REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATE THAT THE CENTER OF IRENE MOVED OVER NEW YORK CITY AROUND 900 AM EDT, 1300 UTC. IRENE HAS WEAKENED TO A TROPICAL STORM AND THE ESTIMATED INTENSITY AT LANDFALL WAS 65 MPH
This morning's first public advisory bulletin from the National Hurricane Center places the eye of Hurricane Irene "About 195 miles south-southwest of New York City" and warns that:
AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATERLEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 4 TO 8 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA FROM THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER NORTHWARD TO CAPE COD INCLUDING SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND ITS TRIBUTARIES. NEAR THE COAST THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE DESTRUCTIVE AND LIFE-THREATENING WAVES. HIGHER THAN NORMAL ASTRONOMICAL TIDES ARE OCCURRING THIS WEEKEND. COASTAL AND RIVER FLOODING WILL BE HIGHEST IN AREAS WHERE THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AROUND THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE. STORM TIDE AND SURGE VALUES ARE VERY LOCATION-SPECIFIC AND USERS ARE URGED TO CONSULT PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THEIR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES.
As Hurricane Irene moves at 13 miles per hour north north east along the eastern seaboard of the Unites States massive power outages are following in its wake. Here's how North Carolina looks at 1:30 PM EDT:
Last weekend I attended the World MoneyShow in London. On the night before the event it was confirmed that significant numbers of people had died from cholera in Port-au-Prince. I've been blogging about this issue for over two years, and in my opinion that means many thousands more will die from the same cause in the not too distant future.
The media can't seem to agree on exactly how many people have now died of cholera, but they do seem to be agreed that the rate of infections and deaths is increasing, in Port-au-Prince as well as in most of the rest of Haiti.
The BBC reports this evening that the cholera outbreak in Haiti is now entrenched in the capital Port-au-Prince:
Doctors are treating 73 people for the disease, amid fears that it could spread across the quake-hit city. Dozens of suspected cases are also being investigated in Port-au-Prince, which has feared an outbreak since October.
At long last the mainstream British media are doing some in depth reporting. Here's Channel 4's Jon Snow on the ground in Haiti, including an interview with Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive:
This morning Reuters reports that the death toll from the cholera epidemic is now over 500:
Amid widespread relief that the hurricane largely spared crowded camps in the Haitian capital housing 1.3 million quake survivors, the international humanitarian operation was turning its attention back to the two-week-old epidemic, which has killed just over 500 people and sickened more than 7,000.
We travelled up to Bristol yesterday to hear Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows talk on their one stop in England on the Venus Project World Lecture Tour. Unfortunately we arrived late, after enduring traffic hell on the M5 motorway northbound from Devon. We missed the start of Roxanne's talk, but we did get to hear all of Jacque's talk and the subsequent Q&A session. During his talk Jacque had made it quite clear that he thinks a lot of people talk bullshit, including politicians, psychologists and lovers! He had occasionally used some four lettered vernacular also. We got surprised in the foyer after his lecture by Jacque himself, who unexpectedly emerged to shake our hands and enquire if Kasia had been offended by any of his fruitier language. She assured him she hadn't been! Having been sat near the back during the main presentation it was great to see him up close and chat briefly, even if he did take the opportunity to illustrate one of his points by suggesting that my prior conditioning might lead me to punch the guy opposite me on the nose!
Synchronicity struck at the opening of the Art, Ecology and the Economy exhibition at CCANW. Several musicians from South West England have now donated a track to our forthcoming "Water Connects Us" album in aid of Haiti: