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Storm watch (updated Sunday)

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Tropical Cyclone Phailin made landfall on the coast of India about 9pm, causing heaving damage, but very few deaths thanks to a major evacuation effort. Meanwhile Typhoon Nari continues to move our way. (Updated Sunday) 

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A 8:30pm Saturday evening satellite image showing three storms, left to right, Tropical Cyclone Phailin, Typhoon Nari and Tropical Storm Wipha. (MTSAT, Japan Meteorological Agency.)

Sunday update

Noon: The sense from coastal areas of India hit directly by Tropical Cyclone Phailin is one of relief this morning. While extent of the damage cannot yet be assessed, it is clear that the death toll is very low at this point is very low, less than ten at this point. For that, the Indian government deserves much credit, first for sending out timely warnings and secondly for organising and carrying out a large and efficient evacuation effort. "This, time the Indian government appears to have got it right," a reporter on CNN just said.

Meanwhile, the storm continues to pummel inland areas with winds still over 100km/hour at the storm's centre.

9am: First TV footage from India (NDTV) show typical storm damage – trees and electrical poles down, cars overturned and debris filling the streets. But the main buildings are standing and the people interviewed seem calm. The sun has just risen, however, and it will still be some time before we know the full extent of the damage to the rural areas. Altogether more than 800,000 people were evacuated to shelters, which should significantly lower the death toll. Thus far, five deaths have been reported from falling trees.

TV reports from northeasten Andhra Pradesh, at the southern edge of the storm, show surprisingly little damage. Even flimsy thatched-roof buildings next to the sea are still standing. Fishing boats were damaged, however, local officials said.

Damage to Odisha, the Indian state which bore the brunt of the storm is expected to much heavier, however. First reports indicate there was heavy crop damage. The storm surge appears not to have been as high as it was feared, so water damage may not be so severe. The best news so far is that the death toll remains very low.

More Saturday stories

19:30  Indian TV is reporting that many people are resisting government efforts to evacuate them. Not a good idea. You can watch the coverage live here: http://www.ndtv.com/video/live/channel/ndtv24x7

6:15pm  Cyclone Phailin was reported to 90km off the coast of India, travelling at 20km/hr. Thus landfall should occur with 4 - 4.5 hours, but already heavy rain and winds have hit coastal areas.

Saturday morning update

Above is a satellite photo from this morning showing three major storm systems in our region. The one in the middle, Typhoon Nari, is of most concern to us here in Thailand. It has moved over the northern Phillippines and is now in the South China Sea where it is expected to intensify. It is headed toward Vietnam and eventually Thailand, although it will have weakened considerably by then (Tuesday or Wednesday). Rain, of course, is the biggest concern and a lot of that is possible.

The biggest news today is the storm to the far left of the image. That is Tropical Cyclone Phailin which has continued to strengthen as it approaches the coast of India. Meteorologists say it is one of the strongest storms ever recorded, more intense then Hurricane Katrina which devastated the city of New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005. The only good news is that landfall is expected to hit an area that is not as low-lying as the area of India hit by a similar-strength cyclone in 1999, killing more than 10,000 people.

Landfall is expected sometime this evening. Evacuations of the coastal area began yesterday. A local red cross official interviewed by phone by the BBC said heavy rain had already started to fall on the coast, but the evacuation had proceeded smoothly – much better than in 1999. The Times of India reports nearly 400,000 people have fled the cyclone so far. Still, with some meteorologist predicting sea winds of up to 300km/hour, coastal areas are sure to be in for a very hard time.

Finally, the third storm in the image  – to the far right – is Tropical Storm Wipha. That could well become a typhoon, but it is expected to move north towards Japan.

Earlier story

Early projections put Nari over Thailand early next week, but that could change. Let's hope it does. (wunderground.com)

Storm watch

The Associated Press is reporting from Manila that US Secretary of State John Kerry has cancelled his trip to the Philippines because of approaching Typhoon Nari.

Kerry, who is in Brunei for the Asean summit, says his pilots have advised him to postpone the trip.

What worries people here is that typhoons over the Philippines often end up as tropical storms or depressions in Thailand and early projections for the course of the storm indicate that is definitely possible in this case. And the area most affected could be the already waterlogged northeast and eastern regions.

The Thai Meteorological Department is watching the storm very closely and I’ll have updates as the situation develops.

Meanwhile, you can track it yourself here: typhoon" >http://www.metalarm.tmd.go.th/monitor/typhoon

Notice that there are several storms on the map. One of them, Tropical Cyclone Phailin, appears certain to hit India within the next day. It has increased in strength dramatically as it approaches land and it could be a very destructive storm indeed.

A satellite image from Saturday afternoon shows just how large Phailin has become. Notice the scale at the bottom of the map. (wunderground.com)

The Indian Meteorological Department is predicting winds of 205-215km at the time of landfall. This is the same area where 15,000 people were killed by a storm in 1999, so authorities are taking it very seriously.

Fishermen are being told to stay on land and authorities are setting up shelters for people who will need to be evacuated in the coming days. It should be clear how bad the storm is by tomorrow morning and I’ll have updates as the news comes in.

Track Typhoon Nari here at the weather underground: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/western-pacific/2013/Typhoon-Nari?

Learn from listening

Click "play" to listen to Storm watch (updated Sunday) and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.

Vocabulary:

advise: to tell somebody what you think they should do in a particular situation - แนะนำ, แจ้ง

approach: to move closer to someone or something - เข้าใกล้

authority: a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

bear the brunt of: to receive the main force of something unpleasant - ได้รับผลกระทบที่รุนแรง

coast: an area of land beside the sea - ชายฝั่ง

concern: a worry - ความกังวล

course: the direction, route or path that a boat, ship, storm, etc. travels - เส้นทาง, แนวทาง, วิถีทาง

crop: a plant grown for food, usually on a farm - พืชผล

cyclone: a violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle - พายุหมุนไซโคลน

death toll: the number of people killed - ยอดผู้เสียชีวิต

debris: broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed - เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย

definitely: certain; having no doubts about something - อย่างแน่นอน

depression: an area where the air pressure is low, often causing heavy rain - พายุดีเปรสชัน

deserve: of something that you earn or are given because of your behavior or qualities - สมควรได้รับ

destructive: causing great damage or harm - ซึ่งเป็นการทำลาย

devastate: to destroy a place or thing completely or cause great damage - ทำลายล้าง

evacuate: to leave a place because it is not safe - อพยพออกจากพื้นที่

extent: size; the degree to which something happens or is likely to happen - ขนาด ขอบเขต

fled (past of flee): escaped; left an area very quickly because of a danger there - หนีไป

flimsy: light and not providing much protection - ง่อนแง่น

footage: film or video of a particular subject or event - ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์ หรือวิดีโอ

indicate: to show that something is true, exists or will happen - แสดง, ทำให้รู้

inland: in a direction towards the middle of a country; away from the coast - ห่างจากชายฝั่ง, ซึ่งอยู่ภายในประเทศ

intensify: to get stronger - เข้มข้นขึ้น

landfall: the place where a storm coming from the sea first hits land - การเข้าหาแผ่นดิน

local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน

Meteorological Department: the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future - กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา

meteorologist: a scientist who studies the weather and makes predictions - นักอุตุนิยมวิทยา

overturn: to turn upside down or on the side - พลิกคว่ำ, คว่ำลง

postpone: to delay; to decide that something will be done at a later time - เลื่อนออกไป

predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า

projection: a calculation or guess about the future based on information that you have - การคาดคะเน

pummel: to keep hitting somebody/something hard - ตี, ต่อย, ชก

relief: a feeling of happiness that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended - การผ่อนคลาย

reporter: someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว

rural: connected with the countryside outside big towns and cities  - ในชนบท, บ้านนอก

satellite: an electronic device that is sent into space and moves around the earth or another planet. It is used for communicating by radio, television, etc. and for providing information - ดาวเทียม

Secretary of State: (in the US) the head of the government department that deals with foreign affairs - รัฐมนตรีต่างประเทศของสหรัฐอเมริกา

severe: very serious and worrying - ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง

shelter: a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay - ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว

situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์

summit: a meeting or series of meetings between leaders of or high-ranking representatives of two or more countries - การประชุมสุดยอด

surge: a sudden increase in something, in this case, the flow of water - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว

thatch: dried straw, reeds, etc. used for making a roof; a roof made of this material - หลังคาใบจาก

timely: happening at the most suitable time - ถูกกาละเทศะ

track: to follow the development or progress of something - ติดตาม

tropical storm: the first level of dangerous storm: "A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds between 34 knots (39 mph) and 64 knots (74 mph). At this point, the distinctive cyclonic shape starts to develop, although an eye is not usually present. Government weather services first assign names to systems that reach this intensity (thus the term named storm)" (Source: Wikipedia) - พายุโซนร้อน, พายุดีเปรสชันที่มีกำลังแรงขึ้น เกิดขึ้นในเขตร้อน ความเร็วลมบริเวณใกล้ศูนย์กลางประมาณ 70-120 กิโลเมตรต่อชั่วโมง [พจนานุกรมศัพท์ สสวท.]

typhoon: a tropical storm with strong winds that move in circles - พายุไต้ฝุ่น

update: the most recent information or news about something - ข้อมูลใหม่ๆ

waterlogged: so full of water that it cannot hold any more and becomes flooded - ซึ่งเต็มไปด้วยน้ำ

Related search: Typhoon Nari, Tropical Cyclone Phailin

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