[*AP] A cyclone with winds up to 120 mph. A low-lying, densely populated delta region, stripped of its protective trees. When Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta and pushed a wall of water 25 miles inland, it had all the makings of a massive disaster. "When we saw the (storm) track, I said, 'Uh oh, this is not going to be good,'" said Mark Lander, a meteorology professor at the University of Guam. "It would create a big storm surge. It was like Katrina going into New Orleans [*1]." Forecasters began tracking the cyclone April 28 as it first headed toward India. As projected, it took a sharp turn eastward but didn't follow the typical cyclone track in that area leading to Bangladesh or Myanmar's mountainous northwest. Instead, it swept into the low-lying Irrawaddy delta in central Myanmar. The result was the worst disaster in the impoverished country. It was the first time such an intense storm hit the delta, said Jeff Masters, co-founder and director of meteorology at the San Francisco-based Weather Underground. He called it "one of those once-in-every-500-years kind of things." "The easterly component of the path is unusual," Masters said. "It tracked right over the most vulnerable part of the country, where most of the people live". When the storm made landfall early May 3 at the mouth of the Irrawaddy River, its battering winds pushed a wall of water as high as 12 feet some 25 miles inland, laying waste to villages and killing tens of thousands.
12 maggio 2008
Nelle puntate precedenti: *Owning the weather e *Non fermare gli uragani, guidali. E’ risaputo che gli Stati Uniti hanno portato avanti esperimenti sugli uragani tra il 1962 e il 1983 con un progetto chiamato in codice Project Stormfury, dopo che fu calcolato che un singolo uragano sprigiona più energia di tutte le centrali elettriche del mondo messe assieme. Forse stanno finalmente raccogliendo i frutti di questi esperimenti?