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August 19, 2007
Reporting a hurricane: live Jamaican radio; China forbids Tibetan monks from reincarnating; Murals of Belfast; Mp3s: BS&T '77
AP / Andres Leighton
A photojournalist fights the wind as he approaches a waterfront boulevard in downtown Kingston, during the pass of Hurricane Dean over Jamaica.
11:15 p.m. Going to bed. Power is deliberately off now in most of Jamaica. Reports are coming in from all over the island -- trees down and blocking roads, roofs gone, some houses destroyed, some phone service out. Amazing job by Althea Morrison of Power 106-FM and the Gleaner's citizen correspondents. Respect. Good night.
10:14 p.m. Live Jamaican radio - Power 106-FM in Kingston is still broadcasting.. How? The station must have a generator. I asked Lou Jacobs to explain: How they do that: "The blogsphere wonders how in the hell do you get a radio signal out of an island that's getting blasted by a 145 mph hurricane? Easy you use a CDN, that's correct a Content Delivery Network...."
He told me in email the signal is going out via fiber under the ocean. He's getting a streamguys server in Ashburn, Virginia; I did a traceroute, too, to the actual URL Winamp is using, and I'm getting 16 hops to Chicago. The signal is distributed, so not everybody's banging on the same server.
9:12 p.m. Hurricane links and reports from those who can post at Negril Message Board at Negril.com, on the west end ofJamaica, where it is raining now. Earlier hurricanes shortened the beach there considerably. One post says Friends of Jamaica is accepting donations via PayPal.
7:40 p.m. Treasure Beach, on the south side of Jamaica:
News: Phone communications seem to be down. Text messages from the area say there are high winds and a very black sky. posted: 08-19-2007 06-11-49
Radio is still up, playing the Jamaican national anthem and reporting it is pitch black in Kingston, with vicious winds. Ronald Jackson, director general of the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management, reports they expect 300,000 Jamaicans to need help; 4,500 people in shelters, extensive damage to the parish of St. Thomas, at the eastern end of the island.
People are calling in from all over the island saying they're fine, one despite a butternut tree having fallen nearby. It's very local, very live, very real.
Jamaicans.com has a Jamaica - Hurricane Dean Post bulletin board thread. Pinned to the top:
Here is a list of organizations that will provide aid and/or drop off points for anyone seeking to help Jamaica if Storm/Hurricane causes major damage...
I've switched to the Caribbean Satellite view, since the visible one is dark now. Jamaica is the small island Florida points to, below Cuba. The storm passed south of Haiti and Dominican Republic but has since strengthened. These links will open the the Caribbean Satellite viewlatest satellite view or storm track view. This link goes to the latest text advisory on the storm's track. It's expected to hit with high winds and heavy rains leading to flooding early this afternoon and track along the south coast of Jamaica all afternoon.
Storm communication: From Kingston, live Jamaican radio - Power 106-FM at The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper's Go Jamaica site as category-4 Hurricane Dean bears down on the island nation. RealPlayer and WinAmp.
It's hyperlocal -- reports from one area, requests from another.
4:18: Electricity is being shut down to the areas of the island most exposed to the storm to prevent damage to the power system and to communities as power lines come down.
Radio vet Lou Josephs emails that "it's the only station you don't have to pay money for to hear," so people can still catch its news with portable radios.
Note -- 3 p.m. Radio Jamaica says
Dean has been downgraded to Category 3; trying to confirm. 3:56: Not possible: Winds are 145 mph. Category 3 ends at 130 mph. She must have misspoken.
Power 106-FM is doing a great job, and you'll get to listen to lovely Jamican accents as folks from all over the island call in on a sunny Sunday morning before the hurricane hits. (Others, from elsewhere in the Caribbean, the U.S. and the U.K., call to offer support.) The tone is perfect -- optimistic hosts, professional, informative and frequent weather and emergency announcements, and just enough humor to buoy spirits.
When I first connected, Jimmy Cliff was singing, "Many Rivers to Cross." That was followed by ads and a DJ taking calls and reading encouraging emails from around the world, and a query as to whether teacher's college orientation was still on for tomorrow. (Doubtful.)
(Later, the college called in to tell her it's postponed.)
Now I'm listening to tips (dry ice, water, mosquito boom after storm), latest forecasts, shelter locations and a recorded message suspending political campaigning. The weather is still good -- very calm.
The storm track has moved a bit south of the island, and the announcer thinks it won't be quite the "slam dunk" expected earlier.
A caller just asked, "Which direction is it coming from, Negril or Morant Point?" (the west or the east). It's approaching Marant Point, from the east.
Blogs for now and later:
-- Go-Jamaica Hurricane Dean Watch blog.
-- Montego Bay Day by Day Photos of preparations in MoBay -- vanishing bread, taping windows. Yesterday,
I think most of us who do not have slab roofs are worrying ourselves slowly into a state of panic that they might blow off, while those who live in flat, flood prone areas are already packing in a state of frenzy to get the heck out of there!
The Life of Gordon Swaby:
Well it seems to be getting dark now, i’m sorta anxious for the hurricane to do it’s damage and leave us alone, this is probably my last post until after the hurricane i’m considering packing my computer up and moving it downstairs in a room where there’s no windows.anyhow, i’ll have pics for everyone to show the damage that has been done; before and after the hurricane.
Hang in there Fellow Jamaicans we’ll pull through
--Stunner's Afflictions, Kingston:
You may visit this blog later in the night as I may be able to post a short update on how Dean is affecting the island. I will be busy at work, but I'll try to give a quick updates for as long as the internet connection stay up.
-- Jamaican Lifestyle. While the power lasts...
-- The webcam atop the Gleaner building in Kingston is unfortunately not live. It's showing archived images.
Photos tagged hurricanedean at Flickr.
Overview: Hurricane Dean heads for Jamaica after swiping Dominican Republic.
Slapping forehead: Jeneane Sessum offered overlapping Jamaica links yesterday. I could have pointed you there, added a bit to it, and left for the movies.
If I had realized I was going to spin this out, I would have started a new item. I planned only to link to the visible satellite view, but it grew.
Buddha laughs: China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. Newsweek.
By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.
So... the eternal spirit of the Dalai Lama, which occupies different mortal bodies through time, will by stymied by Chinese regulations?
This sounds a lot like the biblical story of Herod ordering all children under 2 killed so he could eliminate the King of the Jews the Magi told him had been born.
Welcome addition: Web Urbanist bills itself as "Collective Bloggings about Urban Cultures and Alternative Arts," and is stylish in the best sense, full of interesting photos such as Urban Abandonments: 7 Deserted Wonders of the (Post)Modern World, and Beyond The Troubles: Murals of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Not all of those are about the troubles:
...and some are about other troubles. such as...
Better live, says the blurb about Blood, Sweat & Tears, Live at the Bottom Line, New York. 17 tracks from a Nov. 8, 1977 gig -- it's way post-Al Kooper, with David Clayton-Thomas and a second generation of BS&T players.
Posted by Sheila Lennon at 11:15 PM | Permalink
Lots of random interesting stuff on this site - that's just how I like blogs to be, always something new and different :)
I'm a contributor to Web Urbanist by the way, and just wanted to say 'thanks!' for the 'thumbs up' on the site - what a rave review, I hope we can live up to your expectations ;)
Web Urbanist doesn't have a blogroll yet (we're still working that bit out) but I'm putting your site on my other site's blogroll at allsux.com
Thanks again for the kind review :)
Posted by: Derami on August 19, 2007 2:29 PM