Filipinos in Florida urged to prepare, heed warnings vs hurricane Dorian
Robie de Guzman • September 2, 2019 • 566
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.
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)
At least five people have died because of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said, as the massive storm pounded the Caribbean nation on Monday (September 2), peeling off roofs, snapping power lines and inundating homes with floodwater ahead of its expected advance on the U.S. coast.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of northern Bahamas. Our mission and focus now is search, rescue, and recovery. I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders,” Minnis said in a news conference.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory at 5 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) that “extremely dangerous Dorian continues to bring life-threatening conditions” to islands in the Bahamas.
It warned residents not to leave shelters until the eye of the hurricane passes. The storm’s strongest winds are usually close to the eye.
As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.
A Reuters witness staying in the hotel at the Abaco Beach Resort on the island of Great Abaco said winds tore off the shutters and part of the roof, and the site was surrounded by a lake of water.
Dorian had been hovering over Grand Bahama Island for 36 hours by early Monday evening and was expected to stay put until at least Tuesday morning as it pounded the island, the NHC bulletin said.
Dorian threatened to unleash a storm surge that could raise water levels by as much as 12 to 18 feet (4 to 5 meters) above normal on Grand Bahama Island, the NHC said.
Minnis acknowledged that distress calls have been coming in and said that emergency teams were ready to go out, but had been held back by weather conditions.
“We know that there are a number of people in Grand Bahama who are in serious distress and we will provide relief and assistance as soon as possible after the Met (Meteorology) Department has given the all-clear. I strongly urge the residents of Grand Bahama to remain indoors and be as safe as possible until the all-clear is given by the appropriate authorities,” he said.
Minnis urged residents to open their homes to those in need and asked the international community to donate to charities with a responsible record.
“This is the time for us as Bahamians to show our love, our care and our compassion for our fellow brothers and sisters,” he said.
The hurricane, which was downgraded late Monday morning to Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, packed maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (240 kph), the NHC said.
Dorian was expected to drift to the northwest late on Tuesday and stalk the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia, it said. (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Sunday (September 1) that Hurricane Dorian would likely impact the eastern seaboard from Florida to North Carolina.
“It’s one of the largest we’ve ever seen. Its effects will be felt hundreds of miles or more from the eye of the storm and long before it potentially makes landfall,” Trump said during a briefing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Hurricane Dorian became the strongest storm in modern records to hit the northwestern Bahamas and is expected to pound the islands with up to two days of torrential rain, high waves and damaging winds as parts of Florida evacuated before it took aim at the U.S. mainland.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Dorian made landfall on Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands as a Category 5 storm on Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (295 km per hour) and gusts of more than 220 mph (354 kph).
“Millions of people from Florida to North Carolina were bracing to see whether Dorian avoids a U.S. landfall and, as predicted, veers north into the Atlantic Ocean after hitting the Bahamas. Even a glancing blow from one of the strongest storms ever to menace Florida could bring torrential rains and damaging winds, and “a Florida landfall is still a distinct possibility,” the Miami-based NHC warned.
FEMA is moving food, water and generators into the southeastern United States, said acting Administrator Peter Gaynor has said. (Reuters)
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