tagged w/ Gulf of Mexico
Hurricane Gustav is moving towards the Cayman Islands as it continues to threaten Cuba and the US Gulf Coast. The storm has already killed at least 71 people as it passed through the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. Gustav could develop into a category three storm over the weekend as it passes over warm waters.
The warnings came as New Orleans buried some of the last unidentified victims of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city three years ago. Both New Orleans and coastal Mississippi have been holding commemorations for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on the anniversary of the storm sweeping ashore.
Away from the US, Gustav strengthened from a tropical storm on Friday to become a category one hurricane and currently has sustained winds of up to 130 km/h (81mph), officials said.
The storm hit Jamaica with heavy rains and strong winds, tearing roofs off houses. It is now moving slowly, at about 12km/h (7.5mph), and there are fears that it could intensify as it lingers over the warm, deep waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Cuban authorities have already evacuated more than 60,000 people from low-lying coastal areas and have mobilised medical and emergency rescue teams to deal with the possible aftermath. The BBC's Michael Voss, in Havana, says that Cuba has one of the most efficient disaster preparedness and evacuation organisations in the region, but that the poor condition of housing in the capital could pose additional risks in a major storm. Gustav's projected path also takes it over the oil-producing Gulf of Mexico.
On Friday, residents of the Cayman Islands were boarding up windows and stocking up on supplies of food and fuel. Tourists on the low-lying luxury islands were flown to safety or told to ride out the storm in bunkers. Workers were being evacuated from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, as oil prices on trading markets rose amid forecasts Gustav could threaten oil installations in the region.
(continued at link)Hurricane Gustav is moving towards the Cayman Islands as it continues to threaten Cuba... more
PORT FOURCHON, Louisiana (Reuters) - The drive south from New Orleans toward the Gulf of Mexico is a study in coastal vulnerability.
As the road winds through marshes and skirts bayous, dry land grows sparser by the mile.
Soon, water dominates the landscape, and the danger that a storm surge from a hurricane coming ashore would pose becomes clear.
At the far edge of this web of wetlands, roughly 60 miles south of New Orleans, lies one of the most strategically important ports in the United States.
Nearly three years to the day after hurricane Katrina plowed into the Louisiana coast on August 29, 2005, Port Fourchon is still a glaring Achilles heel in the vulnerable U.S. energy supply chain.
Now Port Fourchon and coastal cities like New Orleans are staring down the barrel of Tropical Storm Gustav, which could come ashore next week as the worst hurricane since 2005.
The 1,600-acre (647-hectare) complex is the support nerve center for over half of all offshore drilling operations, and serves 90 percent of the Gulf's deepwater oil installations.
Hundreds of large workboats chug between Port Fourchon and the rigs every day, carrying workers, heavy equipment and necessities that range from pipe, drilling mud and diesel fuel to groceries and drinking water.
Story continued at link...PORT FOURCHON, Louisiana (Reuters) - The drive south from New Orleans toward the Gulf... more
4 years ago
Tropical Storm Gustav killed at least 17 people in the Caribbean as its squalls battered Haiti and the Dominican Republic, officials said.
Forecasters warned Gustav, which was a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall in Haiti on Tuesday, is likely to regain hurricane intensity.
The forecast shows Gustav entering the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday or Sunday as a Category 3 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph (179 kph). However, hurricane movements are erratic, and long-range forecasts are subject to change.
Pinchinat Pierre Louis, deputy director of Haiti's Civil Protection Directorate, said nine people were killed in the storm and another person was missing. There were unconfirmed reports of other deaths, including at least one man killed in a landslide, he said.
A mudslide in the Dominican Republic killed eight people, according to Col. Juan Manuel Mendez, the nation's director of emergency operations. The landslide happened in the Guachupita neighborhood in Santo Domingo, officials said. iReport.com: Send us your photos, videos
Nine hundred homes in the Dominican Republic were damaged by Gustav, they said.
Concerns about Gustav's apparent path to the Gulf of Mexico were partially to blame for an increase in oil prices Wednesday, officials said. Oil platforms in and around the Gulf account for more than one-fourth of U.S. oil production.
"People seem to be convinced that the track of (Gustav's) path will lead into the Gulf," said Tom Orr, head of research for Weeden and Co. financial services firm.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Gustav's center was about 110 miles (178 kilometers) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and about 125 miles (201 kilometers) southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center.
It was creeping west-northwest at near 5 mph (8 kph) and was expected to continue in that general direction as it picks up speed over the next day.Tropical Storm Gustav killed at least 17 people in the Caribbean as its squalls... more
A "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas-Louisiana coast this year is likely to be the biggest ever and last longer than ever before, with marine life affected for hundreds of miles, a scientist warned.
"It's definitely the worst we've seen in the last five years," said Steve DiMarco, a Texas A&M University professor of oceanography who for 16 years has studied the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, so named because the oxygen-depleted water can kill marine life.
The phenomenon is caused when salt water loses large amounts of oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia that is typically associated with an area off the Louisiana coast at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The fresh water and salt water don't mix well, keeping oxygen from filtering through to the sea bottom, which causes problems for fish, shrimp, crabs and clams.
This year's dead zone has been aggravated by flood runoff from heavy spring rains and additional runoff moving into the Gulf from record floods along the Mississippi.
DiMarco, joined by researchers from Texas A&M and the University of Georgia, just returned from an examination of 74 sites between Terrebonne and Cameron, La. He said the most severe hypoxia levels were recorded in the mid-range depths, between 20 and 30 feet, as well as near the bottom of the sea floor at about 60 feet.
Some of the worst hypoxic levels occurred in the western Gulf toward the state line.
"We saw quite a few areas that had little or no oxygen at all at that site," DiMarco said Tuesday. "This dead zone area is the strongest we've seen since 2004, and it's very likely the worst may be still to come.
"Since most of the water from the Midwest is still making its way down to the Gulf, we believe that wide area of hypoxia will persist through August and likely until September, when it normally ends."
Last year, DiMarco discovered a similar dead zone off the Texas coast where the rain-swollen Brazos River emptied into the Gulf.
The zone off Louisiana reached a record 7,900 square miles in 2002. A recent estimate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Louisiana State University shows the zone, which has been monitored for about 25 years, could exceed 8,800 square miles this year, an area roughly the size of New Jersey.
DiMarco said a tropical storm or hurricane likely would have no impact on this year's zone, believed to be caused by nutrient pollution from fertilizers that empty into rivers and eventually reach the Gulf.A "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas-Louisiana coast this year... more
Badass of the year right here folks.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Adam Warwick just couldn't let the bear drown, so he took off his shirt and dive after it. The 375 lbs black bear had been spotted in a residential area, obviously looking for food, and was shot with a tranquilizer dart. Unfortunately, before it went under, it jumped in the water of the Gulf of Mexico. More photos and a video below.Badass of the year right here folks.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation... more
Louisiana supplies 40% of the nation's oysters, a slimy bivalve considered a delicacy by seafood connisseurs.Louisiana supplies 40% of the nation's oysters, a slimy bivalve considered a... more