Daily Archives: Oct 2, 2017

    El alguacil del condado, Joe Lombardo, agregó que el atacante no sólo tenía armas, sino también explosivos y otros dispositivos que están analizando

    La cifra de fallecidos en el tiroteo ocurrido la pasada noche en Las Vegas (EU) ascendió a 59, mientras que ya son 527 los heridos, informaron hoy las autoridades.

    En una rueda de prensa, el alguacil del condado de Las Vegas, Joe Lombardo, detalló la nueva cifra de víctimas y añadió que el autor no solamente tenía otras 18 armas en su poder, sino también explosivos y otros dispositivos que están siendo analizados y que guardaba en su casa de la localidad de Mesquite, también en Nevada.

    El presunto autor de la masacre, Stephen Paddock, un hombre blanco de 64 años, disparó desde su habitación del hotel Mandalay Bay de Las Vegas contra los miles de asistentes de un concierto de música country con un rifle automático y después se quitó la vida.

    Lombardo dijo que los investigadores están enfocados en cuatro escenarios principales del crimen: la habitación del piso 32 del hotel Mandalay Bay desde donde disparó Paddock, el lugar donde se celebraba el concierto, la casa del presunto autor en Mesquite y otra propiedad que tenía a su nombre en el norte de Nevada.

    En el coche de Paddock, las autoridades también encontraron nitrato de amonio, según precisó Lombardo.

    Asimismo, el alguacil fue preguntado por la compañera del presunto autor, una mujer de origen asiático identificada como Marilou Danley, quien, según dijo, se encuentra fuera del país, “aparentemente en Tokio”.

    Lombardo confirmó que también hay abierta una investigación sobre ella para dilucidar si ayudó a Paddock a planear el ataque, del que ya han descartado que tenga conexiones con el terrorismo internacional.

    Por su parte, Steve Sisolak, el comisionado del condado de Clark, al que pertenece Las Vegas, agradeció en la misma rueda de prensa el apoyo ciudadano, ya que “hay filas con una espera de seis a ocho horas” en todos los centros de donación de sangre de su jurisdicción.

      People walk next to a gas station flooded and damaged by the impact of Hurricane Maria, which hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

      It had more winds and was more powerful than the most destructive hurricane in US history.

      September 20, 2017. 6.15 am. This is the official time and date on which Category 4 hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. It brought sustained winds of 155 mph and its pressure was 917 millibars.

      August 29, 2005. 6:10 am local.  That is the official time and date when Hurricane Katrina, Category 3, made landfall in Louisiana. It brought sustained winds of 125 mph and its pressure was 918 millibars.

      The difference between these figures, based on reports from the National Hurricane Center, is minimal in numbers, but  higher at symbolic and real level. Katrina is considered the most destructive hurricane in the history of US storms with damage for $108 billion and 1,200 citizens dead.

      However, technically,  María was more powerful according to the information reported by the National Hurricane Center. Not only did it blow, at landfall, with 30 miles per hour more than Katrina, but its barometric pressure was 1 millibar lower than Katrina´s (917 vs 918). The lower  the pressure, the stronger the storm.

      Anthony Reynés is a meteorologist and has been  issuing  weather reports and bulletins for Puerto Rico since September 20th, when María hit the island.

      “Changes in (barometric) pressure do not necessarily imply that one hurricane is more powerful than the other, because sometimes these pressure fluctuations in the eye of the hurricane take time to be reflected in the evolution of the speed of winds.

      But, in the case of Maria vs. Katrina, that fluctuation was reflected in sustained winds. Katrina´s winds blew at 125 miles per hour, classifying it as a category 3 hurricane, while Maria´s were at 155 miles per hour,  classifying as category 4. But “it was almost a category 5,” Reynés said.

      Category 4 includes cyclones with winds between 130 and 156 miles per hour. Maria was on the edge between one category and another.

      “The impact of major hurricanes is measured in disaster or catastrophe. What we see right now in Puerto Rico is a catastrophe,” said the meteorologist who was born in Juncos and made the first 13 years of his career at the National Weather Service office in San Juan.

      “Although a category 3 (like Katrina) is very destructive, the power of destruction of a hurricane 4 (like Maria) or 5 is exponential,” he explained.

      “For example, a category 5 does not cause five times more damage than a category 1. That linear analysis is incorrect. A category 5 hurricane causes 500 times more damage than a category 1, ” said Reynés who is keeping an eye on Puerto Rico every minute. Not only because of his work but because his family is here. “I´ve talked to them and I know they survived the hurricane.

      Meanwhile, he devotes his hours to communicate with his colleagues in San Juan. “We took operations in San Juan on Wednesday (Sept, 20th) because we lost contact with the measurement systems. We have many challenges, rain gauges and anemometers have been disconnected. It is not that they have been destroyed, obviously some must have suffered damage, but the problem is that we lost communication,” he confirmed.

      When asked about how he compensates this lack of information, he pointed out that there are some instruments which are functioning, in water bodies, for example. And that the “GOES” satellites – which were launched last year – are collaborating to fill in the black holes of information.

      “GOES-R and the GOES-16 are doing a fantastic job in covering the lack of radar,” Reynés said.

      GOES 16 has not  been declared officially operational yet, however, this satellite is making a great debut when reporting “fabulous” hurricane images. It is capable of scanning a specific area of severe weather every 30 seconds, a capability that other satellites of the GOES group don´t have. This speed of rapid exploration allowed meteorologists to analyze cloud patterns and follow María in real time.

      On the other hand, Reynés said that a fundamental fact is that the San Juan team can still launch, twice a day, a weather balloon that raises instruments to measure pressure, temperature and humidity, among other factors. “And although they cannot transmit the information they collect, they send it through an internal communication system, and we distribute it for them.”

      Thanks to this combined effort, Puerto Ricans received weather alerts after Maria. And beyond the intensity that this hurricane has had, what remains ahead for Puerto Rico is to quantify the damage and the cost of reconstruction. This will determine whether or not Katrina will still be at the top of the list of the most destructive hurricanes. At power level, Maria was the worst of the two hurricanes.

      By María Arce

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