Hurricane Jose now ‘extremely dangerous’ at Category 4

This satellite image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Hurricane Irma (L) and Jose (R) at 2015UTC on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / NOAA/RAMMB)
Updated 08 September 2017

Hurricane Jose now ‘extremely dangerous’ at Category 4

MIAMI, US: Hurricane Jose strengthened to a powerful Category Four storm Friday as it followed in the path of Hurricane Irma, US weather forecasters said.
The “extremely dangerous” storm was located in the Atlantic Ocean 415 miles (670 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm was packing sustained winds of 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour as it moved west-northwest at 18 miles (30 kilometers) per hour, the NHC said at 1500 GMT.
“On the forecast track, the center of Jose will pass near or east of the northeastern Leeward Islands on Saturday,” the NHC said.
Ocean swells “likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions” are expected to affect portions of the Leeward Islands later Friday, the NHC said.
Hurricane conditions are also possible on Caribbean islands including Antigua, Barbuda, and Anguilla on Saturday.
Jose follows Irma, a powerful Category Five hurricane tearing across the Caribbean toward to Florida.
Further west, Hurricane Katia was also upgraded Friday to a Category Two storm as it churned toward the eastern coast of Mexico.
Mexico’s National Water Commission meteorological authority said Katia picked up strength as it swirled in the Gulf of Mexico 127 miles (205 kilometers) from the major port city of Veracruz.


Philippine trash trawlers earn little from virus-boosted surge in plastics

Updated 10 August 2020

Philippine trash trawlers earn little from virus-boosted surge in plastics

MANILA: Virgilio Estuesta has picked through trash in the Philippines’ biggest city for four decades, and is noticing an unusually large amount of plastics during his daily trawl of about 15 km (9.3 miles).
Tough curbs re-imposed to combat a surge in daily coronavirus infections are squeezing income for the 60-year-old, as many of the junkyards and businesses in Manila that buy his recyclables have been closed since March.
Plastic items, such as bottles and containers, dominate the contents of the rickety wooden cart Estuesta pushes through the deserted streets, far more than metals and cardboard, yet the money they bring in is not enough to get by.
“It’s been really hard for us, it’s been difficult looking for recyclables that sell high,” he said.
“Recently we’ve been seeing a lot more plastics, but the problem is they don’t really sell high.”
Environmentalists say the Philippines is battling one of the world’s biggest problems stemming from single-use plastics, and ranks among the biggest contributors to plastic pollution of the oceans. It has no reliable data for its plastics consumption.
Greenpeace campaigner Marian Ledesma said consumers and businesses are now using yet more single-use plastics, in a bid to ward off virus infections.
“The pandemic has really increased plastic pollution,” she added. “Just because there’s a lot more people using disposables now, due to misconceptions and fears around transmitting the virus.”
Since March 16, Manila has experienced lockdowns of varying levels of severity, in some of the world’s longest and tightest measures to curb the spread of the virus.
They are taking a toll on Estuesta, who hopes to start earning soon.
“When you go out, the police will reprimand you,” he said. “I was stuck at home and had to rely on government aid, which was not enough. I had to resort to borrowing money from people.”