DAY 1

Tropical Cyclone Pam aka #TCPam has been deemed one of the worst storms to hit the area brutally battering the Vanuatu and devastating other areas in the South Pacific Ocean.

Here’s a recap of what’s happened in the region at the time of #TCPam formed and launching herself on to the areas in the South Pacific.

About Kiribati, The Island

#TCPam’s New Target

  • Kiribati, an Island Nation located centrally in the Pacific Ocean.
  • The nation is comprised of 33 atoll and reef islands; one raised coral reef, Banaba. It has a 310-square mile land area that is dispersed over a 1,351,100 square miles.
  • They became independent of the UK in 1979.
  • Law Enforcement is carried out by the Kiribati Police Service which has a station on each Island.  They have one police boat.  No other LE resources.
  • The Nation has no Military force and relies heavily on both Australia and New Zealand for its defense.

The People Cry Out for Help

Cries for help from the people of Kiribati begin to surface. After a severe drought, with no clean drinking water and unsanitary conditions, they begin to report water rising up their low-lying shores into their Villages. They ask for help on where to evacuate to as there are no mountains, other high-rise buildings as they live in a low-lying flat area.

About Kiribati’s Capital – “Tarawa”

  • South part of the Capital experiencing strong winds, with high seas
  • Most of the sea walls constructed by MaCDow have been destroyed
  • Roads are covered with sand, gravel and big stones
  • Residential homes along the Coast are being greatly affected by strong waves
  • Their wells that are solely for drinking water have turned to saline & are no longer viable
  • Main food plants breadfruit, pawpaw, etc have been affected, difficult to get
  • One road leads in and out of Coastal Island Kiribati
Photo Credit Kirbati Abau Ni Koaua [Taken on March 9, 2015]
Photo Credit Kirbati Abau Ni Koaua [Taken on March 9, 2015]
  • Some of the residents that live in Kiribati who are licensed drivers are in fear and have stayed home. They don’t want to drive through the salty sea waters or be hit by them. They are staying put to try to build new sea walls to protect their homes.

NASA’s Captures #TCPam’s Wrath

 ” #TCPam formed in the Solomon Islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean early on March 9. The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite flew overhead and found some heavy rain occurring when it measured rainfall rates within the intensifying storm.

GPM is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. From its orbit in space, the GPM satellite has the ability to measure the rates in which rain is falling in storms. GPM passed over newborn Tropical Cyclone Pam on March 9 at 05:01 UTC (1:01 a.m. EST). GPM identified heavy rainfall in excess of 1.4 inches (35.5 mm) per hour in a fragmented bands of thunderstorms north of Pam’s center of circulation.

MODIS image of Pam
Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team [Photo Captured March 9, 2015]

 At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EST) on March 9, #TCPam’s maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). Pam was moving to the southeast at 3 knots (3.4 mph/5.5 kph). It was centered near 8.5 south latitude and 169.8 east longitude, about 760 nautical miles (874.6 miles/1,408 km) northwest of Nadi, Fiji.” – says Rob Gutro, NASA’s Goodard Space Flight Center.

Weather Alerts Begin to Flood Social Media

  • “While a direct hit isn’t likely, Cyclone Pam is likely to brush the North Island Sun – Tues.” – @WeatherWatch.co.nz
  • “Update Tropical Low now Tropical CyclonePam 995hPa Category 1 near 8.4S169.8E at 090600UTC moving ESE.” – @cbemergency

Fiji Government Issues Alert

Photo Credit: @FijiGov_FMDNDM

“Note: the past cyclone track may be adjusted on the basis of later information. The forecast track is considered the most likely based on the information available at time of analysis, and there may be other possible future tracks.” – Fiji Government

 

Warning: Gales or stronger within 24 hours Very Destructive Hurricane Force Winds
Alert: Gales or stronger within 24-48 hours Destructive Storm Force Winds
Damaging Gale Force Winds

“For the 24 hr and 48 hr positions, the three radii represent the extent of Hurricane, Storm and Gale winds away from the centre.

Name: Severe Tropical Cyclone PAM
Situation At: 1200 UTC Saturday 14 March 2015
Location: 24.4S, 171.0E
Recent Movement: SSE at 44 km/h

Fiji time is UTC +12 hours.

For example, 0000 UTC Saturday is 1200 Saturday Fiji time.
For example, 1800 UTC Saturday is 0600 Sunday Fiji time.

Category Cyclone 1 has mean winds 34-47 knots with a central pressure greater than 985 hPa
Category Cyclone 2 has mean winds 48-63 knots with a central pressure 985-970 hPa
Category Cyclone 3 has mean winds 64-85 knots with a central pressure 970-945 hPa
Category Cyclone 4 has mean winds 86-107 knots with a central pressure 945-910 hPa
Category Cyclone 5 has mean winds greater than 107 knots with a central pressure less than 910 hPa” – Fiji Government

Country Getting Prepared

  • The National Disaster Management Council meets at NDMO HQ.
  • Vanuatu activates emergency plans at Cat5 is pridicted.
  • All schools in Northern, Eastern and Western Divisions are closed for the next day.

Updates

We will be sharing updates from various sources and hope you’ll follow along with us to see what’s happening in various parts of the World, sharing those whom are affected and how we can show compassion through giving, praying and helping wherever we can.

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Sources:  NASA, Kiribati Abau Ni Koaua, Humanity Road, Fiji Government, Twitter

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