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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Rains in Chennai .. ! .. . ....... cyclones battering Philippines

The grand festival of Deepavali brings rains alongside .. it has been raining and it rained well in Chennai today .. making Chennai residents happy.  Many a times, during November, there would be talks of Cyclone too – but they would not make a landfall in Chennai but eventually move towards coastal Andhra Pradesh crossing at Nellore, Ongloe, Masulipatnam, Kakinada, Vizag or move farther towards Orissa, West Bengal.

Typhoon Vamco, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ulysses, is currently an active Category 1-equivalent typhoon which earlier made its landfall in the Philippines. The twenty-second named storm and tenth typhoon of the 2020 Pacific typhoon season, Vamco originated as a tropical depression northwest of Palau, where it slowly continued its northwest track until it made landfall in Quezon. The typhoon is now currently threatening South China and Vietnam.

On November 8, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) began tracking a new tropical depression 132 nautical miles (245 km; 150 mi) north-northwest of Palau.  At 12:00 UTC on the same day, the PAGASA declared the system as a tropical depression inside of the Philippine Area of Responsibility, and named it Ulysses.  The next day at 7:15 UTC, the system strengthened into a tropical storm, earning the name Vamco by the JMA.  Vamco made its first landfall on the island town of Patnanungan, Quezon.  Then, surrounded by favorable conditions for an intensification, Vamco continued to gain strength and reached its peak of intensity, with 10-min sustained winds at 130 km/h (81 mph), 1-minute sustained winds of 176 km/h (109 mph) and pressure of 970 mbar, supporting Vamco as a high-end category 2–equivalent typhoon.  At 23:20 PHT (15:20 UTC) and at 1:40 PHT of the following day (17:40 UTC), Vamco made its next two Quezon landfalls over Burdeos (in Polillo Island) and General Nakar (in the Luzon landmass).  Later, Vamco dropped below typhoon intensity inland.  

If one were to ask – what  is the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon?  There is no difference. Depending on where they occur, hurricanes may be called typhoons or cyclones. As per NASA, the scientific name for all these kinds of storms is tropical cyclones. The tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes and the ones that form in the Northwest Pacific are called typhoons.

Something happening in Chennai.  The city corporation Commissioner on Sunday, inaugurated the Miyawaki forest project in School Road, Sholinganallur zone. The civic body intends to plant around 2,800 tree saplings in a 15,586 square-feet land that belongs to it in ward 197. Earlier, the city Corporation had developed a Miyawaki forest in 20,724 square feet of the 23,800-square-feet of Chennai Corporation's land in Kotturpuram under the Adyar zone. At a cost of Rs 20 lakhs, 2000 trees of 40 different varieties were planted and are being maintained.

Miyawaki is a technique pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps build dense, native forests. The approach is supposed to ensure that plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual. It involves planting dozens of native species in the same area, and becomes maintenance-free after the first three years. Akira Miyawaki   is a Japanese botanist and expert in plant ecology, specializing in seeds and the study of natural forests. He is active worldwide as a specialist in the restoration of natural vegetation on degraded land. Since 1993, he has been Professor Emeritus at Yokohama National University and Director of the Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology. He received the Blue Planet Prize in 2006. 

Back home, after  a mini-break, the next active monsoon spell would begin from Wednesday stated the Regional Meteorological centre which  issued heavy rainfall warning in Chennai, especially on November 11-12. The weather bulletin said heavy to very-heavy rain with thunderstorms is likely to occur in Chennai, Tiruvalllur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu on November 12.

Hurricanes are staying in power longer after they make landfall, leading to more inland destruction according to a new study. Usually, when a hurricane strikes land, the destruction of property and the environment and the loss of life are largely confined to a narrow coastal area. This is because hurricanes are fuelled by moisture from the ocean. The study by Lin Li and Pinaki Chakraborty shows that while in the late 1960s a typical hurricane lost about 75% of its intensity in the first day past landfall, now the corresponding decay is only about 50%. Meanwhile, typhoon Vamco hit Philippines barely two weeks after it was battered by Goni, the world’s most powerful typhoon this year. This is the 21st cyclone to hit Philippines this year. Nearly three million households in and around Manila were without power as people waded through waist-high floods.

Typhoon Goni, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Rolly, was an extremely powerful tropical cyclone that made landfall as a Category 5–equivalent super typhoon on Catanduanes in the Philippines and became the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record by 1-minute winds, eclipsing the previous record held by Haiyan and Meranti. The nineteenth named storm, ninth typhoon, and second super typhoon of the 2020 Pacific typhoon season, Goni originated as a tropical depression south of Guam on October 26. It was then named as Tropical Storm Goni on October 27.  Following its first landfall, Goni rapidly weakened while it moved over the Philippines. The storm brought severe flash flooding to Legazpi, as well as lahar flow from the nearby Mayon Volcano. There were widespread power outages as well as damaged power and transmission lines in Bicol. Crops were also heavily damaged.  After Goni moved into the West Philippine Sea, it subsequently weakened into a tropical storm.   

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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