Tag Archives: storms

Cyclone Pam: massive storm bears down on Vanuatu, with 260,000 people in its path

Tropical cyclone Nathan, off Australia’s Queensland coast, and tropical cyclone Pam, near Vanuatu. Image: Australian Bureau of Meteorology/Japan Meteorological Agency

Tonight  Vanuatu is preparing for one of its worst storm predicted to hit the island later tonight. I hope that the people of Vanuatu will be safe as Pam travels through and completes her course. So far, Pam  has  destructed parts of several other small Pacific islands as she travelled down south.

The Guardian reported, the capital of Vanuatu went into lockdown as the “once-in-a-lifetime” storm bore down on the South Pacific island nation, threatening up to a quarter of a million people in its path.

Tropical cyclone Pam, a category five storm with predicted wind gusts of more than 280km/h at its core, was on track to hit the capital, Port Vila, at about 11pm Friday night, local time.

Evacuations across the country followed warnings of a life-threatening weather event bringing storm surges, torrential rain, flash flooding and landslides.

The United Nations agency UNICEF, which along with aid agencies was on the ground with personnel and emergency supplies, warned about 260,000 people were in the potential disaster zone.

Port Vila was in lockdown by 7pm local time, with sources in the area describing “panic” setting in among those who filled 12 evacuation centres, while hotels crammed with guests booked in to shelter for the night ordered them into underground bunkers.

Read more on the Guardian



A Filipina mother’s story of birth and survival in a cave during Typhoon Haiyan


Author: Thin Lei Win

MARABUT, Philippines, Nov 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Elizabeth Caramol was nine months pregnant with her ninth child last November when Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm on record to hit land, swept away her family’s rickety home on a coconut farm in the Philippines.

Haiyan damaged practically everything in its path as it hit land on Nov. 8, packing winds of up to 315 km an hour (195 miles an hour) and unleashing seven-metre (23-foot) storm surges. It killed, or left missing, some 7,000 people and forced up to 4 million from their homes in the central Philippines.

Caramol and her family took refuge in one of the many caves along the beautiful, winding coastline in Marabut municipality in Samar province. She feared for her life but safely sheltered, delivered a healthy boy and named him Cavein – pronounced “Kevin”.

A year later, Caramol, now 36, spoke to Thomson Reuters Foundation from her home, a newly rebuilt wooden house on stilts, about how her family is slow rebuilding their lives.

“A day before the storm, we evacuated to a cave about 200 metres from our home. It was a big cave with two levels. About 60 families took refuge there, but we stayed there until Dec. 4. We were the last to leave because we didn’t have anywhere else to stay.

“We went to the cave because we were told a strong storm was coming and there could be sea level rise from the water. Here, the water was halfway up the coconut trees and even came inside the cave.

“Many people moved up to the second floor when the water started coming in, but I had to stay on the first floor. I was due to give birth on Nov. 8, and I was starting to experience labour pains. They hurt so much I could not move.

“I thought I was going to die. I told Napoleon, my husband, to take all the kids to the second floor and leave me there. The water rose to around one foot and then it went down the next day.

“I didn’t want the baby to come out because the conditions in the cave were not good. We brought rice, water, salt and matches, but we ran out of water and matches pretty quickly. There was no other means to get water. We just had a container to collect water that dropped from the trees. There were no toilets either.

“I had labour pains for five days. When I finally gave birth on Nov. 12, I was so excited but I also had fear in my heart because of the hygiene conditions and the infections that could set in.

“Our home was washed away so we had nothing for the baby, not even clothes. We cut some blankets into pieces of cloth to wrap the baby. We named him Cavein Cuevas Caramol, because he was born in a cave.

“For five days, we ate nothing but rice and salt. I just breastfed the baby, like how I raised my other kids. I was worried that he is not going to be healthy but he is.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Thu, 6 Nov 2014 07:49 GMT