First up, ARTEMIS:
...Interior Secretary for the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Jesse Robredo, today proposed the national calamity fund be pooled along with the local government units calamity funds so that resources can be readily available in the event of emergencies and disasters. He cited other examples of disaster risk pooling around the world.From Wunderblog:
Robredo said that the merging of national and local funds would allow for the new merged calamity fund to be ‘invested and leveraged in the capital markets through international reinsurance, contingent credit arrangements, or catastrophe bonds."...
Super Typhoon Megi hit northern Luzon Island in the Philippines near 3:30 UTC this morning as a Category 5 Super Typhoon with sustained winds of 165 mph and a central pressure of 914 mb, as rated by the Navy Research Lab in Monterey. Megi is the strongest Category 5 tropical cyclone to make landfall in the world since August 21 2007, when Hurricane Dean hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with sustained winds of 175 mph and central pressure of 905 mb.From the International Business Times:
We were fortunate to get precise measurements of Megi's intensity yesterday morning thanks to the Hurricane Hunters, who were investigating the typhoon in support of the Interaction of Typhoon and Ocean Project (ITOP), which is studying how the ocean responds to typhoon growth and movement in the Western Pacific Ocean. A C-130 hurricane hunter aircraft penetrated into Megi at 10,000 feet, and found an extraordinarily intense storm. At 9:05am EDT on Sunday (13:09 UTC), the aircraft recorded a central pressure in Megi of 890 mb. This is a phenomenally low pressure, ranking Megi (unofficially) as the 16th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Only two Atlantic hurricane have been more intense than Megi--Wilma (2005) at 882 mb, and Gilbert (1988) at 888 mb....MORE
Super Typhoon Megi hit northern Philippines on Monday morning accompanied by heavy rains and winds of more than 225 kilometers an hour, forcing thousands of people in its path to flee their homes.
Philippines, the world’s biggest rice buyer, is also likely to lose 600,000 metric tons of the crop as Megi, the strongest storm to hit the nation in four years, struck some of the nation’s biggest producing centers....MORE
Rice Output in Australia May Jump Fourfold on Rain, Growers Say
Rice production in Australia may almost quadruple next harvest as heavier-than-usual rainfall boosts water supplies following a decade of drought, a growers’ group said after raising its production forecast.
Output may be 800,000 metric tons compared with an early September’s forecast for 600,000, said Ruth Wade, executive director of the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, based in Leeton, New South Wales. The last harvest was 205,000 tons, according to exporter Ricegrowers Ltd., which trades as SunRice.
A La Nina event has brought wetter-than-normal weather to eastern Australia, including New South Wales, where rice is grown. The rains have replenished reservoirs after years of drought slashed Australia’s rice output in 2008 to the lowest level since the 1920s.
“We have got pretty secure water now,” Wade said by phone from Sydney today. “People will be much more confident that they will be able to plant as much as they can and have access to water to finish it.”Rice for November delivery in Chicago rose 0.6 percent to $13.675 per 100 pounds at 4:09 p.m. Melbourne time. The futures touched a seven-month high of $13.87 on Oct. 15....MORE