media have yet to specify how many people Maysak left missing, injured or dead.

                  Rough weather caused by Maysak also sank a cargo ship carrying 43 crew and 6,000 cows off Japan’s west coast, prompting a desperate rescue effort by the country’s coastguard.

                  Two survivors and the body of a third crew member were found before Haishen’s arrival forced the coastguard to suspend the search.

                  “We are assessing the situation including exactly when we can resume the operation,” a coastguard duty officer said on Monday.

                  In Japan, Typhoon Haishen first made its presence felt on a string of exposed, remote southern islands before sweeping past the Kyushu region.

                  As it approached Kyushu authorities issued evacuation orders for 1.8 million people, with 5.6 million others told to take precautions.

                  In some places, residents checked into hotels to shelter from the storm.

                  Japan converts its municipal buildings and schools into shelters during emergencies, but some people were reluctant to gather in large numbers due to fears over the Covid-19 pandemic.

                  “I am worried about coronavirus infections. We’re with small children too, so we did not want other people to see us as big trouble,” an elderly man in Shibushi city told broadcaster NHK after checking in at a local hotel with seven relatives.

                  The storm forced the cancellation of nearly 550 flights and disrupted train services, the network said.

                  Many factories also suspended operations, including three plants operated by Toyota.:
                  Last edited by S Landreth; 09-07-2020, 11:35 PM.
                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • #54
                    Typhoon Haishen: four missing in Japan as storm pounds South Korea/Hundreds of thousands without power on Kyushu after winds of 140km/h and heavy rain hit the region

                    Four people are missing and dozens more have been injured after a powerful typhoon battered south-western Japan on Monday before making landfall on the Korean peninsula.

                    Typhoon Haishen left 440,000 homes without power and damaged buildings on and near the island of Kyushu.

                    Authorities had ordered 1.8 million people to evacuate the region, which was still recovering from heavy rains and flooding in July that killed 83 people. Another 5.6 million were told to take precautions.

                    Japanese media said more than 50 people had been injured, including a woman who fell down a flight of stairs in the dark and four people who sustained cuts after the glass windows of an evacuation centre were blown in.

                    At one point the typhoon was generating winds of up to 200km an hour [135 mph], raising fears that it could cause widespread damage to homes and other buildings.

                    Japan appeared to have escaped serious damage, but four people were missing after torrential rain triggered a landslide in a village in southern Kyushu.

                    Rescue workers were searching through mud and debris after a hillside collapsed, with police officer expected to join the search, the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters.

                    Kyodo news agency said a woman in her 60s and her son in his 30s, as well as two Vietnamese men working as interns in the village, had been reported missing.

                    At least two other deaths had been reported during the storm, Suga added, although the causes were not immediately known.

                    Airlines cancelled more than 500 flights departing from Okinawa and southern Japan, public broadcaster NHK said. Bullet train services in southern and western Japan were suspended, it said.

                    Warnings that the storm could be one of the most destructive on record prompted many people to spend the night at evacuation centres and hotels on Kyushu and the southern island of Okinawa.

                    Some shelters had to reduce the number of people they could accommodate due to anti-coronavirus measures, while hotels were packed with people fearful of catching the virus in overcrowded evacuation centres.

                    “I had to hurry because I was told that the evacuation centre would only accept 10 more people,” Kazuko Hamada, 67, a Kyushu resident, told Kyodo. “I hope my house is all right.”

                    Haishen had lost some of its destructive power by the time it reached South Korea, but winds of up to 126kph and heavy rain forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights, cut power to thousands of homes and triggered landslides.

                    Typhoon Haishen comes just days after Typhoon Maysak left at least two people dead and thousands without power on the Korean peninsula.

                    After moving up the east coast of the peninsula. Haishen was forecast to make landfall again in the North Korean port city of Chongjin at around midnight, according to South Korea’s meteorological administration.

                    North Korea is still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Maysak, and there is concern that another powerful storm could cause widespread destruction to agricultural land and threaten an already fragile food supply.

                    At the weekend, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, toured coastal areas hit by Maysak and ordered party members to join the recovery effort.

                    Haishen also forced the Japanese coast guard to suspend its search for dozens of missing crew members from the Gulf Livestock 1 cargo ship, which capsized off south-western Japan last week.:

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • #55
                      Typhoon Haishen lashes South Korea after battering Japanese islands

                      At least 1 person was killed, dozens of others injured amid storm packing maximum winds of 130 km/h

                      A powerful typhoon damaged buildings, flooded roads and knocked out power to thousands of homes in South Korea on Monday after battering islands in southern Japan, killing one person and injuring dozens of others before weakening as it passed North Korea.

                      The Korea Meteorological Administration downgraded Typhoon Haishen to a tropical storm Monday night as it made landfall near the North Korean coastal city of Hamhung. During its period as a typhoon, Haishen packed maximum winds of about 130 km/h as it barrelled through South Korea's southern and eastern regions in the morning.

                      Japanese disaster management officials in Kagoshima said a woman in her 70s died of a head injury after falling into a roadside ditch while evacuating from a coastal town as Haishen lashed southwestern Japan over the weekend with strong winds and rain.

                      Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency said at least 38 other people were injured, five of them seriously.

                      Schools and department stores were closed in Hiroshima and other cities in the country's southwest.

                      Damage caused by the typhoon was less than feared because it took a path farther from the coast and weakened more quickly than expected, officials said.

                      Homes, fishing boats destroyed

                      In South Korea, at least two people were missing — one after getting swept away by water in a drainage channel at a limestone mine in the eastern town of Samcheok and the other while trying to cross a small river on a tractor in the southeastern town of Uljin.

                      At least five people were hurt, including one in Busan who sustained light injuries after a car flipped over in strong winds, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said.

                      At least 110 homes were destroyed or flooded, while cars struggled to navigate flooded roads in Ulsan and other coastal cities such as Busan, Sokcho and Gangneung. Emergency workers scrambled to clean up toppled trees and damaged traffic signs, buildings, port facilities and other structures.

                      The storm also destroyed or sank around 80 fishing boats, and caused generating turbines at two nuclear reactors in the southeastern city of Gyeongju to automatically stop. No leakage of radioactive materials was detected.

                      Hundreds of flights in and out of the southern island province of Jeju and across the mainland were cancelled. Some bridges and railroad sections were shut down, thousands of fishing boats and other vessels were moved to safety, and more than 3,000 residents in the southern mainland regions were evacuated due to the possibility of landslides and other concerns.

                      Workers by Monday evening completed restoring power to 75,237 households that lost electricity in the southern mainland areas and Jeju.

                      Haishen, which means "sea god" in Chinese, plowed through Okinawa and other southern Japanese islands over the weekend. Traffic was still paralyzed in places, bullet train service was suspended and most domestic flights in and out of airports in southwestern Japan were cancelled Monday.

                      Regional officials in Miyazaki said rescue workers were looking for four people missing after a mudslide hit the mountainous village of Shiiba earlier Monday. A fifth person who was rescued at the site was seriously injured.

                      Electricity was restored to thousands of homes in Japan, but more than 340,000 others were still without power. Nearly four million people in Japan were still advised to evacuate as of Monday afternoon.:
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • #56
                        ‘Unprecedented’ Pacific Northwest fires burn hundreds of homes

                        Winds gusting as high as 50 mph (80 kph) fanned dozens of catastrophic fires wildfires Wednesday across a large swath of Washington state and Oregon that rarely experiences such intense fire activity because of the Pacific Northwest’s cool and wet climate. Oregon’s governor said hundreds of homes were destroyed.

                        Firefighters were struggling to try to contain and douse the blazes and officials in some places were giving residents just minutes to evacuate their homes. The fires trapped firefighters and civilians behind fire lines in Oregon and leveled an entire small town in eastern Washington.

                        The devastation could become overwhelming, said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

                        “This could be the greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,” Brown told reporters.

                        No fatalities from the Northwest fires have yet been confirmed, but Brown said some communities have been substantially destroyed and “hundreds of homes lost.”

                        The scenes were similar to California’s terrifying wildfire drama, where residents have fled fires raging unchecked throughout the state. But officials in the Pacific Northwest said they did not recall ever having to deal with so many destructive fires at once in the areas where they were burning. The blazes exploded on Monday during a late-summer wind storm that saw gusts reach 75 mph (120 kph).

                        Sheriff’s deputies, traveling with chain saws in their patrol cars to cut fallen trees blocking roads, went door to door in rural communities 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Portland, telling people to evacuate. Since Tuesday, as many as 16,000 people have been told to abandon their homes.

                        “These winds are so incredible and are spreading so fast, we don’t have a lot of time,” said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts.

                        Fires were burning in seven Oregon counties and rural and suburban homes miles away from Portland, Oregon’s largest city, were under preliminary orders to prepare for possible evacuations. Three prisons were evacuated late Tuesday and Brown called the state’s blazes unprecedented.

                        The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to wildfires, but most of the biggest ones until now have been in the eastern or southern parts of the region — where the weather is considerably hotter and drier and the vegetation more fire-prone than it is in the western portion of the region.

                        Fires in 2017 and 2018 crested the top of the Cascade Mountains — the long spine that divides dry eastern Oregon from the lush western part of the state — but never before spread into the valleys below, said Doug Grafe, chief of Fire Protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry.

                        “We do not have a context for this amount of fire on the landscape,” he said. “Seeing them run down the canyons the way they have — carrying tens of miles in one period of an afternoon and not slowing down in the evening – (there is) absolutely no context for that in this environment.”

                        Fire crews were focusing on trying to keep people out of harm’s way and preventing houses from burning. Officials said that containing the fires was a secondary priority on Wednesday, although there was concern some fires south of Portland could merge and become a much larger inferno that would be more difficult for firefighters to handle.

                        “We’re really at the mercy of the weather right now,” said Clackamas Fire District Chief Fred Charlton.

                        In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee said more than 330,000 acres (133,546 hectares) burned in Washington in a 24-hour period — an area larger than the acreage that normally burns during entire fire seasons that stretch from spring into the fall.

                        About 80% of the small eastern Washington farming town of Malden was leveled by flames from a fast-moving fire on Monday. Among the buildings that burned were the town’s fire station, post office, City Hall and library.

                        “It’s an unprecedented and heart-breaking event,” Inslee told reporters.

                        He blamed hot weather, high winds and low humidity for the explosive growth of the fires in Washington state.

                        In Oregon, at least four major fires were burning in Clackamas County, a suburban county in Oregon that’s a bedroom community of Portland. The entire county of nearly 420,000 people was put on notice to be ready to evacuate late Tuesday amid winds gusting up to 30 mph (48kph).

                        Another major fire in southern Oregon prompted evacuation orders in much of Medford, a city of about 80,000 residents.

                        And several huge blazes burning in Marion County, southeast of the state’s capitol city of Salem, merged overnight — turning the sky blood red in the middle of the day. Thousands of people were braced to flee if evacuation orders emerged.

                        “It was pitch black dark out there — all you could see was red,” said Wendy Phelps-Chapman, activity director at the Marian Estates independent senior living center in Sublimity, Oregon, which evacuated its 160 residents on Tuesday.

                        Some school districts that had just begun distance learning canceled classes due to power outages or the threat of imminent evacuations or issued warnings Wednesday that classes might be canceled if fires spread closer.

                        Wind storms downed power lines and tens of thousands of people lost power in the northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington.
                        In Monday, 70 people were hemmed in by fire along with firefighters near the small city of Detroit, Oregon, the Idanha-Detroit Fire District said in a Facebook post.

                        An evacuation by helicopter was requested but the smoke was too thick for that kind of rescue operation, so they eventually escaped on dirt roads used by the U.S. Forest Service.:

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • #57
                          Death Toll Rises, Dozens Missing in Oregon Wildfires; California Fire Becomes State's Deadliest of 2020

                          Dozens of people were missing, thousands of structures destroyed and another person reported dead in Oregon as firefighters worked to gain control of more than three dozen wildfires burning across the state.

                          A fifth death was posted to the state's wildfire dashboard Friday, this one in the White River Fire burning in the Mt. Hood National Forest.

                          Meanwhile, at a news conference Friday Gov. Kate Brown clarified earlier statements that said 500,000 people - or 10% of the state's entire population - had been told to evacuate. Brown said that was the number of residents under any kind of evacuation advisory, to include an order or a warning to be prepared to leave.

                          About 40,000 were actually under direct evacuation orders, she said.

                          Andrew Phelps, the state's emergency management director, said state officials were “preparing for a mass fatality event.” Thousands of structures have been destroyed, Phelps said.

                          In California, seven more people were found dead in the North Complex Fire, formerly known as the Bear Fire, bringing the total killed to 10. It's now the deadliest fire this year in California and is tied for 10th deadliest in state history. Four people were hospitalized with critical burns and 26 others are still missing.

                          Here's a look at some of the major fires raging in parts of the West.


                          The North Complex Fire, one of 24 major blazes scorching California, has burned more than 394 square miles in the Plumas National Forest northeast of San Francisco.

                          Thousands of homes are thought to have been destroyed in the fire, and more than 22,000 structures are still threatened, including buildings in Oroville and Paradise.

                          The fire has gutted the small towns of Berry Creek and Feather Falls. It is burning in Butte, Yuba and Plumas counties. More than 20,000 people were under evacuation orders or warnings in the three counties.

                          Butte County Sheriff's Capt. Derek Bell said Thursday that seven more bodies were discovered, bringing the total to 10 in two days. At least four people with critical burns were hospitalized.

                          Searchers are looking for 26 people who haven't been heard from, according to the Seattle Times.

                          The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office said there have been two deaths in the Slater Fire, burning along the California-Oregon border near Happy Camp. A second death was confirmed in the Slater Fire on Thursday, KRCR-TV reported, just one day after the first death was reported from the blaze.

                          The Creek Fire, which has been burning for a week in Fresno and Madera counties, ignited a bunker where explosives used to prevent avalanches were stored, KFSN reported. No one was injured when the explosives went off in the bunker, which was part of the China Peak Mountain Resort near Huntington Lake. The Creek Fire has consumed 275 square miles.

                          More than 4,844 square miles — or 3.1 million acres — have burned in California this year, more than in any other fire season in the state’s recorded history.

                          Six fires this year are on the top 20 list of largest fires in state history, including the largest: the August Complex Fire, burning 736 square miles across five counties, Glenn, Mendocino, Lake, Tehama and Trinity.

                          Because of the widespread fires, the U.S. Forest Service announced a temporary closure of all 18 national forests in the state.


                          Officials with the U.S. Forest Service pleaded with about 300 evacuees from the Holiday Farm Fire to not try to return to their homes after they tried to push through roadblocks near Sisters, Oregon, earlier this week.

                          Kassidy Kern, a spokesperson for the Forest Service, spoke with the refugees at the Super 8 hotel in Redmond, Oregon. Kern told The Oregonian the group was spurred by rumors of looting.

                          At least 36 active fires have burned more than 1,349 square miles in Oregon, according to the state Office of Emergency Management.

                          The number of acres that have burned in the state in the last three days is almost double the amount that typically burns in an entire year, according to the Oregonian.

                          “We have never seen this amount of uncontained fire across the state,” Brown said.

                          The death reported Friday was in the White River Fire, which has been burning since Aug. 17, before the current siege of blazes took hold earlier this week. It wasn't immediately clear when the person died.

                          At least four deaths were blamed on the current fires.

                          -Wyatt Tofte, 13, and his grandmother Peggy Mosso were killed by fires burning southeast of Salem, the Oregonian reported.

                          -A body was found at a BMX bike park in Ashland in Jackson County, where the Almeda Fire started, KGW-TV reported. Rich Tyler of the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office told the Oregonian another body was found Wednesday evening. He said it’s not clear who the people were or how exactly they died. Their deaths are still being investigated.

                          Meanwhile, the Beachie Creek Fire – which has also been called the Santiam Fire – and the Riverside Fire have consumed more 478 square miles, said Grafe.

                          As the two fires moved toward merging Thursday afternoon, firefighters were told to disengage from the Riverside Fire and help with evacuations, KATU-TV reported. The U.S. Forest Service also said the pause gave firefighters "time to move to safety and reassess extreme conditions."

                          After residents of Molalla and other parts of Clackamas County were ordered to evacuate or be ready to go at a moment's notice, the streets of Oregon City clogged with traffic. Parking lots filled throughout the afternoon.

                          “Now, as of this afternoon, they’ve been told, essentially, they need to find somewhere else to go,” Oregon City Commissioner Rachel Smith told KATU.

                          The city of Estacada, 30 miles outside the Portland metro area, also ordered residents to evacuate.

                          Multnomah County officials worked Thursday night to open the Oregon Convention Center in Portland as a shelter.

                          In Jackson County, the Almeda Fire devastated the towns of Talent and Phoenix. Officials estimated 1,000 homes were burned in Phoenix and 600 were lost in Talent, the Oregonian reported.

                          The small city of Gates, near the border of Marion and Linn counties, was all but destroyed, residents told the Oregonian. Mill City, Mehama, Lyons and Detroit also have seen major damage.

                          The Holiday Farm Fire has burned more than 225 square miles in Lane County and is about 12 miles outside of the Eugene-Springfield area. The community of Blue River, home to about 800 people, has seen severe damage.

                          “There is just catastrophic damage, communities completely wiped out,” Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch told the Oregonian. “It’s devastating.”

                          Meanwhile, an air quality monitoring website on Friday listed Portland, Oregon, as having the worst air in the world, The Oregonian reported., which ranks air pollution across nearly 100 cities internationally, gave Portland an overall air quality index of 239. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website listed Portland’s measurement Friday as even higher, at 349. IQAir listed San Francisco in second place with an air quality index of 186 and Seattle was third at 172.


                          The wildfires have scorched more than 930 square miles in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday. The Cold Springs and Pearl Hill fires alone have burned more than 540 square miles in Okanogan and Douglas counties, according to the Seattle Times.

                          More than 120 homes have been destroyed, including at least eight in Graham, about 15 miles southeast of Tacoma.

                          A “super-massive” smoke plume from the fires in Oregon and California is expected to create unhealthy air conditions in Western Washington on Friday.

                          On Thursday, Ed Townsend, fire chief of Okanogan County Fire District 8, pointed to a map of the area around Omak, in extreme north-central Washington about 40 miles south of the Canadian border.

                          “Everybody inside here lost 100%,” he told the Seattle Times. “It’s catastrophic enough where we have got to start from the ground up.”

                          Townsend had a gruesome task ahead of him.

                          “We are out assessing animal losses and putting animals down. That’s today’s project – shooting cows – and injured animals, wildlife, bears,” he said.

                          One death has been attributed to the fires in Washington. A 1-year-old boy died and his parents were severely burned while fleeing the Cold Springs Fire in Okanogan County, the Seattle Times reported.:

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • #58
                            The West Coast's wounds are visible from very far afield.

                            The smoke wafting from the wildfires raging across the Western United States is a wrenching sight, even from nearly a million miles away.

                            NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured a dramatic shot of the smoke on Wednesday (Sept. 9), showing a huge gray-brown smudge hovering over the Pacific Ocean just off the West Coast.

                            EPIC rides aboard the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), which orbits the sun in a gravitationally stable spot 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth.

                            The smoke is bad over terra firma as well, blanketing much of California, Oregon and Washington state. The extent of the pollution, which has caused hazardous air quality and apocalyptically orange skies across the West Coast, is laid bare in a photo snapped Wednesday by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument on NASA's Terra satellite.

                            Such imagery helps convey the scale and ferocity of the current fires, which have killed at least 15 people to date and forced more than 40,000 people in Oregon to evacuate their homes, according to The New York Times.

                            The blazes are also charring huge tracts of land. For example, 330,000 acres (133,500 hectares) burned in Washington on Monday (Sept. 8) alone, Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted on Tuesday (Sept. 9). That's more than in 12 of the state's 18 most recent entire fire seasons, he said.

                            And wildfires have burned more than 3.1 million acres (1.25 million hectares) in California since the beginning of the year, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) wrote in an update Friday (Sept. 11).

                            "This year’s acres burned is 26 times higher than the acres burned in 2019 for the same time period, and the combined amount of acres burned is larger than the state of Connecticut," CALFIRE officials wrote.

                            The raging fires are driven by high temperatures and dry conditions throughout the West. The region is getting hotter and drier thanks to human-caused climate change, so it's no surprise that wildfires there have been getting more extreme and more destructive recently, experts say.:

                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • #59
                              • California Camp Fire Survivors Face the Horror All Over Again in 2020

                              Linda Oslin and her husband lost everything when the Camp Fire raced into their neighborhood in Paradise, California in the fall of 2018.

                              She's in her 70s - he in his 80s - and they decided they didn't have it in them to try and rebuild. That could take years. So they found a place for sale out of the woods and farther down the mountain near Oroville, California where they've started to rebuild their lives.

                              Except for one thing.

                              They've since had to evacuate from three more wildfires, including this past week when the Bear Fire exploded near the town, burning an untold number of structures and claiming at least ten lives.

                              "And every incident I organize a little more," Oslin says.

                              When she heard reports that the Bear Fire was burning into the village of Berry Creek, they didn't wait for the official evacuation call. They left, knowing that some of their neighbors died in 2018 because they couldn't get out of Paradise.

                              "Knowing how evacuation traffic can go, we were stuck in it in the Camp Fire, I said let's finish packing the vehicles, secure everything and just leave," Oslin says.

                              This time the Oslins are pretty sure their house is still standing - for now. They're not sure when they'll be able to go home though. They're staying again with the same friends who took them in after their harrowing Camp Fire escape. Anything from just the slight smell of smoke to the evacuation itself has triggered trauma for them.

                              "Well we're doing okay," Oslin says, trying to stay upbeat. "We do have our share of PTSD at times."

                              Researchers were only just starting to get a handle on the cumulative effects of trauma on California wildfire survivors from previous bad fire years like 2017 and 2018. And now, 2020.

                              "It's hard to imagine another fire not being a trigger for a lot of people," says Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health at the University of California-Davis.

                              Hertz-Picciotto, who also directs the university's Environmental Health Sciences Center, has spent much of the past two years interviewing Camp Fire survivors. She hopes to give policymakers better tools to help people recovering from disasters.

                              And she's researched plenty of them in her career.

                              But wildfires are starting to distinguish themselves even in this era of disasters such as hurricanes that can seem overwhelming in scale. Wildfires are proving to no longer be just once in a lifetime, big, traumatic events for a particular place.

                              "Now that we're in a situation where we can now expect this on an annual basis, that strikes me as an even bigger problem than other disasters, like the earthquake happened, or the volcano, and we had to rebuild," Hertz-Piccioto says.

                              She says we need to build back up our infrastructure so that wildfire survivors know they'll have things like safe, temporary housing and mental health support, which was lacking after the 2018 California fires.

                              Researchers also say bad wildfires like these on the West Coast are the latest signal that we shouldn't necessarily even be rebuilding or encouraging more development in places we know will burn. In the libertarian-leaning West, loose building codes and other factors have been attributed to an explosion in development in wild lands that are prone to fire.

                              Yet therein lies one of the biggest and thorniest issues facing the West, and many other parts of the country in this era of climate change. Many people are living in high fire risk areas in California and Oregon in particular because it's the only place they can afford to.

                              This quandary weighs on Linda Oslin's mind all the time. She and her husband intentionally found a new place to live and rebuild their lives that wasn't in the woods. They have three acres of open pasture. They cleared out all the trees around their house and even rebuilt the driveway so emergency vehicles can get in.

                              Still, here they are evacuated and they could lose their home again.

                              "It appears that if you live in California you really have no choice in the matter," Oslin says. "It does not matter any longer where you live."

                              So Oslin and her husband focus on what they believe they can control: being prepared and ready to evacuate to safety at all times.

                              "Just have a go bag," she says. "The one thing that saved our bacon was having all of our important papers."

                              Those important papers were about all they left with when fleeing the 2018 Camp Fire. It made things a lot easier in the aftermath, something they're prepared to do again should the worst happen with the Bear Fire.:
                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • #60
                                Largest Wildfire In California History Now Up To 877,477 Acres Burned, 28% Contained

                                The August Complex wildfire, which became the largest in California's history on Thursday with 471,000 acres burned, has now spread across 877,477 acres, far and away the biggest blaze in an unprecedented year of blazes across the West Coast.

                                KEY FACTS

                                A sudden jump in acreage occurred on Friday after the Elkhorn Fire merged with the August Complex burning just south of it, making it "a truly unmatched fire in terms of scope," according to the Bay Area's National Weather Service.

                                The wildfire is 28% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Sunday.

                                A lightning storm caused the fire in the Mendocino National Forest north of San Francisco in August.

                                The wildfire became the largest in state history on Thursday after surpassing the Mendocino Complex fire, which burned 459,123 acres, destroyed 281 structures and led to onoe death in 2018.

                                Two other current blazes in the state's top four largest are far closer to being controlled on Sunday: the SCU Lighting Complex is 98% contained and the LMU Lighting Complex is 96% contained.

                                There are currently 29 wildfires burning in the state, with Cal Fire reporting 19 fatalities since August 15.

                                CRUCIAL QUOTE

                                Since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned over 3.2 million acres in California, which is larger than the State of Connecticut," according to Cal Fire's daily report on Saturday.:

                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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