At least 55 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced as the river changed its course. Thousands more people are being evacuated to higher ground to escape the rising floodwaters.
I was just scouting around the web looking for as much on Hurricane Gustav as I could find. From the official Cuban government weather site I was directed to the World Meteorological Organization’s site. Usually there’s little of interest from the WMO–a top-heavy international bureaucracy with nearly no operational responsibility.
“On 18 August, after heavy monsoon rains, a dam on the Saptakoshi (Kosi) river in Nepal burst, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless and triggering flooding in the neighbouring Indian state of Bihar, where at least 55 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced as the river changed its course. Thousands more people are being evacuated to higher ground to escape the rising floodwaters. Roads and railway tracks have been washed away and water and electricity supplies have been affected in many areas.”
That’s staggering. 2.5 million people displaced. I can’t imagine what it must be like there.
Why haven’t I heard or read about this? Are American’s really that isolated from the rest of the world? Am I that isolated?
The wind, nearly doubled in speed, has almost four times the power. The rule of thumb says it will destroy eight times as much as last night’s storm would.
The ability of a hurricane to rapidly increase in intensity never ceases to amaze me. Last night when I went to bed Gustav had a top sustained wind speed of 80 mph. Now, less that 12 hours later it’s 145 mph! The wind, nearly doubled in speed, has almost four times the power. The rule of thumb says it will destroy eight times as much as last night’s storm would.
This radar image is a snapshot in time. Part of the power of the Internet this is an image I never had access to–direct from the Cuban government’s weather bureau¹. Gustav is about to attack the Isle of Youth (formerly the Isle of Pines) and its 100,000 residents.
I expect the storm to weaken as it passes over Western Cuba then strengthen again in the Gulf.
I’ve written about this before and discussed it often with my friend Bob. There is an internal balance necessary for a hurricane to get to 140 mph or more. That speed is almost impossible to maintain for any length of time. Gustav will see its intensity pulse up-and-down once it reestablishes itself in the Gulf. Hopefully, landfall will come as it is diminishing.
¹ – It’s interesting that the Instituto de Meteoologia de la Republica de Cuba–part of a ‘people’s paradise,’ finds it necessary to add: “Copyright © 1997-2008. INSMET ® Todos los derechos reservados ” Am I surprised? Todo-lly.