Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Death Toll Rises From Philippines Quake, Once-In-A-Decade Typhoon Threatens Fukushima

More birth pains:

A magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck in the central Philippines on Tuesday morning, killing 82 people and severely damaging some of the country's most hallowed churches, authorities said.
The earthquake hit at 8:12 a.m. (5:12 p.m. Monday ET) less than a mile from the town of Carmen in Bohol province, the U.S. Geological Survey and Philippine emergency authorities said. Carmen is in a remote region across the Cebu Strait about 40 miles from Cebu City.

At least two aftershocks rated at magnitude 5.0 or greater followed.
Twenty people were reported killed, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said early Tuesday afternoon — 15 in Cebu province, four in Bohol province and one in Siquijor province.

The NDRRMC had initially put the death toll at 28, but police told the Associated Press later on Tuesday that the figure had risen to 82. The NDRRMC said 159 people were reported injured.

The quake happened at 08:12 (00:12 GMT) on a national holiday. The US Geological Survey said it struck below the island of Bohol, where officials reported most casualties.
People were also killed in the province of Cebu.
Historic churches were among the many damaged buildings, and stampedes were reported in two cities.
At least 69 of those confirmed dead were from Bohol, according to reports citing disaster management officials.
Fifteen people are known to have been killed in Cebu, and another was reported dead on the neighbouring island of Siquijor.

A powerful typhoon is bearing down on Japan – and its path is set to go through the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. It’s less than 24 hours until the storm is due to hit. The storm has been branded a "once in a decade event".
The country’s weather agency has issued warnings of torrential rain and strong winds ahead of the coming typhoon, Wipha. 
450 flights have been canceled across Japan in measures against the coming typhoon. The combined cancelations will affect 60,850 passengers, Japan Airlines Co said.
East Japan Railway Co said it had canceled 31 bullet trains going north and west from Tokyo, Reuters reported. 
The typhoon is moving towards the country at a speed of 35 kilometers per hour, and is currently to the south of the country in the Pacific ocean. 
Near its center, the speed of the typhoon can exceed 144 kilometers per hour. 
“Wipha will remain a strong and expansive extra-tropical system as it tracks along the eastern coast of Japan,” the US-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported on its website. 
The exact track of Wipha is crucial: if its center passes just west of Tokyo, a large storm surge would affect the city of more than 35 million people and potentially bring major flooding. 

Early on Wednesday, the disaster is expected to hit Japan, and later in the day will reach the territory where the stricken Fukushima nuke plant is situated. 

The agency issued warnings for Tokyo of heavy rain, flooding and gales, and advised people to be prepared to leave their homes quickly and to avoid unnecessary travel.
A spokesman for the meteorological agency said the storm was a "once in a decade event".
The typhoon is expected to sweep through northern Japan after making landfall and to pass near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, on the coast 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo, later on Wednesday.

Around 30 people were unaccounted for after five houses were destroyed or swept away today by a series of landslides and floods on Oshima island, which sits some 120km south of the Japanese capital, according to national broadcaster NHK.
AT least three people have died as Typhoon Wipha - the "strongest in 10 years" - passed close to Tokyo, causing landslides that swallowed houses on a Japanese island, reports say.

Mud, mangled trees and other debris were piled up around houses, while many local residents had sought shelter in an evacuation centre, reporting muddy water had been gushing into their homes, according to local media.

The weather bureau warned the typhoon could make landfall in the densely populated Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, later in the morning.
Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of nearly 200km/h near its centre, was moving northeast at around 55km/h in the early hours of the morning, Kyodo said.
The typhoon was forecast to be off the coast of Fukushima later in the day, where the crippled nuclear power plant sits, with the area already experiencing heavy rainfall on Tuesday.

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