Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Aftermath: Felix and Henriette

I stress these are very early reports.

Felix has been downgraded to Tropical Storm status, but not after raking both
Honduras and Nicaragu.

Early reports from ReliefNet indicate, "Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega declared a state of disaster Tuesday in the country's North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) after Hurricane Felix killed three people, destroyed 5,400 homes and left 38,000 homeless there.".

Another man, as yet unidentified, was reported drowned in the Miskito Keys, and a baby died in a shelter in Puerto Cabezas in eastern Nicaragua, though the cause of death was unclear.

Two fishing boats with 45 aboard were lost at sea after issuing distress calls at the storm’s height, officials reported.
Once again I stress these are very early reports.

According to the Amateur Radio Relay League (AARL)
VoIP Hurricane Net;

"We have received reports of significant damage in Puerto Gabezas, Nicaragua to many structures with phone and power outages. The Puerto Gabezas hospital has been evacuated due to significant flooding, and two ships and 35 fishermen on those ships are missing," said Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net.

Reports are being relayed form various sources. Carlos Guzman, XE2WCG, of Tampico, Mexico, is relaying reports from the Nicaragua Emergency Net on 40 meters; he has assisted with Spanish translation of those reports for the Net. Francisco Diaz-Gonzalez, NP3OD, from the VoIP Hurricane Net Control team, and Andoni Axpe Soto, EB1FGO, from the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition (IRESC), helped translate and monitor other sources such as Nicaraguan television for information. "We are trying to relay reports from any means that cannot be monitored directly from the National Hurricane Center," Macedo said.

WX4NHC has been monitoring the Net and other systems to gather reports and information. Felix is expected to weaken and should be below hurricane strength by Tuesday night. As Felix weakens, heavy rain will fall over Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize, posing a potential flash flood and landslide threat to the region. Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect over much of the area.

"We would appreciate any Amateur Radio operators in the affected area to come on the EchoLink *WX-TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP reflector 9219 to give us weather and damage reports. Amateur operators who have contacts in the affected area that can relay information, as well as amateurs who have propagation on 40 and 75 meters to emergency Nets in the affected area that can get the information to our Net would also help greatly," Macedo said.

Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, said, "We request all land-based stations, as well as ships at sea, in the areas affected by Hurricane Felix to send us weather data (measured or estimated) and damage reports. If you are in the affected area and normally monitor on a local Net on VHF, 40 or 80 meters, we would appreciate your checking into the HWN Net (14.325 MHz) or EchoLink/IRLP Net once per hour to receive the latest hurricane advisories and to report your local conditions."

Yesterday morning according to FEMA;

As of 5:00 a.m. EDT, Felix has again strengthened early this morning. The minimum central pressure has fallen to 939 mb. Maximum sustained winds are 155 mph with higher gusts. The satellite presentation has been steadily becoming more impressive. Felix could reach Category Five status at any time prior to landfall.

Felix continues generally westward but appears to be slowing down a little. The eye is only about three hours from making landfall along the coast of northeastern Nicaragua, likely just south of the border with Honduras. The ridge to the north of Felix should remain in place during the next three days, so a continued general westward motion is forecast with a slow Bend to the right.

Given that this relatively small hurricane will be interacting with the rugged terrain of Central America during the next couple of days, rapid weakening is forecast after the center crosses the coast, and dissipation is forecast after 72 hours.

It is important to emphasize that this will not be just a coastal event. Very heavy rains and life-threatening flash floods and mud slides could occur well inland and many hours or days after this morning's landfall.

The Hurrevac model as of 5:00 a.m. EDT, given the present speed and direction indicates the closest approach to the Texas mainland is Cameron County, Texas on Friday, September 7, 2007, at 2:00 a.m. EDT, 685 miles east south-east from the eye of Felix. Tropical force winds extend out 115 miles.

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center has lowered their five-day rainfall estimates valid from Tuesday through Sunday, September 9, 2007, to two-three inches of rain for some border counties in Texas. Some inland counties of Texas will be experiencing higher rainfall amounts of three-four inches during the same period due to other weather systems.

Again these are early reports!

Hurricane Henriette

Hurricane Henriette drove into the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, stranding about 7,500 tourists at two of Mexico's most-visited resorts on the West Coast, according to Mexican authorities.

Henriette claimed seven lives even before it strengthened into a hurricane. One woman drowned in high surf in Cabo San Lucas on Monday, and the storm caused flooding and landslides that killed six people in Acapulco over the weekend.

Henriette, packing sustained winds of 80 miles (128 kilometers) per hour, made landfall near San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Service. The government declared a state of emergency for the state of Baja California Sur.

Airports were closed at Los Cabos and the capital city of La Paz. Beaches were declared off limits by the Mexican federal civil protection agency. Tourists were told to stay in their hotels.

The Mexican government said it deployed 300 federal police to patrol highways in Baja California, while government health workers prepared to treat any injuries. Food packages also were gathered to distribute following the storm.The National Hurricane Center said that it was still early in the emergency for damage reports.

FEMA reported yesterday morning;

At 5:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Henriette was located about 115 miles south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California. Henriette is moving toward the north-northwest near eight mph. A continued north-northwest motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next 24 hours.

On this track, the center of Henriette is expected to be near or over the southern Baja Peninsula by this afternoon. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph with higher gusts. Henriette is now a Category One hurricane. Little change in strength is forecast prior to landfall over the southern Baja Peninsula. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

The Government of Mexico has extended the Hurricane Warning for the southern Baja Peninsula from Loreto southward on the east coast, and from Bahia Magdalena southward on the west coast, including Cabo San Lucas. A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Bahia Magdalena northward to Puerto San Andresito, for the Baja Peninsula from Loreto northward to Mulege on the east coast, and for the coast of mainland Mexico from Altata northward to Guaymas.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the southern Baja Peninsula from Bahia Magdalena northward to Puerto San Andresito on the west coast.

Heavy rain (and potentially flash flooding) as a result of Henriette is forecast across much of Arizona and New Mexico into Colorado from September 6-9.

Elsewhere, tropical cyclone activity is not expected during the next 48 hours.

Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) reports;


At the last observation, on 2007/09/04 18:00 UTC, tropical cyclone HENRIETTE is a Tropical Cyclone Category 1 with maximum sustained wind speeds of 38 m/s (137 km/h, 74 knots). Within 100km of its eye there are 94.9 thousand people. Within 200km there are 311.2 thousand people.

The storm is currently situated near Baja California Sur in Mexico (a province with a population of 345.6 thousand). The closest 6 cities are San Rafael, La Matancita, La Tinaja, Pozo de Cota, Agua Caliente, Los Frailes.

Data Source: IFA/Solar Hawaii University
UTC/GMT (Greenwich time): 2007/09/04 18:00 UTC
Saffir-Simpson Category: Tropical Cyclone Category 1
Current maximum sustained wind speed: 38 m/s
Current Maximum Speed of Wind Gusts: m/s
Current Location 22.6; -109.5 (lat/long in decimal degrees)


Nearby cities

San Rafael, La Matancita, La Tinaja, Pozo de Cota, Agua Caliente, Los Frailes... (full list below).

Report created on 9/5/2007 2:54:01 AM CET.

2007/09/04 18:00 UTC (today around 10h local solar time) Tropical Cyclone Category 1 with winds of 74 kt

Show what's within 100km (16 cities, 1 airports, 2 ports, 0 large infrastructure plants)

We will keep you posted!