Courtesy NOAAAs Hurricane Gustav is gaining strength barreling across the Gulf of Mexico and charging toward the US coastline, authorities have ordered mandatory evacuation of citizens in the Gulf Coast region.
New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin made a fear-laden plea that all citizens of the Big Easy take the order very seriously. The mayor stated that storm surges as high as 18-24 feet are possible from Gustav and warned that there would be no services or aid available to anyone who decides to ignore the evacuation order. Some parts of New Orleans are still recovering from devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
Gustav started as a tropical storm earlier this week (Aug. 25), was upgraded to a hurricane as it moved over Haiti. It hit Cuba on August 30 as a Category 4 hurricane. Last night Gustav’s designation was lowered back to a Category 3 hurricane but is expected to gain power as it crosses the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and makes landfall along the US coastline sometime tomorrow morning.
Despite being over 1000 miles away, Hurricane Gustav is having an effect on us here in the Twin Cities. The Republican National Convention starts tomorrow in St. Paul, and President Bush and Vice-president Cheney have canceled appearances there due to Gustav’s potential as a national emergency.
Courtesy USGSThe Tangjiashan “quake lake”
formed by a landslide during China’s devastating May 12th earthquake is draining slowly thanks to a sluice constructed by engineers there. Fears of the lake bursting from its earthen dam pushed authorities to find a quick and effective way to release the pressure building from the backed-up water. More than a million people living in the area were under threat of being inundated with millions of cubic meters of water.
As work crews start construction of a second drainage channel, engineers are closely watching downstream riverbanks and bridges for any sign of stress from the surging waters.
The 7.9 magnitude earthquake killed over 60,000 people and more than 17,000 are still missing.