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Hurricane Nicole hits Bermuda
by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) Oct 13, 2016

Tropical cyclone Aere reborn: 'Zombie storm' headed for Vietnam
Washington (UPI) Oct 13, 2016 - Though uncommon, hurricanes and cyclones sometimes die and quickly reform. That's what Tropical Storm Aere did recently.

As evidenced by images captured by NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite, the "zombie storm" is now headed for Vietnam.

Suomi NPP and its Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument imaged the storm on October 13 while passing over Southeast Asia. The weather satellite orbits Earth 14 times every day.

The new image shows the storm's center just east of Vietnam, with heavy storm clouds branching out across the South China Sea. The storm is currently moving west at 14 knots and sustaining winds of 28 miles per hour.

Forecasts suggest the center of the zombie storm will make landfall just north of Hue, Vietnam, and continue to move west across Laos and Thailand as it dissipates and once more and becomes a remnant low pressure area.

UN chief to visit hurricane-hit Haiti as funding appeal falls short
United Nations, United States (AFP) Oct 13, 2016 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Haiti on Saturday to visit areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew as a UN funding appeal for the Caribbean nation drew few donors.

Ban will visit Les Cayes on Haiti's southern coast -- one of the cities hardest-hit by Matthew -- and meet with Haitian leaders, his office said.

The United Nations has launched a flash appeal for $120 million to help Haiti cope with its worst humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake.

Only $6.1 million has been raised so far, equal to 5 percent of the total appeal, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

At least 473 people were killed when Matthew crashed ashore on October 4 as a monster Category 4 storm, packing winds of 145 miles (230 kilometers) per hour.

Ban said Monday that a "massive response" was needed to cope with the destruction, with 1.4 million people in need of urgent assistance after towns and villages were almost wiped off the map.

Separately, the UN Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission in Haiti for another six months, until April 2017.

UN mission chief Sandra Honore told the council this week that the extension would help Haiti deal with the humanitarian crisis and ensure political stability after elections were postponed.

Ban will also travel to Ecuador to attend the Habitat III conference on housing and sustainable urban development.

Major hurricane Nicole slammed into Bermuda Thursday, lashing the tiny British archipelago with 120 mile (195 kilometer) per hour winds as the storm's eye passed over, US forecasters said.

It was a classified as an "extremely dangerous" Category Three storm when it hit, just two notches shy of top intensity level on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

"Eye of Nicole passing over Bermuda," the Miami-based National Hurricane Center reported.

Before it hit, National Security Minister Jeffrey Baron expressed confidence that Bermudians were ready for the storm.

"Bermuda has a very long history of navigating through serious storms and hurricanes. We are a very resilient population and when we are faced with a serious storm, Bermudians band together in the face of adversity. We are very proud of that," he told AFP.

"The public have heeded the weather warnings and advisories, they have been helping and supporting each other and I have been extremely encouraged by their level of awareness and preparedness for Hurricane Nicole."

The hurricane was expected to pull away from the archipelago in the afternoon, but forecasters warned it would whip the islands with hurricane force winds on its way out.

Authorities in Bermuda closed schools and government offices on Wednesday.

Buildings were boarded up as heavy wind and rain hit the islands, and airlines have canceled flights.

"I believe we are generally ready for it," local media reported Premier Michael Dunkley as saying.

"Now we just have to hope and pray for the best."

- 'Nicole is here' -

Rain and powerful gusts began hitting early Thursday, though many noted that the island's famous tree frogs, tiny amphibians whose high-pitched chirping is the soundtrack to Bermuda nights, were still singing even as the wind reached tropical storm force.

"It's loud out there. Nicole is here," wrote resident Katura Horton-Perinchief on Facebook. Up to 2,000 people had lost power before 9:00 am, local media reported, a significant number in a country with a population of around 65,000.

High-profile Bermudians overseas were also watching nervously.

"Sending prayers to my island @Bermuda," tweeted Shiona Turini, recently profiled by the New York Times as stylist to singer Solange Knowles. "Hurricane Nicole may be a category 4 but we're tiny and strong."

"Stay safe everyone!" tweeted world champion triathlete Flora Duffy.

The NHC warned that a dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as six to eight feet (two to 2.5 meters) above normal tide levels, accompanied by "large and destructive" waves.

It said Nicole is expected to produce rainfall of five to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) over Bermuda.

The hurricane will also spread surf swells north along the east coast of the United States over the next few days, and could also spawn tornadoes, it said.

Last week, Hurricane Matthew, caused massive devastation in Haiti and other Caribbean countries before sweeping up the US southeast coast.

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