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Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 09:26 pm EDT

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Flash - Weather Warning - Strong Storm Producing Large Hail - Panama City

WeatherBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - There are reports of large hail falling near the Southern Corridor in Panama City as a very large and powerful electric storm is pounding the city. Large hail can sometimes be associated with storms capable of producing tornadoes (hey, I watch "Storm Chasers"). Anyway, heads up...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Lightening Strikes Church - Damages Bell Tower - One Hurt

WeatherToday, Tuesday, 26 June 2012, lightning struck the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Chitre, affecting the bell tower. It was learned that one person was injured, but it is unknown if they were hurt as the result of debris falling onto Melitón Martín street in front of the church, or if they received part of the electrical discharge. Last year the Cathedral celebrated 100 years of being built. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: There was probably some old woman in the church at the time, praying for her lottery numbers to hit or whatever, then BLAM! She'll never be the same...

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Thunderstorms Today From Panama City To The Azuero Peninsula

Weather
Arturo Alvarado - Director of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) in Panama
Arturo Alvarado - Director of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) in Panama
The director of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Arturo Alvarado, said the bad weather occurring at this time in Panama City is a system that enters the Bay and is accompanied by thunderstorms. He said the thunderstorms have been in the area of Arraiján since yesterday where there is a lot of cloud cover, like the city of Panama. According to Alvarado the satellite view is a bit complicated, so they cannot predict the end to the rains, but he estimated there will be about four to five hours of rain, as well activity from the convergence zone which is quite active over Panama. The Sinaproc director recommended that people should stay where they are if possible to avoid any possible emergency situation. He said the rain producing system extends from Panama City to the Azuero Peninsula. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: The SINAPROC always gets spun up when severe weather occurs, because most of the time they end up having to respond to flooding, mudslides, people who get swept away by fast moving water, roads or bridges that get washed out, and those kinds of things. Panama does not get hit by hurricanes, but it sure can rain when it wants to, dumping billions of gallons of water in a very short period in a concentrated area.

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Storm Caused Problems With Runway Landing Lights At Tocumen - Flights Diverted

WeatherBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The strong storms that whipped Panama City this afternoon caused an electrical problem that apparently knocked out some of the landing lights and other critical illumination at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, causing some inbound flights to be diverted to other airports.

A total of ten inbound flights were instructed to land at the old Howard Air Force Base in Panama, while others were diverted to land in Cartagena, Colombia. The runway illumination system was out of operation for about an hour from 7:24 pm until 8:30 pm local time in Panama.

The manager of Tocumen S.A. Juan Carlos Pino told Telemetro's Alvaro Alvarado the lights have been fixed and right now aircraft are landing normally at Tocumen. The Representative of Bella Vista in the municipal government of Panama City, Ricardo Domínguez, is a passenger on one of the flights that was diverted to Howard AFB, and he's still there.

The situation is still being resolved, and the details are still coming in. Alvaro Alvarado, La Critica, and James Aparicio were all Tweeting about the situation in real time as they independently developed the details from their various sources of information.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Bad Weather in Panama Forces AA Flight To Divert to Cartagena, Colombia

WeatherAn American Airlines plane landed on Sunday afternoon at the Rafael Nunez International Airport in Cartagena. The arrival of the aircraft caught the attention of people, because the airline has no base in Cartagena. The plane left Miami International Airport for Tocumen in Panama but had to change their destination because of bad weather that appeared in the neighboring country. Rafael Nunez is the alternate airport used by pilots when such eventualities occur and they can not get to Panama. It is estimated that when the bad weather passes, the aircraft will return to its itinerary. (El Universal, Colombia)

Editor's Comment: I saw a Tweet late tonight from La Critica indicating flights had to divert from Tocumen, and that some had gone to Howard and others to Cartagena. The way it was written there was no indication the problems occurred this afternoon (Sunday) and it sort of looked like the flights were being diverted now. There was also no indication of why the flights were being diverted. I checked, and saw this article about flight diversions this afternoon, because of weather.

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Strong Storms Knock Down More Than 20 Trees In Panama City

WeatherA score of fallen trees were reported by the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) after the rain that fell in Panama City today, Sunday June 24. Fallen trees were reported in Alcalde Díaz, San Miguelito, Río Abajo, an in Villa Lorena, which was one of the most affected, according to Arturo Alvarado, director of Sinaproc. A total of seven trees were downed in the latter place, affecting the electrical wiring and service delivery to the community. Flood Damages have not been registered, said Alvarado, and he added that the authorities and Sinaproc personnel are in various places to remove fallen trees, especially in Villa Lorena. Through his Twitter account, he said the rain will continue because "the satellite is well loaded," he noted in a tweet. (Panama America)

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One Person Killed In Windstorm - Hit In The Head By A Flying Table

WeatherOne person was killed and the roofs of several houses were blown off by strong winds that hit the provinces of Veraguas, Chiriqui, and the Ngäbe Bugle region between Wednesday afternoon and early yesterday morning, Thursday. As reported by La Prensa, in the community of Chumico in the district of Buenos Aires, in the Ngäbe Bugle region, a 39 year old woman died after strong winds lifted a table which hit her in the head. Six people were left homeless in that community. It was also reported in the districts of Guarumal and Rio Grande, south of Sona, the roofs were blown off of ten houses. The Eduardo Sánchez school, located in the community of Carrizal, was also damaged by falling trees on their structure. The Sinaproc reported that many trees fell onto roadways.

Chiriqui - In Alanje dozens of trees fell on the roadways, and a home in the community of La Noblesse was damaged after the storm recorded on Wednesday afternoon. Strong winds accompanied by heavy rains also caused losses in different areas among small farmers. Francisco Santamaria, director in charge of Sinaproc in Chiriqui, said emergency response personnel assessed the damaged house, which was only partially damaged. Meanwhile, residents of Bugaba reported hail in some parts of the district, but no damage was reported. (Mi Diario)

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Roof Over Baseball Stadium Bleachers Collapse In Colon - Child Injured

Weather The heavy rains accompanied by strong winds, which fell for an hour and a half in the city of Colon, caused the total collapse of the roof over the bleachers at the Roberto Mariano Bula stadium. It was learned that a child, the son of a baseball player who was practicing in the stadium, was seriously injured when part of a steel beam fell on him. The child was taken to Manuel Amador Guerrero hospital in the city of Colon. There were reports of flooding of some streets in the city of Colon, but the waters receded quickly. (Prensa)
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Strong Electrical Storm Blasts Panama City - Trees Down, Roofs Blown Off

WeatherA storm with high electrical activity and wind gusts of 25 knots is whipping the nation's capital, with fallen trees being reported in Punta Pacifica, Mañanitas, Pueblo Nuevo, and Clayton, and roofs being blown off of houses in Santa Isabel, Chepo, according to the Director of the National Civil Protection System, Arturo Alvarado. Alvarado also said the 911 Emergency Service reported falling power lines and a girl was affected in Chilibre, but this could not yet be verified. Previously it had been reported that in El Progreso in Alcalde Diaz a woman said water is entering her residence. Alvarado said the storm is appropriate to the season, and according to the Hydrometeorological Station of ETESA it will continue for six hours. Alvarado reported in the Guna Yala district there was a slight tremor of 3.1 on the Richter scale which was harmless. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: This photo of the tree down blocking the road in Punta Pacifica was sent in by a reader (thanks).

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Hurricane Season Is Here - US State Department Issues Warning

WeatherBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I received the following press release today from the US Embassy in Panama regarding the start of the 2012 hurricane season;

  • Travel Alert, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Bureau of Consular Affairs
  • Hurricane Typhoon Season 2012

  • The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that those in hurricane- and typhoon-prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming seasons now. This Travel Alert expires on December 1, 2012.

  • The Atlantic Basin, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico: Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center expects to see a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this year with a 70 percent chance of nine to fifteen named storms, including four to eight that will reach hurricane strength (with top winds of 74 mph or higher). Of those, one to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).

  • The Eastern Pacific: Hurricane season began May 15 and ends November 30. NOAA predicts a near-normal hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific this year with a 70 percent chance of 12 to 18 named storms, including five to nine that will reach hurricane strength. Of those, two to five are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).

  • Western and Central Pacific: Typhoon season begins June 1 and ends November 30. NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) predicts a 50 percent chance that activity during the 2012 season will be below normal in the Central Pacific basin. Each season the West and Central Pacific region averages 31 typhoons, about half of which have the potential to cause severe destruction. For information on typhoon warnings, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu, the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, and the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) Tokyo - Typhoon Center.

  • In the aftermath of some previous storms, U.S. citizens traveling abroad encountered uncomfortable and often dangerous conditions that lasted for several days while they waited for transportation back to the United States. In the past, many U.S. citizens were forced to delay travel due to infrastructure damage to airports and limited flight availability. Roads were also washed out or obstructed by debris, adversely affecting access to airports and land routes out of affected areas. In many places, storms often are accompanied by damaging high tides and flooding. If you are living close to the ocean or other bodies of water, you may be at higher risk of flooding. Landslides and mudslides also are serious concerns during heavy rains. Reports of looting and sporadic violence in the aftermath of natural disasters are not uncommon. Security personnel may not be readily available to assist. In the event of a storm, travelers should be aware that they may not be able to depart the affected area for 24-48 hours or longer.

  • If a situation requires an evacuation from an overseas location, the Department of State will work with commercial airlines to ensure that U.S. citizens are repatriated as safely and efficiently as possible. Commercial airlines are the Department's primary source of transportation in an evacuation; other means of transport are utilized only as a last resort. The Department of State does not provide no-cost transportation, but has the authority to provide repatriation loans to those in financial need. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance to cover unexpected expenses during an emergency.

  • If you live in or are traveling to storm-prone regions, prepare for hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical storms by organizing a kit in a waterproof container that includes a supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, and vital documents (especially your passport and other identification). Emergency shelters often provide only very basic resources and may have limited medical and food supplies. Monitor local radio and other media, and the National Weather Service to be aware of weather developments. Minor tropical storms can develop into hurricanes or typhoons very quickly, limiting the time available for a safe evacuation. Inform family and friends of your whereabouts and remain in close contact with your tour operator, hotel staff, transportation providers (airlines, cruise lines, etc.), and local officials for evacuation instructions during a weather emergency.

  • We strongly encourage U.S. citizens to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website. By enrolling, you will receive the Embassy's most recent security and safety updates during your trip. Enrollment also ensures that you can be reached during an emergency. While we will do our utmost to assist you in a crisis, be aware that local authorities bear primary responsibility for the welfare of people living or traveling in their jurisdictions.

  • Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness can be found on the Department’s "Hurricane Season - Know Before You Go" webpage. You can get updated information on travel to your destination from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada or, from outside the United States and Canada, 1-202-501-4444. We also encourage you to check the Country Specific Information Sheet and the Internet site of the U.S. embassy or consulate with consular responsibilities for the country you will be visiting. Follow us on Twitter and become a fan of the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ page on Facebook as well.

  • For updated information on the security situation in Panama, please contact the American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy at (011)-507-317-5030. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located in Clayton, Building 783, in the Clayton section of Panama. The Embassy web site is http://panama.usembassy.gov/ and e-mails should be addressed to Panama-ACS@state.gov. The after-hours and emergency phone number is (011)-507-317-5000.

  • For up-to-date information on security, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. Further information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

  • U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Panama are encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in case of an emergency. (US Embassy Panama Press Release)


Editor's Comment: Hurricane's don't strike Panama, however they sometimes start here. We can see very strong and violent collections of storm clouds that then wander off to the North, get organized, and turn into a named storm. Not having to worry about hurricanes every year is one of the biggest advantages that comes with living in Panama, compared to living somewhere like Florida, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, or along the Eastern seaboard. In any event, it would be wise for every member of the English speaking community of expatriates in Panama to have a well stocked and supplied emergency kit, so you can be as self sufficient as possible, for as long as possible, in the event of any natural disaster, hurricane or otherwise. There are plenty of reference materials available on the Internet. Think food, water, shelter, medicines, communications, backups for services, alternates in case your primary goes away, generators, emergency water purification systems, first aid kits, emergency long storage food supplies, etc. Consider this - what would you do if a major earthquake destroyed Panama City tomorrow? It's possible. Not likely, but possible.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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