Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raining cats

emergency lolcat

Looks like we're in for a bit of a soggy evening. The MetService has upgraded the watch to a severe weather warning for heavy rain.

The Wellington area can expect that rain may become heavy for a time this evening as a southerly windchange passes over the area. In the 4 to 6 hours from about 5pm, 40 to 60mm is possible with peak intensities around 15mm per hour.

Kapiti can expect rain to be come heavy in the 6 to 8 hours from 9pm this evening, 40 to 60mm possible in some areas with peak intensities around 10mm per hour.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tornado in Cambridge

A mini tornado ripped through Cambridge early this morning, lifting roofs, downing trees and leaving the area without power as a number of power lines were downed. Emergency services said they received around 30 calls between 3am and 3.30am, when the tornado travelled in a near straight line through the middle of the town. The Fire Service says up to 100 houses have been affected. No one is believed to have been hurt but Cambridge chief fire officer, Don Gerrand, said damage was widespread, and many homes and parts of Cambridge were without power at first light.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Emergency lolcat!

Ah, the joy that is Icanhascheezburger...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fire season

Southern California is currently on fire, with hot dry winds fueling fires around neighbourhoods on the fringes of Los Angeles.

Since Sunday, the blazes have scorched 15,000 acres, destroyed or damaged at least 50 structures, including 30 gutted mobile houses, and forced many hundreds to evacuate.

The more ferocious of two San Fernando Valley fires doubled in size overnight, authorities said.
A third fire broke out on Monday on the sprawling US Marine base of Camp Pendleton, 80 miles south of Los Angeles, forcing officials to evacuate thousands from base housing. Some 3,000 acres burned, and the fire was about 25 percent contained early Tuesday.

The simultaneous blazes, marking the first big conflagrations of the region's high fire-risk season - come one year after 30 wildfires swept through Southern California in one week, killing a dozen people, destroying 2,000 homes and forcing the historic evacuation of 500,000 residents.

An update:

The New Zealand Fire Season began on October 1, but some little ...unmentionables... decided to start early in Porirua by setting fire to bits of Bothamley Park & Ngati Toa Domain before then. There have been at least 8 vegetation fires since the beginning of September. Some of the incidents have been arson, and police have dealt with some of the perpetrators.

Porirua operates either a Restricted fire season, or a Total Fire Ban. This means that you either need to have a permit to have an open-air fire, or you're not allowed to have one at all. For more information look on Porirua City Council's website - - it's under Consents & Services - Licences & permits.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Disaster Awareness Week

Distaster Awareness Week 2008 began on Sunday 5th October. On Monday, I set up a display of our new 15L emergency water containers (available from the PCC office, $15 each) in the Spine at Pataka, but unfortunately Porirua's Emergency Management team had a training course that we needed to attend from Tuesday through to Thursday - Coordinated Incident Management System training with the NZ Police College, and today the Wellington Region EMOs have their monthly meeting up in Kapiti, so we've kind of missed out on doing anything really exciting with regards to Disaster Awareness Week.

But at least we didn't have to get up super early on Wednesday to hand out useful things to commuters at the Wellington Railway Station like many others in the Wellington CDEM Group. I really hadn't been looking forward to getting up to be at the station for 7am!

Stayed home on Wednesday night to watch the NZ-made movie Aftershock about a 8.2 earthquake on the Wairarapa Fault near Wellington. That definitely got people talking about disaster preparedness - it was the prime topic of discussion in the tearoom, and our councillors are now asking for a briefing on Porirua's plans - great stuff!

Thursday's followup programme was also a great reminder of the kinds of things you need to do to be prepared - don't forget to store your emergency supplies somewhere easily accessible!

For those that missed both shows, they can currently be viewed on TV3's website. They'll be available until October 23 for the movie, and October 24 for the follow-up.

The weather during the week was also a good reminder for people - strong winds knocked down trees, took the roof off at least one shed that I saw, and the rain gave people in Hutt City a bit of excitement as several streets were closed due to flooding.