Saturday, March 11, 2006

Diwa - the figures

Diwa may not have risen to the lofty heights of a "real" cyclone but she did manage to produce some remarkable statistics concerning rainfall :

At Commerson crater, up there by the volcano, some 1.528 metres of rain was recorded in 24hrs. This is not that far from the 1966 record of 1.825 metres during the passage of cyclone Denise.

Over three days the total rainfall at Commerson was 2.720 metres (the record being 3.240 metres during cyclone Hyacinth).

If all this is meaningless the annual rainfall for the UK in 2005 was 1.0786 metres, and yes, I did say annual.

However, it has all gone now. Back to the sea to be stirred up, carried up and thrown down again at some later date - such is the great cyclical nature of Being.

... wait a bit, I haven't droned on about chikungunya for a while. So, the latest figures for the viral storm whose passage is slower and more deadly than Diwa's, are that to date some 204,000 people have been officially infected and there have been 125 chikungunya related deaths. The good news is that the infection rate for the week ending the 05/03 is less than the previous weeks - nothing to do with Diwa?

No, of course not. I am just a cynical, miserable pessimist and according to the "préfet" :

L'épidémie de chikungunya "en phase descendante"

'épidémie de chikungunya à La Réunion se trouve en phase descendante", a annoncé le préfet, Laurent Cayrel, vendredi 10 mars.
"On est en train de gagner, si ce n'est la guerre, du moins une bataille", a-t-il déclaré. Laurent Cayrel a noté lors d'une conférence de presse des "signes encourageants", mais a reconnu qu'il fallait "rester prudents"."

What is it with politicos and all this talk of war and battles - and could I just add that it is my belief that the war is an illusion - perhaps Mons. Cayrel should go and study the nature of epidemics and the art of equilibrium in Nature. He should also take account of the weather before making such silly, yea SILLY, pronouncements. Or maybe he doesn't read Reuters?

INDIAN OCEAN: Rain slows Chikungunya - temporarily

Perhaps, we shouldn't be exaggerating, at least not if we are to believe the WHO this week :

"I think it is exaggerated. It is less alarming than what is being painted in the media," WHO director general Lee Jong-wook told a news conference late on Tuesday. "If it was a real issue, we would go in the hospitals and see people are dying."

Back to statistics, and if we worked on the assumption that because 85% of my aquaintances have had it, then ipso fact 85% of the population have had it then...

... then it is all a load of bollocks.

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