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Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history – Telegraph

Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history – Telegraph.

China’s shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.

China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.

Fitch warned that wealth products worth $2 trillion of lending are in reality a “hidden second balance sheet” for banks, allowing them to circumvent loan curbs and dodge efforts by regulators to halt the excesses. Photo: Alamy
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

By , International Business Editor

4:12PM BST 16 Jun 2013

Comments307 Comments

The agency said the scale of credit was so extreme that the country would find it very hard to grow its way out of the excesses as in past episodes, implying tougher times ahead.

“The credit-driven growth model is clearly falling apart. This could feed into a massive over-capacity problem, and potentially into a Japanese-style deflation,” said Charlene Chu, the agency’s senior director in Beijing.

“There is no transparency in the shadow banking system, and systemic risk is rising. We have no idea who the borrowers are, who the lenders are, and what the quality of assets is, and this undermines signalling,” she told The Daily Telegraph.

While the non-performing loan rate of the banks may look benign at just 1pc, this has become irrelevant as trusts, wealth-management funds, offshore vehicles and other forms of irregular lending make up over half of all new credit. “It means nothing if you can off-load any bad asset you want. A lot of the banking exposure to property is not booked as property,” she said.

Concerns are rising after a string of upsets in Quingdao, Ordos, Jilin and elsewhere, in so-called trust products, a $1.4 trillion (£0.9 trillion) segment of the shadow banking system.

Bank Everbright defaulted on an interbank loan 10 days ago amid wild spikes in short-term “Shibor” borrowing rates, a sign that liquidity has suddenly dried up. “Typically stress starts in the periphery and moves to the core, and that is what we are already seeing with defaults in trust products,” she said.

Fitch warned that wealth products worth $2 trillion of lending are in reality a “hidden second balance sheet” for banks, allowing them to circumvent loan curbs and dodge efforts by regulators to halt the excesses.

This niche is the epicentre of risk. Half the loans must be rolled over every three months, and another 25pc in less than six months. This has echoes of Northern Rock, Lehman Brothers and others that came to grief in the West on short-term liabilities when the wholesale capital markets froze.

Mrs Chu said the banks had been forced to park over $3 trillion in reserves at the central bank, giving them a “massive savings account that can be drawn down” in a crisis, but this may not be enough to avert trouble given the sheer scale of the lending boom.

Overall credit has jumped from $9 trillion to $23 trillion since the Lehman crisis. “They have replicated the entire US commercial banking system in five years,” she said.

The ratio of credit to GDP has jumped by 75 percentage points to 200pc of GDP, compared to roughly 40 points in the US over five years leading up to the subprime bubble, or in Japan before the Nikkei bubble burst in 1990. “This is beyond anything we have ever seen before in a large economy. We don’t know how this will play out. The next six months will be crucial,” she said.

The agency downgraded China’s long-term currency rating to AA- debt in April but still thinks the government can handle any banking crisis, however bad. “The Chinese state has a lot of firepower. It is very able and very willing to support the banking sector. The real question is what this means for growth, and therefore for social and political risk,” said Mrs Chu.

“There is no way they can grow out of their asset problems as they did in the past. We think this will be very different from the banking crisis in the late 1990s. With credit at 200pc of GDP, the numerator is growing twice as fast as the denominator. You can’t grow out of that.”

The authorities have been trying to manage a soft-landing, deploying loan curbs and a high reserve ratio requirement (RRR) for banks to halt property speculation. The home price to income ratio has reached 16 to 18 in many cities, shutting workers out of the market. Shadow banking has plugged the gap for much of the last two years.

However, a new problem has emerged as the economic efficiency of credit collapses. The extra GDP growth generated by each extra yuan of loans has dropped from 0.85 to 0.15 over the last four years, a sign of exhaustion.

Wei Yao from Societe Generale says the debt service ratio of Chinese companies has reached 30pc of GDP – the typical threshold for financial crises — and many will not be able to pay interest or repay principal. She warned that the country could be on the verge of a “Minsky Moment”, when the debt pyramid collapses under its own weight. “The debt snowball is getting bigger and bigger, without contributing to real activity,” she said.

The latest twist is sudden stress in the overnight lending markets. “We believe the series of policy tightening measures in the past three months have reached critical mass, such that deleveraging in the banking sector is happening. Liquidity tightening can be very damaging to a highly leveraged economy,” said Zhiwei Zhang from Nomura.

“There is room to cut interest rates and the reserve ratio in the second half,” wrote a front-page editorial today in China Securities Journal on Friday. The article is the first sign that the authorities are preparing to change tack, shifting to a looser stance after a drizzle of bad data over recent weeks.

The journal said total credit in China’s financial system may be as high as 221pc of GDP, jumping almost eightfold over the last decade, and warned that companies will have to fork out $1 trillion in interest payments alone this year. “Chinese corporate debt burdens are much higher than those of other economies. Much of the liquidity is being used to repay debt and not to finance output,” it said.

It also flagged worries over an exodus of hot money once the US Federal Reserve starts tightening. “China will face large-scale capital outflows if there is an exit from quantitative easing and the dollar strengthens,” it wrote.

The journal said foreign withdrawals from Chinese equity funds were the highest since early 2008 in the week up to June 5, and withdrawals from Hong Kong funds were the most in a decade.

 

Testosterone Pit – Home – Japan Is Used To Natural Disasters, But This One Is Man-Made

Testosterone Pit – Home – Japan Is Used To Natural Disasters, But This One Is Man-Made.

The dogfight over Japan’s biggest problem, its gargantuan government deficit, entered its annual ritual of leaks and pressure tactics that usually leads to a pre-Christmas draft budget with even bigger deficits. But this time, it’s different. Very different.

Japan has always has been a place of huge natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, typhoons, to name a few – and the people have long ago come to grips with it, adapted to it, and incorporated it into their spiritual views. When, not if, disaster strikes, they’re shocked and scared like all human beings, but they’re disciplined, stoic in their manner, and there isn’t much looting, at least not from the lower 99% of society.

Perhaps they look at their public budget deficits and the resulting mountain of debt in a similar manner, a giant volcano that can erupt anytime and do phenomenal damage. And they’re no more alarmed about it than they are about the next Big One. But when this disaster hits, it’s going to be entirely man-made. And by democratic means!

So the leaks have started. The Asahi Shimbun, citing an unnamed source, reported that the Ministry of Finance wants to reduce the amount of debt it will issue next fiscal year to below the amount issued this year. Turns out, tax revenues are rising. But pressure is already building up in the ruling coalition to spend even more, now that there is more money coming in.

Japan’s numbers make you dizzy. This fiscal year, ending March 31, Japan is expected to borrow ¥42.9 trillion ($423 billion) to fund its regular budget of ¥92.6 trillion. Regularbecause a “supplementary budget” of ¥10.3 trillion – a stimulus package, in English – was passed along with it, without which, as MOF Taro Aso explained at the time, “the economy would fall into a severe situation in April-June.”

It brought the first Abenomics budget to ¥102.9 trillion, an all-time record!

The Japanese budget game – like that in the US and other countries – has many kinks to obfuscate reality. So $5.2 trillion of the supplementary budget had to be borrowed, and that additional debt was conveniently accounted for in fiscal 2012, though the bonds would be issued and the money would be spent in fiscal 2013. It sure makes fiscal 2013 look betterslightly less horrible.

Nearly 47% of every yen the government spends is borrowed.

The ¥102.9 trillion in outlays are being funded in part by issuing ¥48.1 trillion in new debt, including the debt for the stimulus package. This is great promise of Abenomics. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

We knew that. But now the source whispered that tax revenues have been rising and will likely hit ¥45 trillion this year, instead of the expected ¥43.1 trillion. This trend would continue into the next fiscal year with tax revenues expected to jump to ¥50 trillion – close to the ¥51 trillion collected in 2007 before the financial crisis.

Where is this new moolah supposed to come from?

The consumption tax hike to 8%, from 5%, effective April 1, might bring in ¥4.6 trillion. The government hopes that salaries and annual bonuses will rise, though this may be wishful thinking. And corporate earnings have been soaring as companies translate their foreign earnings into devalued yen. Thus, the government expects revenues from individual and corporate income taxes to rise by ¥2 to ¥3 trillion.

So the MOF has calculated that bond issuance next fiscal year might actually drop below this year’s level, a micro-step in the right direction that would be welcomed by the ratings agencies and might stave off another downgrade – but not disaster.

But no way. With so much free money being pumped out by the Bank of Japan, and with new tax revenues pouring in, lawmakers want to do what they’ve always done: hand outeven more goodies to Japan, Inc. and their constituents.

Some of the extra expenditures are based on demographics. The aging population will drive up social security costs, which includes health care and nursing care. The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry, with a budget of over ¥30 trillion, is projecting nearly ¥1 trillion in additional outlays just for that.

The endless desire to spend even more money (that they don’t have) came to light in August, when the various ministries submitted their budget requests. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, for instance, asked for a 16.3% increase to make infrastructure more resilient to disasters. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries asked for an additional 13.6% to enrich the already heavily subsidized ag and fishing interests. These budget requests exceeded ¥100 trillion for second year in a row. Now the MOF is trying to whittle them down somewhat. And the fight is on.

Then there’s the consumption-tax hike. Yup, the big money maker. Companies and households are currently frontloading big-ticket purchases. And these purchases will grind to a halt after the tax hike takes effect; Japan went through this last time it hiked the consumption tax. Frontloading caused the economy to boom for several quarters before the tax hike. The aftermath was a long and steep long recession.

Dreading a repeat, members of the ruling coalition are already clamoring for even morestimulus spending to cover that hole next year. Much of it would be dedicated to public works projects, including incomprehensible structures, like the unfinished bridges to nowhere that now dot the land.

Japan Inc. is salivating.

But the MOF is trying to dig in its heels. It wants to use the extra revenues to reduce bond issuance by a smidgen. So if it prevails, the budget fiasco will continue to get much worse, at a slower pace.

But there is nothing to worry about. The BOJ is printing about ¥85 trillion per fiscal year to buy mostly government bonds with it. Simultaneously, the MOF will sell ¥48 trillion in new bonds. Behind the smokescreen of the “market,” the BOJ will buy them all, plus another ¥36 billion, and rumor has it that it will pick up the pace next year. It is not only monetizing Japan’s deficit, but also big chunks of its outstanding debt.

The Japanese know this. They know that this is just another huge disaster coming their way, the next Big One, so to speak, and they’ll keep going about their lives and doing the things they enjoy doing, or have to do, and they’re not going to panic, because it may be years before this disaster will hit, though the looting at the top has already started.

The beneficiaries of Abenomics are now coming out of the woodwork with soaring profits. But they’re doing the opposite of what Abenomics promised they’d do: they’re diversifyingaway from Japan. Read…. Here Is Proof (Provided By Japan Inc.) Why Abenomics Fails The Real Economy

Follow @testosteronepit

 

Why Does The Mainstream Media Like To Make Fun Of Preppers So Much?

Why Does The Mainstream Media Like To Make Fun Of Preppers So Much?.

This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at The American Dream

Have you noticed that the mainstream media has a tremendous amount of disdain for preppers?  Even though there are now approximately 3 million preppers in the United States, most of the time the media ignores us.  But once in a while an editor in New York City or Los Angeles decides that it would be fun to do a story about the “crazies” that are preparing for doomsday.

And of course it is very rare for any piece in the mainstream media about preppers to be even close to balanced reporting.  Most of the time, news stories that report on preppers portray them as mentally unstable kooks and loons that everyone else in society should be laughing at.  But perhaps there is a deeper explanation for the contempt that the mainstream media has for preppers.

After all, those in the media are representatives of the establishment, and they are probably deeply offended on some level that we don’t have the same kind of blind faith in the system that they do.  The fact that so many Americans believe that the system is on the verge of collapse doesn’t make any sense to them, and instead of really looking into the truth of what we are saying, they would much rather dismiss us by labeling all of us a bunch of uneducated nutjobs on the fringe of society.

A few days ago, I came across another example of this demonization of preppers by the mainstream media.  The following are a few lines from a recent CNN article entitled “What I saw at the doomsday prepper convention“.  For the first few paragraphs the piece actually seems fairly balanced, but by the end of the article the author can’t resist openly mocking preppers and what many of them believe.  Just check out these zingers…

-“It’s so much more fun to worry about martial law than a hurricane. People like zombies as a marketing tool.”

-“I spot more than a few zombie-themed rifle targets at the show.”

-“Still, it was impossible to completely ignore the presence of an element many would consider reactionary.”

-“After a relatively measured primer on the threats of inflation, featured economist Dr. Kirk Elliot encouraged me to look into how the Rothschild and Rockefeller families continue to own the Federal Reserve.”

-“Finally, at the end of my conversation with John Egger about the rise of ‘suburban homesteading,’ a man with a white shock of hair interjected himself into the conversation. ‘You know what chemtrails are?’ he asked, referring to another conspiracist trope that sees chemical tampering in jetstream vapor trails. ‘They’re changing the weather, then selling drought tolerant seeds. George Soros and Bill Gates are behind it.’ Egger nodded politely and smiled, tolerant of a potential customer’s eccentricities.”

-“While normalcy and centrism may be the goal for businesspeople like Cindy and Jim Thompson, it seems the preparedness lifestyle hasn’t completely shaken loose its extremists and kooks.”

And of course this is hardly an isolated example of prepper bashing. The following is an excerpt from a Los Angeles Times review of the Doomsday Preppers television show on the National Geographic channel…

Still, it’s hard not to feel for young Jason from tiny Plato, Mo. (pop. 109), who is awaiting worldwide financial collapse with his homemade, nail-studded “mace-ball bat,” and that his is a life on the verge of going completely wrong. “I’m not afraid to have to kill,” Jason says, in his camouflage pants and dog tag, and there seems to be no question in his mind that it will come to that. (“Jason has always been a worrywart,” says his mother.)

Or for Big Al, from Nashville, who is getting ready for old-school nuclear war by digging down into the earth and surrounding himself with steel. (“I prefer not to use the term ‘bunker’ — to me, it’s an underground house.”) He spends months at a time by himself down there, training for the inevitable — which he expects to weather alone — cooking different combinations of canned goods and, you know, spending too much time alone. One leg pumps constantly as he talks.

The preppers don’t want my pity, of course — quite the opposite, I’m sure. The joke will be on me, they would say, when I am expiring from fallout or smallpox, being carried away in a tornado or torn apart by the hungry ravaging hordes. (I am not even prepared for the Big Earthquake that might more probably get me.)

Lovely, eh?

Would the Los Angeles Times mock other groups of Americans in a similar manner?

I think not.

Meanwhile, as the mainstream media continues to mock us, there is a perfect example of why we should all be prepping that is unfolding right in front of our eyes.  The most destructive typhoon in the history of the Philippines is showing just how rapidly society can completely fall apart in the event of a major disaster…

The cries of the suffering carried through a small, cramped one-story clinic in typhoon-ravaged Tacloban where the medicine was all but gone Thursday, but the number of wounded in the hard-hit Philippine city continued to grow.

The clinic at the airport in the decimated capital city of Leyte province is one of the few places where those injured in Super Typhoon Haiyan and its aftermath can turn for help, what little help there is six days after the storm.

“We don’t have any medicines. We don’t have any supplies. We have IVs, but it’s running out,” Dr. Katrina Catabay told CNN.

“Most of the people don’t have water and food. That’s why they come here. Most of the kids are dehydrated. They are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.”

Most Americans assume that if anything like this ever happened here that the federal government would rush in and rescue them.

But what if the government didn’t come to rescue you?

Past disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have long since faded from the memories of many Americans.  How quickly we forget the lessons that we should have learned from past tragedies.

And what if there is an event such as a massive EMP blast that causes public services to go down permanently?

What would you do?

In the Philippines, there is widespread looting and rioting even though this natural disaster is only temporary and governments from all around the world are rushing in to offer assistance…

TV reports said security forces exchanged fire with armed men amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and other supplies in the village of Abucay, part of worst-hit Tacloban in Leyte province.

While eight people were crushed to death when looters raided rice stockpiles in a government warehouse in the town of Alangalang, causing a wall to collapse, local authorities said.

Other looters still managed to cart away 33,000 bags of rice weighing 110 lb each, said Orlan Calayag, administrator of the state-run grain agency National Food Authority.
Warehouses owned by a food and drinks company were ransacked in the storm-hit town of Palo in Leyte, along with a rice mill in Jaro, said Alfred Li, head of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim said 90 percent of the coastal city of 220,000 people had been destroyed, with only 20 percent of residents receiving aid. Houses were now being looted because warehouses were empty, he said.

If you don’t think that anything like this could ever happen here, you are just being delusional.  Americans are not any better than those living in the Philippines. When something really, really bad happens in the heart of the United States, we will see mass panic and fear here too.

And most Americans are completely and totally unprepared for even a minor emergency…

44 percent of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.
48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up at all.
53 percent of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.

So instead of making fun of preppers, perhaps the mainstream media should be encouraging more people to prepare for future emergencies.

Someday major disaster will strike this nation, and when that happens it will be the preppers who will have the last laugh.

 

Refugees of Climate Change « The Burning Platform

Refugees of Climate Change « The Burning Platform.

Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 17, 2013

Super Typhoon Haiyan

Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner

Last weekend the Phillipines got whalloped by yet ANOTHER disaster, a “Super-Typhoon.  This is apparently the most powerful cyclonic storm ever, coming in bigger and harder than Sandy and Katrina combined.  The storm pushed in a tidal surge of 6 meters, pretty close to the size of the Tsunami that hit Fukushima.  Fortunately, the Phillipinos do not have a Nuclear Reactor around Tacoban.

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For at least 10,000 Philipinos though, not having a Nuke to spill radioactive waste all over the island is not a big help, since they are dead anyhow.  Death toll as of Monday anyhow, sure to rise over the days ahead, so by the time I publish on Sunday, I should have a more updated number.  For those left alive, the situation is not a whole lot better, no electricity, no potable water, not much shelter since pretty much all the flimsy shacks they call homes were basically flattened.  Even most of their public buildings were flattened, Emergency Shelters packed with refugees went down too.

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Much 2nd guessing of the Philipino Goobermint also for not getting the people evacuated effectively, but really where would they send them?  Well, higher ground would make sense if you are expecting a tidal surge, but they don’t have any shelters up in the mountains  so basically people would have had to strap themselves to Trees up there to try to ride it out.  Besides that it’s not like most Philipinos have SUVs they can jump into for a Bugout either.  These are are pretty much dirt poor people of course.  So basically they hunker down and hope for the best, but in this case they got the WORST.

In the aftermath, the NATO military sent in a few ships and Choppers, and pretty much every AID Charity in the Phone Book was already there.  Why?  Because the same neighborhood had a decent size Earthquake a few months ago, and before that they had enormous floods last year.  Said 3 disasters have set one new record after another for Damage Costs, this one should be well over $1B, Chump Change here but Big Money in the Philipines.  The only reason damage estimates are so low is because most of the shacks destroyed are pretty close to worthless Tin Roof and Scrap Wood jobs.

Now, the Philipines have always been in “Typhoon Alley”, getting an average of 24 a year or so, but of course prior to Ocean Cooking they didn’t pack quite such a whallop.  Though they always had flooding issues, they didn’t get new Record Breaking flooding every year either.  They also didn’t see near as much Earthquake activity either.

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This is just the problem on the Weather/Geological side of the equation.  The other side of the equation is the increase in Population size and the change in the way they live.  Prior to WWII when the Philipines served as a Battleground for Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the Japanese Imperial Army, the place basically contained a few small communities and fishing villages scattered around the islands, no electricity, no running water, no industrial infrastructure at all.  After the war, as a Protectorate of the FSoA Empire, they were leveraged up into the 20th Century, built some Big Shities and wired up the Islands for Juice.  Like all the rest of the 3rd world countries, their population EXPLODED.

So now when you read stories about the disaster, you repeatedly read the line “Many Philipinos are cut off from BASIC SERVICES of electricity and running water.”  In our psycho world, these pretty complex and expensive bits of infrastructure to maintain are considered “BASIC” services.  They weren’t basic 100 years ago there, they didn’t even EXIST!  They are basic now though, because in the absence of them the whole system falls apart.  Now instead of having a few people living in vulnerable areas living a subsistence life, you have a LOT of people dependent on the same kind of JIT Food delivery as you do here, and when it STOPS they wander around like Zombies, “loot” whatever stores might have a few cans of food and as thirst catches up with them start drinking water from streams that are now polluted to beat the band in the first place, and with all the Dead Bodies floating around now also breeding up every disease carrying organism in the Microbiology Handbook.

This concept of “Looting” in a disaster also is one I have quite a few issues with.  I would consider it “Looting” if somebody runs into the local Electronics store and runs out carrying a Plasma TV, quite unlikely to WORK anytime to soon around there anyhow.  Is it “Looting” though to go through the busted window of a food store and scavenge for a few cans of beans that you might find?  There are no cashiers working to PAY for the food anyhow!  Electricity is OUT, EBT cards don’t work, HTF can you BUY it anyhow? This is not “Looting”, it is just pure SURVIVAL!  You are supposed to “STARVE” rather than “LOOT”?  What?  If MY Hovel was just washed away with all my preps and I was lucky enough to not get washed out to sea with it, bet your bottom dollar I would climb out from the wreckage and see if I could scavenge up some Cans of Beans anywhere in the neighborhood!  We need a new Definition/Words for this besides “Looting”.  “Disaster Scavenging” maybe or “Food Seeking”, something a bit more Postive than “Looting”.

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So they gotta fix all this stuff up and QUICK, except they can’t in most places because the roads are blocked by debris and downed trees, and they can’t even get Trucks through without Heavy Equipment clearing the pathways first.  Do the Philipinos HAVE tons of Heavy Equipment to motor up and do this?  Of course not.  So really it falls to our friends the Army Corps of Bozos to ship in and clear all this out of the way for them.  Who pays for that?  You the Taxpayer of course.

Where does all the Money come for the Rebuild(s)?  From Fresh New Loans issued to the Philipinos that get freed up whenever there is a Disaster, but otherwise are unavailable to them.  This of course is Broken Window Economic Stimulus in the Krugman Handbook.  Problem is, how do the Philipinos ever pay back these new loans, on top of the old loans they got after the last disaster collapsed their infrastructure?  How many times can you keep repairing it all?

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By now I think a decent portion of the damage done to the Jersey Shore and Long island from Sandy has been fixed up, though probably the worst hit areas were just Bulldozed and those folks now relocated elsewhere, living with relatives who knows?  It is about GUARANTEED though sometime in the next few years the same thing will happen again, and if this insane economic system has not already crashed by then, they’ll do it all over again.

The reality is we can’t have so many peple living so close to the coastline, particularly at or near what USED to be mean Sea Level.  This because it is not mean Sea level you gotta worry about, it is how high the Sea Level goes at Peaks.  The Flooding events are not gonna happen from a slow creep of an inch or two a year up the beach, they come from when the Peaks get really big and inundate the shoreline a Kilometer or two in at a time.  Said Peaks come from big Storm Surges and Tsunamis, and if you have more of both occurring (and you do), low lying areas will be rolled over by the oncoming waves and surf.

In all my growing up years probably until my mid forties I don’t recall a single event like Sandy occurring around my neighborhood, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami in the 90s was the first real big one I remember Globally.  Now it seems like we get at least 1 or 2 of these Mega Events every year somewhere around the globe.

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The bottom line of course is that people have to migrate away from the shoreline, at least in terms of Fixed housing and industry.  Problem there is, currently this is where MOST of the world population lives!  Reason of course is that most commerce depends on Shipping and all the “stuff” people depend on comes in on Container ships that need shore facilities to unload at, and those facilities need people to work in them, who obviously cannot be DRIVING long distances anymore to get to work!  Besides that, even if you keep a Skeleton Crew at the Unload point for all the Junk, if the Factories and Konsumers who use the Junk are far inland, then you incur additional costs and use more fossil fuel to move the stuff inward.

So, in the absence of complete economic collapse of the monetary system, you won’t see a RAPID inward migration from the coastlines, and the infrastructure will be rebuilt as many times as they can muster up a new set of Loans creating more new money to Do it All Again, Amen.  “I’m a Happy Idiot as I struggle for the Legal Tender” as Jackson Browne so aptly put it.

Although the movement in the near term is probably not going to come Suddenly, it will come inexorably.  For people who had their whole lives ripped out from under them when Sandy hit, many do NOT return to their destroyed McMansions and try to rebuild.  They become Invisible Refugees of Climate Change, first moving a bit inward to live with Relatives for a while, then eventually relocating somewhere else further in.  If they are fortunate, they find New Jobs and restart their lives, but that occurs less and less often these days.  Da Goobermint Statistics show ever more people dropping out of the Labor Force, not appearing on Unemployment stats but turning up elsewhere on the SNAP card roles and SSDA recipient lists.  This particular Kludge also can only last so long of course.

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Over in the Philipines, it is likely you will see another sort of Disapperance, that of Population itself, not just employed people.  It is unlikely the MSM reports on it much (in fact the Philipine disaster already has dropped off the lead pages of the MSM), but many more people are likely to go to the Great Beyond there as a result of Disease and Suicide, stuck in a situation that was already quite hopeless, but at least livable.  Now the situation is not just Hopeless, but unlivable also.  Switching back to a subsistence life for most will be impossible, they will be stuck for months and years in Refugee Camps, and those camps also will be inundated by Typhoons and Tsunamis and Earthquakes.  The Earth Giveth, and She Taketh Away, and she is taking it away from the Philipinos faster than in most places of the world right now, but this Show WILL come to a Theater Near You also.

Is there anything YOU personally can do about this problem?  Well, if you live on a coastline at or near Sea Level, it would be a wise idea to think about moving NOW, rather than AFTER a disaster actually hits you.  Its much easier to make a move while everything around you is functioning than after your home and SUV have been washed out to Sea of course.  This is not a choice most Philipinos have, but if you are not already off the economic cliff here, you probably have a car and can Bugout in it to Somewhere Else.

There are of course a few real problems which most people face who currently live in such locations, first if you still HAVE a job, you don’t wanna give it up without having another one to go to.  Then there is the problem of UNLOADING your McHovel to another Sucker who will buy the thing.  Finally, many if not most people have Family and attachments to the place they grew up and live and they don’t WANT to leave, even if they KNOW eventually they are likely to be REALLY underwater, not just financially so.  You Roll the Dice and you repeat the Mantra, “It won’t Happen Here, It won’t Happen to Me and my Family”.  If you are LUCKY, it won’t, but the further we go down the road here, the lower your odds get on this one the closer you live to the shoreline.

The only other Option you have is preparing for the Fast Bugout, which only works of course if you get enough WARNING to make that bugout.  Big Cyclonic Storms usually come with a few days warning these days, so if you have an SUV and a Bugout Package prepared, in most cases I think you can GTFO of Dodge in time with this type of event.  Tsunamis, less so, the Tsunami Warnings are only a few hours in advance most of the time, and if the Quake that caused it is pretty close to you a lot less than that.  If you happen to be playing a round of Golf or are busy making the Beast with two Backs with your Significant Other and don’t have a Radio playing, you probably miss the warning anyhow.  Some communities do have those big Sirens, but not sure how prevalent they are everywhere.  If it is an Earthquake, you get ZERO warning, there still is no method of predicting when a Big Quake will hit your locale, only statistics which say you are due for one in the next decade or something like that.

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If you live AWAY from the shoreline, you still are not SAFE of course, though probably safer in most cases.  However, on any given day out in Tornado Alley, the Funnel Clouds can start dropping down around you.  As with the Cyclonic Storms on the coastline, usually there is pretty decent warning from NOAA, Jeff Masters on Weather Undergound and your local Weatherman when conditions are right for Tornadoes to hit your neighborhood, and these neighborhoods usually DO have Sirens that go off when Funnel Clouds are spotted.  However, you better have your Bugout Machine pre-packed and Ready to Go in this situation, because when those Sirens go off it is usualy only minutes before the Tornadoes start hitting.  Then you gotta know which way the weather system is moving so you know which way to GO, and not drive yourself into the middle of the disturbance.  Mostly though, even out on the road you can see which way the system is going, and if you DO spot a MONSTER, which way it is going.  If it is coming TOWARD you, go the OTHER WAY! FAST!  Like Pedal to the Metal fast and don’t worry about the Speeding tickets either!  Cars generally can outrun Tornadoes, the Tornado freaks do this all the time capturing the videos.

The bigger problem if you live in Tornado Alley is the Boy Who Cried Wolf problem.  Probably 99% of the time when the sirens go off, the Tornado does not touch down on your McHovel.  So if every time you hear it you jump in your Bugout Machine and go Running for them thar Hills, this gets a little wearing on you and you stop doing it, choosing instead to just head down to the basement and hope the thing does not land on your House and ship it to Oz.  MOST of the time this will WORK, and even if your house does experience SOME damage, it is not flattened and you and the family are fine.  You head over to Home Depot, by some plywood and new Windows and go back to BAU after makng the repairs. The problem only comes when the Tornado hits YOUR McHovel as Ground Zero, then not only is your McHovel Flattened but your Bugout Machine has gone to Oz without you, and you are left with NOTHING.  So you do have to resist the temptation to complacency on this, not ignore the warnings and Do The Drill as often as it crops up in your Nabe.

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There are other problems to deal with also in almost every spot, Wildfires in Remote Mountainous areas, Flash Floods, Volcanoes etc.  Where I live on the Ring of Fire we got plenty of Volcanoes and Anchorage had an Earthquake back in ’64 bigger than the Sendai Quake which sent the Tsunami firing at Fukushima.  So, it is a bit of a Dice Roll anywhere you go, but Coastlines have the worst Odds here, and they get steadily worse all the time with each passing year.  So if you can evacuate now, this would be a good time to do so.  At the very least, if you cannot leave now, know WTF the High Ground is.

For the Philipinos now, I don’t think their choices are much different or better than the Nips living on Honshu Island, even though they don’t have a Nuke poisoning the water supply.  They either Evacuate or Die.  It’s not going to get any better any time soon in either locale, and a good chance it gets a whole lot worse. Any given day under Fukushima Daichi they can get another big quake that brings down the whole containment facility and all the Radioactive Water Containment Tanks they have built around it now.  The ground underlying Japan shakes like a Pole Dancer on Steroids, I have an Earthquake Monitor program on my laptop which shows almost constant 4-5 Mag Quakes under Japan every day.  They’ll get another Big One there, it is GUARANTEED.  Just a matter of WHEN, and every day they live on Borrowed Time.  One can only hope before this occurs they MIRACULOUSLY get all the fuel rods out of there and we don’t see a Super Critical event, because this will do a lot more damage than to just Honshu Island.

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In reality of course, MOST Philipinos HAVE NO CHOICE.  They can’t leave, they don’t have money for Busfare much less a Plane Ticket out.  Where to go that would accept them as Refugees, and what kind of Jobs or economic opportunity is there anywhere else?  All they can do here is try to rebuild, long as the AID flows in with money to do so. For the Philipinos, FAST COLLAPSE has already come and gone.  May still be Slow and Catabolic in your Nabe, but not for the Philipinos anymore.

 

Climate and Denial: I Can’t Believe this is Happening | JP Green House

Climate and Denial: I Can’t Believe this is Happening | JP Green House.

It’s a good day to write about climate science and climate denial. A typhoon of historically unprecedented strength hit the Philippines last weekend, with reports of 10-12 thousand dead. Homes and lives are devastated, corpses hang from trees and litter the rubble of houses and buildings. At the UN Climate Talks being held in Poland right now, the lead negotiator from the Philippines, Nederev Sano, has announced he will fast for the duration of the conference, “until a meaningful outcome is in sight”–a direct challenge to the negotiators to do more than talk.

The typhoon Haiyan was caused by climate change. The superstorm Sandy was caused by climate change. If we don’t stop climate change, we can expect these “100 year storms” to become an annual or semi-annual occurrence.

Imagine you are next, because you are.

Climate Science

Here’s the science in a nutshell: As I write this the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just released it’s fifth report. Comprised of 2000 of the world’s top climatologists, it’s the most thoroughly researched, compiled and peer-reviewed scientific document of all time. Their consensus tells us that the Earth is warming at a rate unseen at any time in human history, and that this is due to human activity of burning fossil fuels and releasing unprecedented amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have raised the surface temperature of the Earth by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4F), and we have raised the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from 270 parts per million to 400ppm. While the Earth has warmed before, and in some cases quite rapidly, each such drastic warming was accompanied by a mass extinction event.

This human-forced warming is causing storms of unprecedented strength (Sandy). It’s causing drought and therefore wildfires. It’s causing flooding (warm air holds more moisture). The ocean is not only warming but acidifying due to increased CO2, causing shelled creatures to dissolve (at the bottom of the food chain, therefore affecting all level of ocean life). Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, and those who depend on their fresh water will soon be facing famine.

Meanwhile, despite amazing technological process in the technology and feasibility of renewable energy (solar and wind), the amount of fossil fuels burnt continues to rise at a rate of 2-3% each year.

It seems we are not facing this. We are in denial.

Bigtime Climate Deniers

The fight against true climate deniers gets ugly quick. I stay out of it unless I’m directly challenged, and in that case I pull out my debater’s knowledge of types of false logic and try to precisely name what I’m hearing. But the sort of people who turn up in the comments section of every “green article” in the news aren’t going to be dissuaded by logic, and aren’t worth much of an activist’s time. Learn to recognize a few of their tricks, point them out, and be done with them:

  1. The Appeal to Hypocrisy: Climate deniers love to accuse believers and activists of being part of the problem. “How did you get to that protest?”, they sneer, “did you walk?” Their point is that unless you have cleansed your life of all fossil fuels you are part of the problem, and therefore nor qualified to criticize it.
  2. The Argument from Irrelevant Authority: There are a few scientists out there who still deny climate change is human-caused, deny that it is happening, or otherwise trivialize it. I think there are 3, maybe 5. Most of them are not climatologists and many of them are in the employ of fossil fuel companies. A simple fact is that 97% of climatologists now agree that climate change is happening, is caused by us, and is powerfully destructive.
  3.  The Ad Hominem Attack: This will be a character assassination or an attack on your intelligence or common sense, or some other form of personal critique irrelevant to the topic. Just call it out and walk away from the argument. That’s abuse.

Workaday Deniers (That’s Us)

The denial that concerns me more is present in liberals and centrists, is subtle, is nobody’s fault. Much of it comes from the construct of our minds, and the rest from some very deliberate cultural manipulation.

As humans we often believe that we are special: Beloved of God, or privileged by our superior mental and creative capacities. Do we think that our capacity to innovate technology can always outpace our inadvertent destruction of the natural world? Do we believe that nature is self-healing and hugely tolerant of our presence? It’s useful to contemplate these questions without answering them too quickly or reactively.

Climate change is happening in real time now. All dress rehearsals are over. Not a week goes by without the occurrence of an unprecedented event. This Fall Colorado was hit d by wildfires and floods simultaneously. Arctic ice-cover hit an all-time low last summer (2012) that left scientists saying we will definitely see an ice-free summer Arctic in our lifetimes. Temperature records are broken every day in some part of the world. The monarch butterfly was scarcely seen in New England this past summer at all. Honeybee populations are devastated nationwide, and we face the loss of our main crop pollinator–a fact that alone threatens famine.

To not see this is a major failure of attention. It’s not deliberate, but it’s also not accidental. It may be a symptom of the gradual disengagement from the natural world that has been a feature of western life over the last century (in children they’re starting to call this “nature deficit disorder”). It may very well be encouraged and even staged by the corporate world, which wants us for its own purposes. (I do mean that to sound impersonal–I don’t believe there is truly a corporate conspiracy guided by any human hands; but just a vast web of inattention to certain consequences of deifying acquisition.)

Many good hearted people fall into something like bargaining with Death. They try to purify their own lives, to “go green” in a variety of ways from changing their light bulbs to buying a Prius to insulating their homes to biking to work to putting up solar panels to going “off grid”. There’s a lot of wisdom and good in these actions, but because of their personal and isolated nature, they won’t solve climate change, which is caused largely by a systemic reliance on an unsustainable and ruinous source of energy (fossil fuels). The biggest polluters probably rejoice in our sense of personal guilt. It keeps us busy and off their doorsteps.

The math doesn’t work. Voluntary measures to reduce consumption are not going to solve the problem of climate change. They do nothing to persuade industry polluters to change their ways, and this is the key to turning back the death march of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.  I am concerned, as well, that we have been encouraged to take too much “personal responsibility” for climate change by those very polluters. It is convenient for them to have us blame ourselves, and spend all our energy atoning for our carbon sins through personal measures.

The sense of overwhelm can lead to quite a bit of denial. We may want to react with some anger, saying it’s not my problem. This is just too big for me to cope with. I can’t do anything. It’s up to the scientists/the politicians to deal with this.

Actually the scientists are doing their job, which is to gather the evidence, formulate the theories and publish them. The politicians are not doing their job, which is to take the work of the scientists and translate it into relevant policy. That’s where activism comes in; we need to do our jobs.

We may convince ourselves it can’t be that bad–if it were we would be hearing more about it. It is that bad. We’re starting to hear more about it. Don’t forget that journalists and editors and publishers are also people who struggle with denial. Add to that the reality that most major news-outlets are corporate-owned now, and often directly or indirectly tied to the fossil-fuel industries. It’s that bad, but there are news outlets you can trust for the truth on climate change. I read the Guardian, National Geographic, Nature, the New York Times (somewhat variable).

What are your options when you’ve realized you need to take action to stop climate change? And what will you do with your fear and your grief as you seek the courage to work on this? Those are issues I’ve faced over and over again, and I can speak to them not with authority, perhaps, but from a good deal of humble experience. My next two posts will be about Climate Grief and Climate Courage.

 

Andrée

 

Supertyphoon Haiyan Leaves Over 1,200 Dead: The “Massive Destruction” In Photos And Videos | Zero Hedge

Supertyphoon Haiyan Leaves Over 1,200 Dead: The “Massive Destruction” In Photos And Videos | Zero Hedge.

As reported yesterday, Typhoon Haiyan – potentially the strongest storm to ever make landfall, and stronger than Katrina and Sandy combined – has come and left the Philippines (currently heading for Vietnam), and now the time has come to evaluate the damage and count the dead. Sadly, as Reuters reports, the devastation is absolutely massive and especially in the hardest hit city of Tacloban in the central Leyte province, may match the aftermath of the Fukushima tsunami: “This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris.” Airport manager Efren Nagrama, 47, said water levels rose up to four metres (13 ft) in the airport. “It was like a tsunami. We escaped through the windows and I held on to a pole for about an hour as rain, seawater and wind swept through the airport. Some of my staff survived by clinging to trees. I prayed hard all throughout until the water subsided.”

And it’s not over yet: the following clip from The Weather Channel summarizes the current position and heading of the Typhoon:

But while the worst may be yet to come, for the Philippines it is bad enough as Reuters explains:

A day after Typhoon Haiyan churned through the Philippine archipelago in a straight line from east to west, rescue teams struggled to reach far-flung regions, hampered by washed out roads, many choked with debris and fallen trees.

The death toll is expected to rise sharply from the fast-moving storm, whose circumference eclipsed the whole country and which late on Saturday was heading for Vietnam.

Among the hardest hit was coastal Tacloban in central Leyte province, where preliminary estimates suggest more than 1,000 people were killed, said Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, as water surges rushed through the city.

“An estimated more than 1,000 bodies were seen floating in Tacloban as reported by our Red Cross teams,” she told Reuters. “In Samar, about 200 deaths. Validation is ongoing.”

She expected a more exact number to emerge after a more precise counting of bodies on the ground in those regions.

Witnesses said bodies covered in plastic were lying on the streets. Television footage shows cars piled atop each other.

The Philippines has yet to restore communications with officials in Tacloban, a city of about 220,000. A government official estimated at least 100 were killed and more than 100 wounded, but conceded the toll would likely rise sharply.

The airport was nearly destroyed as raging seawaters swept through the city, shattering the glass of the airport tower, levelling the terminal and overturning nearby vehicles.

“Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few are left standing,” said Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency.

Local television network ABS-CBN showed images of looting in one of the city’s biggest malls, with residents carting away everything from appliances to suitcases and grocery items.

Airport manager Efren Nagrama, 47, said water levels rose up to four metres (13 ft) in the airport.

“It was like a tsunami. We escaped through the windows and I held on to a pole for about an hour as rain, seawater and wind swept through the airport. Some of my staff survived by clinging to trees. I prayed hard all throughout until the water subsided.”

Across the country, about a million people took shelter in 37 provinces after President Benigno Aquino appealed to those in the typhoon’s path to leave vulnerable areas.

“For casualties, we think it will be substantially more,” Aquino told reporters.

* * *

Photos of the damage via the Weather Channel:

Finally, here is video evidence of what the stronger typhoon in history looks like on the ground:

 

“World’s Strongest Cyclone Ever” Slams Philippines With 200 MPH Winds | Zero Hedge

“World’s Strongest Cyclone Ever” Slams Philippines With 200 MPH Winds | Zero Hedge.

If last year it was the East Coast’s turn to suffer a freak super storm, this year it is the already battered Philippines, which suffered a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month, turn as Super Typhoon Haiyan, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, slammed into the Philippines today after forcing thousands of people to evacuate. With sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph), Haiyan was probably the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in the world in recorded history. “If it maintains its strength, there has never been a storm this strong making landfall anywhere in the world,” said Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “This is off the charts.” Not taking chances, the local government has ordered over 125,000 people from 22 provinces to evacuate.

But while luckily human lives will be saved, little else may be. As Bloomberg reports, “Haiyan may inundate rivers, create mudflows and cause storm surges as high as 6 meters (20 feet), Aquino said. Three air force cargo planes, 2 navy ships, helicopters and relief boats are on standby, the president said. About 78,000 families were evacuated in Albay province, Governor Joey Salceda said on his Facebook account. Masters said Tacloban, the capital of the Philippine province of Leyte, would take a direct hit and winds of at least 130 mph may sweep as far as 100 miles inland. “There isn’t much built on the Philippines that can withstand winds like that,” Masters said.

Moments ago Bloomberg just blasted that up to half of the island chain’s sugar cane may be destroyed as a result of the Typhoon, which will wreak havoc on logistic and supply chains globally across numerous commodities. However, it is the human damange that is the biggest threat.

Heavy rains from storms usually cause the highest death tolls on the Philippines, Masters said. Flooding may not be the worst threat this time because Haiyan is moving fairly fast. The high winds and storm surge have the potential to cause catastrophic damage, he said.

“We’re swamped with calls for help,” Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado said in an interview over DZMM radio. Strong wings uprooted trees in the province, he said.

About 2,000 passengers, 50 vessels and 557 rolling cargoes are now stranded in various seaports, the disaster agency said today. Cebu Air Inc. (CEB), the nation’s largest budget carrier, canceled 122 domestic flights and 4 international flights from today to Nov. 9, it said yesterday. Philippine Airlines Inc., in its Facebook account, said 26 local flights and three international flights have been canceled today.

Putting the size of the storm in perspective: “Haiyan was so large in diameter that at one point, its clouds were affecting two-thirds of the country, which stretches more than 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles). Tropical-storm-force winds extended 240 kilometers from the typhoon’s center.

The wide angle shot below by EUMETSAT shows just how massive the typhoon truly is:

In short a record superstorm:

 The true power of Haiyan isn’t known because reconnaissance planes haven’t flown into it, Masters said. The strongest tropical cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Nancy in 1961 with top winds of 215 mph. He said many believe the estimated wind speeds of storms between the 1940s to 1960s was too high.

Since 1969, only three storms have been as powerful as Haiyan, Masters wrote on his blog. They were Super Typhoon Tip in 1979 in the Pacific and Atlantic hurricanes Camille in 1969 and Allen in 1980.

The strongest storm to hit land was Camille, which went ashore in Mississippi with winds near 195 mph, Master said. While there are some estimates that Camille’s winds were closer to 200 mph, the exact speed is unknown because the instruments were destroyed, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

This is just the beginning. After it is done with the Philippines, Haiyan is expected to strike Vietnam in several days, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency.  “It is going to be a huge problem for Vietnam and Laos,”Masters said. As much as a foot of rain may fall there, he said.

If there is a silver lining to all the imminent destruction and tragedy, it is that Q4 GDP in the region will be off the charts. Just as Krugman.

Below is CNN with a video summary on the ground. 

Super typhoon Haiyan slams into central Philippines – World – CBC News

Super typhoon Haiyan slams into central Philippines – World – CBC News.

The strongest typhoon this year slammed into the Philippines on Friday, setting off landslides, knocking out power in several province and cutting communications in the country’s central region of island provinces. Four people died.

Telephone lines appeared down as it was difficult to get through to the landfall site 650 kilometres southeast of Manila where Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the southern tip of Samar island before barrelling on to Leyte Island.

Two people were electrocuted in storm-related accidents, one person was killed by a fallen tree and another was struck by lightning, official reports said.

Nearly 720,000 people evacuated

Close to 720,000 people had been evacuated from towns and villages in the typhoon’s path across the central Philippines, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said. Among them were thousands of residents of Bohol who had been camped in tents and other makeshift shelters after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the island province last month.

Philippines TyphoonPhilippine President Benigno Aquino III speaks in a nationally televised address at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines on Thursday. Thousands of people were removed from villages in the central Philippines before the typhoon struck. (The Associated Press)

Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said 31,000 people were evacuated in his landslide-prone mountainous province before the super typhoon struck, knocking out power, setting off small landslides that blocked roads in rural areas, uprooting trees and ripping roofs off houses around his residence.

The dense clouds and heavy rains made the day seem almost as dark as night, he said.

“When you’re faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray,” Mercado told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that his town mayors have not called in to report any major damage.

“I hope that means they were spared and not the other way around,” he said. “My worst fear is there will be many massive loss of lives and property.”

Television images from Tacloban city on Leyte Island showed a street under knee-deep floodwater carrying debris that had been blown down by the fierce winds. Tin roofing sheets ripped from buildings were flying above the street.

Visibility was so poor that only the silhouette of a local reporter could be seen through the driving rain.

‘Catastrophic damage’ feared

Weather officials said that Haiyan had sustained winds at 235 kilometres per hour, with gusts of 275 km/h when it made landfall. That makes it the strongest typhoon this year, said Aldczar Aurelio of the government’s weather bureau.

Gener Quitlong, another weather forecaster, said the typhoon was not losing much of its strength because there is no large land mass to slow it down since the region is comprised of islands with no tall mountains.

The typhoon — the 24th serious storm to hit the Philippines this year — is forecast to blow toward the South China Sea on Saturday, heading toward Vietnam.

Philippines TyphoonFilipino workers bring down a giant billboard along a busy highway as they prepare for the possible effects of powerful Typhoon Haiyan in suburban Makati, south of Manila, Philippines, on Thursday. (The Associated Press)

Jeff Masters, a former hurricane meteorologist who is meteorology director at the private firm Weather Underground, said the storm had been poised to be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall. He warned of “catastrophic damage.”

But he said the Philippines might get a small break because the storm is so fast moving that flooding from heavy rains — usually the cause of most deaths from typhoons in the Philippines — may not be as bad.

As it approached the Philippines, the storm was one of the strongest on record.

The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center said shortly before the typhoon made landfall that its maximum sustained winds were 314 km/h, with gusts up to 379 km/h. Those measurements are different than local weather data because the U.S. Navy centre measures the average wind speed for 1 minute while local forecasters measure average for 10 minutes.

Hurricane Camille, a 1969 storm, had wind speeds that reached 305 km/h at landfall in the United States, Masters said.

Officials in Cebu province have shut down electric service to the northern part of the province to avoid electrocutions in case power pylons are toppled, said assistant regional civil defence chief Flor Gaviola.

President Benigno Aquino III assured the public of war-like preparations, with three C-130 air force cargo planes and 32 military helicopters and planes on standby, along with 20 navy ships.

With files from The Associated Press

 

 

 

Philippines typhoon Haiyan forces thousands to flee – World – CBC News

Philippines typhoon Haiyan forces thousands to flee – World – CBC News. (source)

Government forecasters said Thursday that Typhoon Haiyan, shown via a satellite image, was packing sustained winds of 215 kilometres per hour and ferocious gusts of 250 km/h.Government forecasters said Thursday that Typhoon Haiyan, shown via a satellite image, was packing sustained winds of 215 kilometres per hour and ferocious gusts of 250 km/h. (US Naval Research Lab/The Associated Press)

Thousands of people were removed from villages in the central Philippines on Thursday before one of the year’s strongest typhoons strikes the region, including a province devastated by an earthquake last month.

Typhoon Haiyan has sustained winds of 215 kilometres per hour and ferocious gusts of 250 km/h and could strengthen over the Pacific Ocean before slamming the eastern province of Samar early Friday, government forecasters said.

The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii said it was the strongest tropical cyclone in the world this year, although Cyclone Phailin, which hit eastern India on Oct. 12, packed winds of up to 222 km/h and stronger gusts.

Philippines TyphoonFilipino workers bring down a giant billboard along a busy highway as they prepare for the possible effects of powerful Typhoon Haiyan in suburban Makati, south of Manila, Philippines, on Thursday. (The Associated Press)

Facing another possible disaster, President Benigno Aquino III warned people to leave high-risk areas, including 100 coastal communities where forecasters said the storm surge could reach up to seven metres. He urged seafarers to stay away from choppy seas.

Aquino urged people to stay calm and avoid panic-buying of basic goods and assured the public of war-like preparations: Three C-130 air force cargo planes and 32 military helicopters and planes were on standby, along with 20 navy ships.

“No typhoon can bring Filipinos to their knees if we’ll be united,” he said in a nationally televised address.

Homes abandoned

Governors and mayors were supervising the evacuation of landslide- and flood-prone communities in several provinces where the typhoon is expected to pass, said Eduardo del Rosario, head of the government’s main disaster-response agency.

Philippines TyphoonPhilippine President Benigno Aquino III speaks in a nationally televised address at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines on Thursday. Thousands of people were removed from villages in the central Philippines Thursday before one of the year’s strongest typhoons strikes the region. (The Associated Press)

Even in southern Misamis Oriental province located farther from the typhoon’s expected track, more than 12,000 people abandoned their homes in six coastal towns and a mountain municipality that have been hit by past landslides, said Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano, who also suspended school classes.

Aquino ordered officials to aim for zero casualties, a goal often not met in an archipelago lashed by about 20 storms each year, most of them deadly and destructive. Haiyan is the 24th such storm to hit the Philippines this year.

Edgardo Chatto, the governor of Bohol island province in the central Philippines, where an earthquake in October killed more than 200 people, said that soldiers, police and rescue units were helping displaced residents, including thousands still in small tents, move to shelters.

Rescue helicopters on standby

Bohol is not forecast to get a direct hit but is expected to be battered by strong wind and rain, government forecaster Jori Loiz said.

Army troops were helping transport food packs and other relief goods in hard-to-reach communities and rescue helicopters are on stand-by, the military said.

“My worst fear is that the eye of this typhoon will hit us. I hope we will be spared,” Chatto told The Associated Press by telephone.

Haiyan was forecast to barrel through the country’s central region Friday and Saturday before it blows toward the South China Sea over the weekend, heading toward Vietnam.

It was not expected to directly hit the densely populated capital of Manila farther north, but residents in the flood-prone city were jittery, with one suburb suspending classes and authorities ordering giant tarpaulin billboard ads to be removed along the main highway.

 

Scores dead in Philippine earthquake – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Scores dead in Philippine earthquake – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English. (FULL ARTICLE)

At least 93 people have been killed and more than 100 others injured by falling buildings islands popular with tourists in the central Philippines after an earthquake measuring 7.2 hit the region, according to radio reports.

Tuesday’s earthquake was centred 56km deep below Carmen town on Bohol Island, about 400km southeast of the capital, Manila, and was felt across the region. The Philippine seismology agency reported at least 110 aftershocks.

Local radio stations also reported fatalities in nearby Cebu province, across a strait from Bohol.

Tuesday is a national holiday and that may have reduced casualties because schools and offices are closed….

 

 

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