Dominican Republic braces as Hurricane Irma approaches
admin • September 5, 2017 • 4447
Dominican President Danilo Medina led an emergency meeting with the Dominican Republic’s National Emergency Commission on Monday as Hurricane Irma barrels toward the Caribbean, southern United States.
Irma was upgraded to a powerful category 4 storm on Monday and hurricane advisories have been issued for territories that dot the West Indies, including parts of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Dominican authorities said the government was prepared for the storm and asked residents to heed warnings and follow evacuation procedures.
“[The government] is ready to face whatever situation may present itself,” said Jose Ramon Peralta, the Administrative Minister of the Presidency. “From this moment on, we are on a constant monitoring situation.”
Irma was forecast to strengthen over the next 48 hours and could “directly affect Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba as a dangerous major hurricane later this week, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday to prepare Florida for a possible hit by Hurricane Irma.
The governor issued the order for all 67 counties in the state soon after the latest advisory showed the forecast cone reaching parts of South Florida sometime during next weekend.
The NHC cautioned that it is still too early to forecast the storm’s exact path or what effects it might have on the continental United States, but warned of likely effects. — Ruth de Mesa | UNTV News & Rescue
NASA’s next-generation Mars rover Perseverance blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Thursday (July 30) atop an Atlas 5 rocket on a $2.4 billion mission to search for traces of potential past life on Earth’s planetary neighbor.
The next-generation robotic rover – a car-sized six-wheeled scientific vehicle – also is scheduled to deploy a mini helicopter on Mars and test out equipment for future human missions to the fourth planet from the sun. It is expected to reach Mars next February.
It soared into the sky under clear, sunny and warm conditions carried by an Atlas 5 rocket from the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture United Launch Alliance. The launch took place after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California where its mission engineers were located was rattled by an earthquake.
This marked NASA’s ninth journey to the Martian surface.
Perseverance is due to land at the base of an 820-foot-deep (250 meters) crater called Jezero, a former lake from 3.5 billion years ago that scientists suspect could bear evidence of potential past microbial life on Mars.
Scientists have long debated whether Mars – once a much more hospitable place than it is today – ever harbored life. Water is considered a key ingredient for life, and the Mars billions of years ago had lots of it on the surface before the planet became a harsh and desolate outpost.
One of the most complex maneuvers in Perseverance’s journey will be what mission engineers call the “seven minutes of terror,” when the robot endures extreme heat and speeds during its descent through the Martian atmosphere, deploying a set of supersonic parachutes before igniting mini rocket engines to gently touch down on the planet’s surface.
Aboard Perseverance is a four-pound (1.8 kg) autonomous helicopter named Ingenuity that is due to test powered flight on Mars for the first time.
This was scheduled as the third launch from Earth to Mars during a busy month of July, following probes sent by the United Arab Emirates and China. The state from which the rover was launched, Florida, is currently one of the hot spots in the United States for the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino communities in Florida and along the path of Hurricane Dorian in the United States were advised to prepare and heed the warnings of local officials against the powerful storm.
“The Philippine Embassy advises Filipino communities along the path of Hurricane Dorian to monitor the movement of the storm, undertake all necessary preparations, and heed the warnings of local officials,” the Philippine Embassy in Washington said in a Facebook post.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) earlier reported that ‘Dorian’ is expected to remain a hurricane for the next five days even after it made landfall on Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (295 kilometers per hour) and gusts of more than 220 mph (354 kph).
Dorian’s winds are expected to approach and hit the Florida peninsula on Monday morning. It is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge of as much as 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) to the northwest of the islands, the NHC said.
The storm is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall in Jacksonville, Florida over the Labor Day weekend.
The Philippine Embassy added that regardless of the exact track of Dorian, the U.S. NHC has warned of “heavy rains over portions of the Bahamas, Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern United States this weekend and into the middle of next week.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has already declared a state of emergency for counties in Dorian’s path. At least seven counties in Florida have also issued mandatory evacuations for some residents, including those in mobile homes, on barrier islands and in low-lying areas.
The Philippine Embassy said approximately 25,000 people with Filipino origin live in Jacksonville and a total estimate of 143,000 individuals of Filipino origin in Florida.
“The Philippine Embassy will continue to monitor developments and coordinate with the Filipino and Filipino-American communities in these areas,” it said.
For those requiring assistance during emergencies, the Embassy may be reached through phone numbers (202) 368 2767 or (202) 769 8049.
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