Hurricane Nate Makes Landfall In Louisiana

Hurricane Nate has made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) says.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 85mph (137km/h), is moving north, and a second landfall is expected on the Mississippi coast later.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Florida earlier issued warnings and evacuation orders.

Nate killed at least 25 people in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras.

The tropical storm has since strengthened and is now a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Although not as strong as last month’s Maria and Irma, Nate is expected to bring strong winds and storm surges.

US President Donald Trump earlier issued an emergency declaration for Louisiana, allowing the state to seek federal help with preparation and possible relief efforts.

In Alabama, Republican Governor Kay Ivey has urged residents in areas facing heavy winds and storm surges to take precautions.

Five ports along the Gulf Coast have also been closed to shipping as a precaution.

Most oil and gas platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico have evacuated their staff and stopped production ahead of the storm.

n its latest update at 03:00 GMT, the NHC said a hurricane warning was in effect for the “mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida border”.

Evacuation orders have been put in place for some low-lying areas.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency ahead of the hurricane.

He said more than 1,000 National Guard troops had been mobilised with a number sent to New Orleans to monitor the drainage pumps there. “Anyone in low-lying areas… we are urging them to prepare now,” he said.

A mandatory curfew from 18:00 (23:00 GMT) is in place in New Orleans, where residents from areas outside the city’s levee system have been evacuated.

A tropical storm warning is currently in effect for New Orleans.

The NHC said that Nate “is expected to weaken quickly after landfall, and it is likely to become a tropical storm Sunday morning.

“It should degenerate into a remnant low late Monday.”

Nate went past Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula – home to the popular beach resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen – on Friday night as it headed north, the NHC said.

Nate caused heavy rains, landslides and floods which blocked roads, destroyed bridges and damaged houses as it tore through central America.

At least 13 people died in Nicaragua, eight in Costa Rica, three in Honduras and one in El Salvador.

The tail of the storm is still causing problems in the region, where thousands have been forced to sleep in shelters and some 400,000 people in Costa Rica were reported to be without running water.

Volcano Warning: Mexico Fears Latest Eruption From Popocatepetl After Earthquake

The 5,426-metre high Popocatepetl volcano is the most active in Mexico, with more than 15 major eruptions reported since 1519.

But the volcano, which is also referred to by Mexicans as El Popo, is now causing other problems in the region as neighbours report rivers of mud flowing from the skirt of the mountain following a recent mini eruption.

Experts at geological news service Sismologia Mundial reported the plume as a “mild eruption” and confirmed Popocatepetl is now “normal”.

But now neighbours have warned large rivers of mud from the volcano have flowed into the streets over the last three days, reaching the municipalities of Atlautla and Ozumba.

María de los Ángeles Ibáñez, a neighbour of San Juan Tehuixtitlan, said: “We are afraid. There are times when it comes with more strength and it rumbles, it is not a normal river.”

Ladislao Rocha Martínez, head of Civil Protection in Atlautla, said that since yesterday the Civil Protection of the State of Mexico reported that “there was an avalanche of black mud.”

And residents say they are unable to sleep at night, as they are fearful the plague of mud could be a sign an explosion is imminent.

One neighbour said: “I live in a two-storey house and it has one or two fractures. The authorities came to see it, they said it was safe to live inside.

“But I no longer feel safe, for fear of another earthquake or a volcano eruption.”

On 19 September a deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico City and triggered a volcanic eruption.

The Popocatepetl volcano burst into life at the same time as the earthquake, which killed at least 248 people, and sent plumes of thick, black smoke into the sky.

And during the eruption a church collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, in Atzitzihuacan on the slopes of the volcano, Puebla Governor Jose Antonio Gali said.

The landslides after the earthquake created a dam, which with the constant rains has been washed away, dragging tons of mud to the lower parts, especially in Nexpayantla.

Since the earthquake, the neighbours of these communities, the most affected ones, say they can no longer sleep peacefully as they fear what could happen.

The mountain is known to be very active and previously had a significant eruption on August 22, sending a volcanic plume some 4km into the air.

Last year, Popo erupted for the first time since 2000 when ash was propelled a staggering three kilometres into the sky.

Since then, there have been several eruptions.

The eruption comes after a spate of volcanic activity around the world – with all eyes on the Agung volcano in Bali which is showing signs of erupting.

Study Suggests Hydrogen, Oxygen, Water And Carbon Dioxide Generated In Earth’s Mantle

Research from the University of Texas at Arlington and the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology suggests that hydrogen, oxygen, water and carbon dioxide are being generated in the earth’s mantle hundreds of kilometers below the earth’s surface.

“This discovery is important as it shows how earth’s planetary evolution may have happened,” said Asish Basu, UTA professor of earth and environmental sciences and co-author of the cover paper published in Geology in August.

The researchers focused their attention on a seven-kilometer thick portion of the earth’s upper mantle now found in the High Himalayas, at altitudes between 12,000 and 16,000 feet. This section of the mantle was pushed upwards to the top of the mountains as a result of the Indian Plate pushing north into Asia, displacing the ancient Tethys ocean floor and underlying mantle to create the Himalayan Mountain Belt around 55 million years ago.

“This is important as it means that we can analyze the nature of the mantle under the earth’s crust, at depths where drilling cannot reach,” Basu explained. “One key initial discovery was finding microdiamonds whose host rocks originated in the mantle transition zone, at depths between 410 and 660 kilometers below the earth’s surface.”

By studying the host rocks and associated minerals, the scientists had a unique opportunity to probe the nature of the deep mantle. They found primary hydrocarbon and hydrogen fluid inclusions along with microdiamonds by using Laser Raman Spectroscopic study. The discovery also showed that the environment in the deep mantle transition zone depths where the diamond is formed is devoid of oxygen.

The researchers suggest that during the advective transport or mantle up-welling into shallower mantle zones, the hydrocarbon fluids become oxidized and precipitate diamond, a mechanism that may also be responsible for forming larger diamonds like the world’s most valuable, Koh-i-Noor or Mountain of Light diamond, now in the Queen of England’s crown.

“We also found that the deep mantle upwelling can oxidize oxygen-impoverished fluids to produce water and carbon dioxide that are well-known to produce deep mantle melting,” said Souvik Das, UTA post-doctoral research scholar.

“This means that many of the key compounds affecting evolution like carbon dioxide and water are generated within the mantle,” he added.

Maria, Again A Hurricane, Swirls Over North Carolina Beaches

Maria regained strength and became a hurricane again Wednesday, pushing water over both sides of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and taking its time to slowly turn away from the U.S. Atlantic coast.

No injuries have been reported, but the surge of ocean water washed over eroded beaches, flooding properties and state Highway 12, the only road through the narrow barrier islands of Hatteras and Ocracoke.

No ferries were moving, cutting off access to Ocracoke, and with parts of the highway flooded even at low tide, any travel on Hatteras remains hazardous, Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson said in an email. He said the worst problems were on Hatteras Island, where more than 10,000 visitors left under an evacuation order, but hundreds of local residents were allowed to stay.

The National Hurricane Center said an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft measured Maria’s top sustained winds at near 75 mph (120 kmh), with higher gusts. Its center was about 180 miles (290 kilometers) off Cape Hatteras at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

While Maria’s most punishing hurricane-force winds remained offshore, tropical storm-force winds extended for as much as 230 miles (370 kilometers) from the center, churning up the surf on both sides of the islands. The hurricane’s forward speed is just 6 mph (9 kph), so the storm was lingering before swinging out to sea.

On Hatteras, a fine rain fell Wednesday, with patches of blue sky occasionally showing through. Police set up a check point to block all traffic except for residents and reporters. As the winds picked up, waves crashed up to and beyond ocean-front homes between the communities of Rodanthe and Avon, where the water has washed under waterfront homes and onto side streets since Tuesday at high tide.

“Mother Nature keeps chopping at it,” said Tony Meekins, 55, a lifelong resident of Avon who works as an engineer on the temporarily halted Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry. “We see storm after storm.”

Standing near Avon’s closed fishing pier, Meekins pointed to where the dune line is gone, pounded down by previous storms. At low tide, a layer of wet sand covered the road.

Chip Stevens owns Blackbeard’s Lodge, a 38-unit hotel on Ocracoke. He hopes the highway remains passable on both islands to enable the people and supplies that arrive by ferry to move up and down the island.

This weather is only the latest tropical blow to the Outer Banks, among the most fragile islands in the continental United States. Officials warned that the surge of ocean water and waves would overwhelm sand dunes from both the ocean and from Pamlico Sound, which separates the islands from the mainland. Bulldozers were in place to push the sand off Highway 12 when water subsides.

That said, Texas, Florida, several small Caribbean islands and Puerto Rico have all seen worse this year. Puerto Rican officials said electrical power may not be fully restored for more than a month after the grid was destroyed by Maria’s Category 4 hurricane winds last week. More than 3 million of the island’s U.S. citizens still lack adequate food, water and fuel.

Maria is predicted to erode more than half the dunes along North Carolina’s 300-mile (485-kilometer) coast. Beaches in Maryland and Virginia could fare even worse, with two-thirds seeing erosion and the ocean washing over the dunes on one-third of them, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

All that salt water “is like throwing battery acid on your car,” said Carrington Erhardt, who worries about driving to the homes she cleans. “That’s the biggest thing, is that it destroys the vehicles.”

Brent and Donna Bennett, of Buxton, worry about lost wages. He works at an ice cream shop, which is closed, and she can’t make it through the floods to her hotel desk job in Hatteras Village.

“Storms are something you come to expect. We seem to have more of our share recently, and I’m over it,” Donna Bennet said.

Hurricane Lee, meanwhile, strengthened to a major Category 3 hurricane in the open Atlantic, where it was swinging north and east before damaging winds could reach Bermuda.

Vanuatu: Volcanic Eruption Forces At Least 6,000 People To Evacuate Ambae Island

The Manaro volcano has been active since 2005, but a recent increase in activity has raised fears of a major eruption.

The national government also approved a $2 million fund to provide food, shelter and water to those affected.

The volcano’s activity measure was raised to Level 4 for the first time over the weekend, which indicates a “moderate eruption” and is the second highest level in Vanuatu’s volcanic alert system.

“There’s ash, fire, stones and lava being thrown out from the mouth of the volcano,” Shadrack Welegtabit, the director of Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office, said.

He said it was difficult to say whether there will be a major eruption, and that those who have been evacuated will just have to sit and wait.

“With the seismic machine, we can measure what’s happening but we can’t really predict what the volcano will do next,” he said.

About 10,000 people live on the island, and those in the north and south are most vulnerable.

The Vanuatu Red Cross said those villagers have been moved to the eastern and western sides of the island.

“The priority now is shelter, water and food, and also looking at health,” said Augustine Garae, the organisation’s disaster management coordinator.

Evacuees struggling to get information

Georgia Tacey, the Vanuatu country director for non-governmental organisation Save the Children, said those affected are struggling without reliable information about the eruption.

“They’re incredibly distressed, there isn’t a great deal of mobile cell coverage over the island so [they] rely on word of mouth. Radio coverage is also very little,” she said.

Vanuatu’s Meteorology and Geohazards Department said in an alert that villagers within 6.5 kilometres of the volcano face the biggest risk from airborne rocks and volcanic gas.

The department warned that acid rain could damage crops across a broader area.

Ms Tacey said authorities have a contingency plan in place for if the volcanic activity increases.

“They would be looking at evacuating the entire island to nearby islands,” she said.

“Obviously no one wants that to happen because apart from that being incredibly distressing it would be logistically challenging and would displace people for a very long time.”

Vanuatu is considered one of the countries most prone to natural disasters, with a half-dozen active volcanoes as well as regular cyclones and earthquakes.

It sits on the Pacific’s Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes are common.

UPDATE : Hurricane Maria: Path Keeps Large Storm Off The East Coast

Hurricane Maria continued on a path northward on Tuesday morning and will pass offshore of North Carolina over the next few days.

Maria is barely a hurricane as of Tuesday morning with 75 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane force winds start at 74 mph.

Tropical storm warnings remained in effect for parts of the coast of North Carolina, where the effects of the large storm could be felt starting later today.

In addition there’s the possibility of storm surge along parts of the Outer Banks, and a storm surge watch is in effect for some areas.

As of the last advisory from the hurricane center, at 7 a.m. CDT, Hurricane Maria was located about 190 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and was moving north at 7 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect along the North Carolina coast from Bogue Inlet to the Virginia border as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

In addition, a storm surge watch is in effect from Cape Lookout to Duck. The hurricane center said storm surge flooding, especially along the sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks, will be possible starting later today.

One of the most widespread effects from Maria is dangerous surf. Forecasters said waves from the storm are affecting beaches from Florida through southern New England. Rough surf and deadly rip currents will be possible over the next few days.

Maria could weaken to a tropical storm as soon as today, the hurricane center said. Former Hurricane Jose is to thank for that.

Maria is moving over cooler waters that Jose stirred up last week, and forecasters said Maria is showing the effects.

Maria is looking less organized, its strongest winds are on its eastern side and its central pressure is rising, according to the hurricane center on Tuesday morning.

Forecasters expect Maria to weaken to a tropical storm in less than 24 hours.

The hurricane center is forecasting Maria to track northward for the next 36-48 hours then turn eastward and pick up speed. That should keep the center of the storm well away from the coast.

Forecasters said most forecast models agree on this scenario.

There is one other storm in the Atlantic on Tuesday: Hurricane Lee.

As of Tuesday morning Lee was located about 745 miles east of Bermuda and was moving west at 10 mph.

Lee is a small storm and is no threat to land.

Hurricane Lee had winds of 100 mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane, and could get a bit stronger before beginning to weaken on Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

UPDATE :Hurricane Maria is sending high winds, surf along East Coast

The East Coast braced for high winds and treacherous surf from Hurricane Maria, which was still churning in the Atlantic days after the storm caused widespread devastation in the Caribbean.

Maria will weaken to a tropical storm by Tuesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center. The dangerous core of the storm is expected to move well east of the southeast coast of the United States during the next day or so.

Maria maintained Category 1 status, with sustained winds of 80 mph on Monday, forecasters said.

“The good news is it is expected to stay weak, we don’t expect any more intensification as it goes north,” said CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar. “Then as it starts to veer out toward the east it’s going to come into blocking mechanisms. This is good news. This prevents it from getting too close to the US to actually have a direct landfall.”

North Carolina may bear the worst of the storm, as current forecasts show Maria brushing its coast late Tuesday into early Wednesday. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Bogue Inlet north to the Virginia border, as well as for Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.

A storm surge watch is in effect for Cape Lookout to Duck.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement Monday urging coastal residents and tourists to be prepared for heavy ocean surf, deadly rip currents and possibly storm surge flooding.

“Visitors to our beaches should stay out of the water during these dangerous conditions and wait until Maria passes,” he said. “Coastal residents should make sure they are ready and their homes are prepared.”

Along with gusty winds, rip currents will impact a large area of the East Coast, Chinchar said. The North Carolina coast may also experience flooding and beach erosion as well as a storm surge.

Although it’s not currently predicted to make landfall along the coast, Maria is the third hurricane to affect the US in the last month.

Rip currents along the beaches of North and South Carolina prompted 25 rescues Saturday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Armstrong in Wilmington. As far north as New Jersey, where Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty tweeted there were 35 rescues from strong weekend currents, the effects of Hurricane Maria were beginning to be felt.

“Regardless of the exact forecast track,” the storm is so big that “tropical storm-force winds could reach a portion of the North Carolina coast by mid-week,” the NHC said.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center of the storm, the NHC said, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles.

The five-day tracking model shows Maria maintaining hurricane strength through Tuesday as it makes it way north before turning northeast and heading further out into the Atlantic.

Millions of people in the Caribbean are still reeling from Hurricane Maria’s devastation. At least 10 people were killed in Puerto Rico, where much of the US territory is without power and many are without water.

That’s after the storm destroyed the island of Dominica, killing at least 15 people there. It also hammered the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory.