Delhi: Hundreds of people turned away as vaccines don’t arrive at Govt vaccination centres
Hundreds of prospective beneficiaries of Covid-19 vaccines were turned away from government-run vaccination centres governed by Central Delhi since the shots did not arrive there on Monday.
Scores of people thronged upon municipal corporation-run Hindu Rao Hospital in North Delhi and Delhi government’s Guru Nanak Eye Centre which is attached to Lok Nayak Hospital in Central Delhi, after either booking their slots on the Co-WIN portal or availing the walk-in immunisation option.
However, much to their dismay, they were asked to leave since the shots remained unavailable at both sites for the whole day.
50-year-old Vaibhav Sagar, who had come along with his 81-year old father from Najafgarh, said that it took him half a day of leave and much counselling to his hesitant father to reach the vaccination centre, only to realise that his efforts went to vain.
“I’m in sales. My job requires me to be on the field and sensing the exposure, I pestered my old father to come along since he is among the most vulnerable group,” said Vaibhav who works as a territory sales officer at a private firm while speaking to The Statesman.
“However, I regret going there. Business is anyway dwindling and my half a day leave affected it further. Apart from that, my father who was unwilling to go for inoculation and agreed after much counselling is now back to his scepticism,” he added.
Similar was the case of 48-year-old Premvati Narayan who took a day off today so that she can avail of vaccination. She regretted not going to a private vaccination centre.
“I have just joined a new company after sitting idle for months. I’m not in a position to take another leave or buy my shot at a private facility. That’s why I chose a government site. However, after their mismanagement, I think I should have gone to a private hospital. I don’t know If I would get leave for vaccination again,” Narayan said.
Beneficiaries include both from the categories of 18-44 years and 45+.
Officials told The Statesman that the paucity of vaccines forced the Central Delhi annexed centres to not conduct the vaccination drive. However, the vaccination will resume from Tuesday as the shots arrived by the end of the day.
“We have directed the District Immunisation Officer (DIO) in this regard,” a senior government official from Health & Family Welfare department said.
Meanwhile, Mayor of North MCD, Jai Prakash informed that he is aware of the situation and have communicated to the government as well. “It was very unfortunate that people were denied vaccines despite calling them in a probable exposure environment. The Delhi government must ensure such incidents are not repeated,” he said.
Panasonic set to recalibrate aging business structure
Electronics giant Panasonic is set to reform its business structure by replacing its president and implementing a large-scale organizational realignment. Panasonic plans to change its president for the first time in nine years in late June, and implement a major reorganization in April 2022 in line with its shift to a holding company structure. In this series, The Yomiuri Shimbun will take a closer look at the current situation of the struggling mega company.
Since the beginning of this year, there have been heated debates at Panasonic over the drastic downsizing of its television business. Meetings attended by executives have seen contrasting statements such as “Televisions should be sold only in Japan” and “We need Europe to maintain our brand power.”
In reality, Panasonic’s Viera television line has been vulnerable to sales offensives by Chinese and South Korean manufacturers for years.
According to the British research firm Omdia, Panasonic’s global market share was 1.8% in 2020, a significant drop from 7.9% in 2010. The annual sales volume for the Viera line, which once peaked at more than 20 million units, has fallen to a quarter of that — about 5 million units — over the past 10 years.
“The value of making televisions, which cannot be a core business, is diminishing,” said Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga, 64, who intended to push through a radical overhaul of the company’s former moneymaker.
Panasonic discussed such ideas as withdrawing from the production and sales of televisions in its main market, Europe, and continuing to sell TVs only in a limited number of markets, including Japan, where sales are strong.
A thorough restructuring plan was formulated by Tsuga’s executive assistant, who proposed closing “all production bases except for Malaysia.”
Immediately after Tsuga took office in 2012, he took a decisive action to withdraw from the plasma TV business, which had fallen into a sales slump due to the rise of LCD panels.
Tsuga proceeded to streamline operations while posting a final loss of more than ¥700 billion for the second year in a row, and stopped TV production and sales in North America and China.
■ Negative impact
Yet the details of the structural reform of its TV business announced on May 10 this year differed greatly from the initial plan.
According to the structural reform plan, the company will cease production at three factories in Tochigi Prefecture, India and Vietnam, but will retain four factories in the Czech Republic and other countries as television production bases.
The firm will outsource production to TCL of China, mainly for low-priced small and midsize televisions, while it will continue to produce high-end models in-house and continue to sell them in Europe, according to the plan.
The change of course comes with strong resistance from Appliances Company, an internal unit in charge of Panasonic’s consumer electronics business.
An Appliance executive claimed that the initially planned drastic reform would have a negative impact on sales of other consumer electronics, given that Panasonic’s image as a television manufacturer was firmly established.
Appliance pushed back on the initial plan after it brought Panasonic’s television business into the black in fiscal 2020 by reducing labor and other costs.
Televisions have been called the “king of home appliances.” However, Japanese-made televisions, which had been marketed as high-quality and high-performance, were losing ground in the price war with overseas competitors, and thus Japan’s electronics giants have decided to downsize or withdraw from the TV marketplace.
Hitachi Ltd. ended domestic production of televisions in 2012, and stopped selling Hitachi brand products in Japan in 2018. Toshiba Corp. sold its television business to a Chinese manufacturer in 2018.
Sony Group, for its part, has remained profitable since fiscal 2014 by focusing on the production and sales of high-priced models such as 4K televisions.
The reality is that Panasonic’s efforts are “one lap behind,” an analyst said.
The speed of the reform is reflected in the difference in business performance. Sony, which is focusing on music distribution and games, achieved record sales of ¥8.9 trillion in fiscal 2020. Meanwhile, Panasonic’s sales fell below ¥7 trillion for the first time in 25 years. Panasonic’s operating profit rate was only 3.9%, compared with Sony’s 10.8%.
It will be apparent soon whether the planned reforms are sufficiently effective.
■ Shift to holding company
Panasonic has already decided to sell off its semiconductor business, and withdraw from the production of LCD panels and solar batteries — which are what Tsuga labeled as “structurally deficit businesses.”
Panasonic has stopped losing money to some extent by carrying out the TV business reform. The transition to a holding company system is expected to be the finishing touch to its turnaround offensive.
The holding company system differs from the conventional in-house company system, in which a firm strictly requires firms under its umbrella to maintain profitability independently.
Businesses that cannot generate sufficient profits are forced to sell or withdraw from the business under the holding company system.
Tsuga will step down as president to become chairman without the right to represent the company as of June 24 in the new management lineup, leaving the task of reforming the firm in the hands of Yuki Kusumi, 56, who has served as head of the automotive business division.
“In the past, Panasonic has given extra consideration to each division, and has failed to concentrate on select businesses. The next president should have the courage to take unpopular positions,” said Takahito Osada, a specially appointed professor of business administration at the University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences.
Kusumi, together with Tsuga, led the withdrawal from the plasma television market, and has been downsizing unprofitable operations even in conflict with the firm’s clients.
Kusumi has said he likes the phrase coined by Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita, “It is a crime to run a deficit.”
At a press conference held after the firm decided to appoint him as president, Kusumi said, “A company also needs to make hardheaded and swift decisions to remove businesses that do not have strength.”
Japan unilaterally broke plan for Moon-Suga meeting at G-7
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had agreed to hold talks on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in England, but Japan unilaterally called the meeting off, citing the Dokdo issue, according to the Foreign Ministry on Monday.
The two countries had tentatively decided for Moon and Suga to have a pull-aside meeting on the fringes of the summit, which was held Friday through Sunday at Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate in Cornwall, southwestern England, according to a ministry official. South Korea was invited as a guest to this year’s Group of Seven wealthy democracies gathering, along with Australia, India and South Africa.
The official added that it was regrettable that Japan had not responded to the pull-aside plan, despite the fact that the two sides had agreed on it earlier at the working level. Japan called off the meeting to protest South Korea’s annual military drills on and around its easternmost islets of Dokdo in the East Sea, which are at the center of a decadeslong territorial dispute between the two countries.
The feud over Dokdo escalated recently after Japan identified the islets as part of Japan’s territory on the torch relay route map for the Tokyo Olympics, drawing heavy backlash from Seoul. South Korea has been in effective control of the islets since 1954, but Japan — which calls the islets Takeshima — insists they are Japanese territory.
South Korea plans to stage the annual drill this week. This could irk Tokyo further and strain bilateral relations, which are already at their lowest point in decades over economic and wartime history disputes.
Seoul has been seeking to defuse diplomatic tensions with Tokyo, which are rooted in Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula and have morphed into an ongoing economic feud. This comes as the Biden administration pushes for tighter trilateral cooperation with its two Northeast Asian allies in the face of an assertive China and a defiant North Korea.
Moon has expressed willingness to meet Suga, and many observers saw the G-7 summit as a suitable occasion for the two leaders to meet at last. The two have not met in person since Suga assumed leadership last September, reflecting strained bilateral relations.
During the three-day summit, Moon and Suga “exchanged greetings” just before the start of an expanded session of the summit, according to Cheong Wa Dae. Moon and first lady Kim Jung-sook also talked for about a minute with their Japanese counterparts, Suga and his wife, Mariko Suga, at a reception hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. These short encounters were about it, with no official meeting or trilateral session with US President Joe Biden.
The two leaders also showed stark contrast in their reactions to the unfulfilled promise of talks.
Moon said on social media that his first face-to-face encounter with Suga had been a “precious occasion” that could serve as a new start for relations between South Korea and Japan. But he also said it was a shame that their exchange had not led to a follow-up meeting.
On the other hand, Suga was firm that no meeting with Moon would happen until the outstanding issues between the two countries were settled. According to Japanese media outlets, Suga stressed that South Korea needs to take steps to improve soured bilateral relations, adding that the dispute over compensation for victims of wartime forced labor and sexual slavery had not been resolved.
In regards to his moment with Moon, Suga said Moon had approached him at the venue and he had reciprocated as a diplomatic courtesy.
Covid-19 cases in Jakarta surged 50% in past week amid rise in Delta variant
JAKARTA – Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan has warned that the Indonesian capital may return to a strict restriction regime as coronavirus cases surged 50 per cent in the past week amid a rise of infections of the Delta variant.
Active cases in Jakarta rose to 17,400 cases on Sunday (June 13) from 11,500 on June 6.
“The capital is in a state that needs extra attention. If the current situation gets out of hand, we would enter an emergency phase, and if that happened, we would have to take drastic steps like we did in September and February. We do not want that to recur,” Mr Anies said in a statement on Monday morning.
The Delta variant, first detected in India, has started to dominate cases in Indonesian cities, with Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin confirming that Covid-19 cases in Jakarta, Kudus (Central Java province), and Bangkalan (East Java province) are dominated by the Delta variant, based on genome sequencing tests.
Bed occupancy rate for isolation wards in Jakarta reserved to treat Covid-19 patients also increased to 75 per cent on Sunday, from 45 per cent a week ago.
One out of four Covid-19 patients in Jakarta, however comes from outside the city, mostly the surrounding satellite towns.
Mr Anies urged residents to strictly comply with health protocols in order to avoid another round of strict social distancing restrictions.
Currently, dining in eateries is allowed with limited capacity, and non-essential staff are partially required to work from home.
The governor also stressed that the positivity rate in Jakarta increased to 17 per cent on Sunday, from 9 per cent the previous week.
The positivity rate indicates the percentage of positive Covid-19 cases detected out of the total tests conducted.
The threshold set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for adequate testing is a 5 per cent positivity rate.
Mr Anies pointed out that the testing rate in Jakarta rose to eight times what the World Health Organisation recommended, from four times in the previous week.
He ordered all his personnel on Sunday night to take stricter measures and to step up enforcement of the health protocols on individuals as well as in places.
To ensure that residents comply with the strict health protocols, President Joko Widodo on Monday decided to beef up the deployment of military and police officers across 7,000 sub-regencies in the country.
Indonesia’s 34 provinces are made up of more than 500 regencies and cities, which in turn consist of 7,000 sub-regencies.
Mr Widodo also decided to speed up daily vaccination rate from the current 500,000 doses a day to 700,000 later this month and then one million next month.
People living in Covid-19 red zones – places with hospital bed occupancy ratio exceeding 60 per cent – will get priority in vaccination, said Mr Budi, following a meeting with the president. In addition, places of worship in the Covid-19 red zones will be closed for the next two weeks.
Duterte extends suspension of VFA termination anew
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the suspension of the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States for another six months, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced on Monday.
“The president conveyed to us his decision to extend the suspension of the abrogation of the VFA by another six months while he studies and both sides further address his concerns regarding particular aspects of the agreement,” Locsin said in a video message posted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The foreign affairs chief made the announcement after emerging from a meeting with Duterte and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Romualdez.
Officials from the Philippines and the US began discussions to iron out the two countries’ differences over the VFA last February. Romualdez earlier expressed hopes that the President will back the continuation of the defense pact.
The VFA, which took effect in 1999, provides a mechanism for visiting American soldiers and serves as the foundation for military exercises and humanitarian work.
Duterte pulled out from the VFA in February last year. The process of the VFA termination, however, has been held off twice, first in June 2020 and a second time in November 2020.
Taiwanese mission in Thailand clarifies President Tsai’s remark
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand issued a statement on Tuesday explaining that President Tsai Ing-wen was not targeting Thailand over the lack of vaccine supplies.
Last Friday, Tsai had said that Thailand was “prioritising” locally produced AstraZeneca vaccines for its own use due to the spike in infections. Thailand’s caseload as of Tuesday had crossed the 200,000 mark.
“The problem is that goods that were supposed to have arrived in June have not,” Tsai had told a local radio station on Friday. Taiwan has ordered 10 million doses of AstraZeneca, which is being produced in Thailand.
She also said there will be a delay in Taiwan’s vaccine rollout due to an imbalance in global supply and demand but said manufacturers are speeding up production to satisfy the rising global demands.
In its statement, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office pointed out that Tsai had not said Thailand was “blocking” the export of AstraZeneca vaccines.
The statement said both Thailand and Taiwan effectively controlled the outbreak last year and now the entire world is dealing with a surge in infections.
It added that Taiwan and Thailand will continue to jointly fight against Covid-19 and promote health and well-being for their people. It also said Taiwan hopes supplies become stable soon so people’s hardships from Covid-19 can be alleviated.
China National Space Administration plans to launch a Mars sample-return
China is making plans for the future development of its space program, including exploring asteroids and the Jovian system, collecting samples from Mars and exploring the polar region of the moon, said an official from the China National Space Administration-CNSA on Saturday.
Xu Hongliang, a spokesperson of the CNSA, said at a press conference held in Beijing that about the year 2025 China plans to launch a probe to collect samples from a near-Earth asteroid and explore a comet in one mission.
China plans to launch a Mars sample-return
mission and a Jovian system exploration mission sometime about 2030, Xu said.
In addition, China plans to launch the Chang’e-6 and Chang’e-7 lunar probes in the coming five years to explore the environment and resources and collect samples from the polar region of the moon, Xu said.
By the end of 2022, China will have completed the construction of its space station, in which astronauts can stay for prolonged periods to carry out scientific experiments, Xu said.
“We should coordinate space science, space technology and space applications, in accordance with the principle of being technically realizable, financially affordable and scientifically contributive,” said Xu.
The development of heavy-lift launch vehicles, reusable space transportation systems and satellite internet will also be the focus of future development plans, according to Xu.
The CNSA released new images taken by the country’s first Mars rover Zhurong on Friday, signifying the complete success of China’s first Mars exploration mission.
Xu said that China has seen new breakthroughs in the country’s Tianwen-1 mission. The probe has, for the first time, successfully completed the interplanetary flight, soft-landing and roving on an extraterrestrial planet.
The completion of the orbiting, landing and roving on the red planet in one mission indicates that the country has come to the forefront of the world in Mars exploration, Xu said.
He also noted that this is the first time that the country has carried out monitoring and communication activities over a distance of 400 million km and obtained first-hand scientific data on Mars.
Asean reports least number of new Covid-19 cases in six days
Southeast Asia reported 23,995 new cases on Monday, lower than Sunday’s 26,435, and the lowest in six days. Deaths were marginally higher at 390, from Monday’s 387. Total Covid-19 cases in Asean crossed 4.36 million and the death toll rose to 85,092.
Philippines reported 6,426 new cases and 57 deaths on Monday, driving cumulative cases in the country to 1,322,053 with 22,845 deaths. The president announced the extension of a soft lockdown in Manila and surrounding provinces from June 16-30 to control the spread of the outbreak.
Vietnam reported 272 new cases, driving cumulative cases in the country to 10,810 patients and deaths to 61. A hospital in Ho Chi Minh City reported that 55 of its staff, mostly from the administration department, have tested positive for Covid-19 even though they have received two jabs of AstraZeneca vaccine. The patients, however, were found with a small number of the virus and are asymptomatic.
Videos show Ocean City, Md., police Tasering, kneeing teens while enforcing boardwalk vaping ban
On Saturday evening on a boardwalk in Ocean City, Md., police enforcing a ban on vaping surrounded and tackled a teen as an agitated crowd gathered. Then, one officer repeatedly kneed the teen in the stomach.
“Stop resisting!” one of the officers yelled.
Later, police used a Taser on another man in the crowd and battled a third who picked up a bicycle.
The incident, which was caught in viral videos, left four teenagers arrested, authorities said. Ocean City officials pledged to review the officers’ actions but also noted in a news release, “Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance.”
But the videos left many people questioning whether police needed to use such force over a vaping ordinance.
Many also responded to a separate video, which shows a man on a boardwalk with his hands raised above his head who is suddenly hit by a police Taser. Many sharing the video, which has been viewed more than a million times as of early Monday, said the man was also stopped for vaping over the weekend in Ocean City. Police have yet to confirm those details.
Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, in a tweet Sunday evening called on Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh to investigate. And the ACLU of Maryland released a statement condemning Ocean City police officers for “show(ing) a complete lack of humanity towards these Black children” and said “these incidents are a manifestation of the white supremacy endemic to U.S. policing.”
Frosh said on Twitter on Monday that he watched videos of the incident and was “deeply concerned.” He added that he had “shared that concern with the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
The videos are the latest flash point over how police use Tasers. In April, a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minn., shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, an unarmed Black man, saying she mistook her handgun for a Taser. The officer, Kim Potter, who resigned from the police department after the shooting, was charged with second-degree manslaughter.
The Ocean City incident came in a city that has faced recent questions over its police force’s tactics on its tourist-packed boardwalk. Around this time last year, Ocean City police officials said they had opened a review after an officer was caught on camera wrapping his arms around a man’s neck during an arrest over an open alcohol container. In that incident, the officer appears to threaten the person recording the altercation with a Taser but does not appear to use one.
In a statement shared with The Washington Post, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said the city police department’s office of professional standards is investigating both recent incidents.
“We understand the public’s concern over the videos circulating on social media,” Meehan said, adding: “While the use of force is never the intended outcome, our police department’s first priority is to protect and serve.”
State Sen. Mary Beth Carozza, R-Worcester, said in a statement that she had watched the Ocean City Police Department’s entire video of the arrests and emphasized that the individuals detained “were informed of the smoking and vaping prohibition on the Boardwalk, and their follow up violent actions led to their arrest.”
She said she took part in a 7½-hour ride-along with the police department the night after the boardwalk incident and witnessed various violations and arrests.
“In ALL of these incidents, I personally observed the OCPD officers and public safety aides handled themselves with professionalism as they worked to diffuse and resolve the situation at hand,” she said.
On Saturday, authorities said they were patrolling the boardwalk on foot when they noticed a group of teenagers vaping, according to a news release. The officers informed the group that vaping on the boardwalk was prohibited under a local ordinance, except in designated areas. As the group walked away, officers noticed one of the teenagers starting to vape again, officials said.
Police said the man, 19-year-old Brian Everett Anderson, did not provide identification and became “disorderly.” When they moved to arrest him, Anderson resisted, the authorities allege.
As police were arresting Anderson, authorities said that 19-year-old Kamere Anthony Day was “yelling profanities” and “approached” the officers. Although police told him to back up, authorities allege that Anderson continued to approach them and then resisted arrest. Meanwhile, authorities said, 18-year-old Jahtique Joseph John Lewis tried to hit an officer with a bicycle and also resisted arrest.
Khalil Dwayne Warren, 19, was later arrested for standing on private property next to two “no trespassing signs,” officials said. He then became “disorderly” when told to move, officials claim.
Video of the scene shows police repeatedly using force during the arrests. As a crowd recorded the encounters, multiple police officers pushed one of the men against the wall after he grabbed an officer’s bicycle. Soon after, another teenager pushed one of the officers, prompting an officer to knee him and a third to hit him with a Taser.
In the second video, a single young man faced several officers with his hands raised on an emptier-looking stretch of boardwalk. After he lowered one of his hands toward a backpack, police hit him in the stomach with a Taser and he fell to the ground.
“He was standing there!” one witness can be heard yelling in the video. Another said, “You all did that for no reason.”
The man’s mother identified him as 18-year-old Taizier Griffin. She said the video shows her son being hit with a Taser on the evening of June 6 while he was in Ocean City with a group of friends for Senior Week. She said witnesses told her he was walking on the boardwalk with a tobacco vape when police stopped him and said he wasn’t allowed to vape there. Griffin put the vape in his pocket and began to walk away, his mother told The Washington Post. Witnesses told her an officer then grabbed for the teen’s arm multiple times and Griffin pulled away before he, as the footage shows, raises his hands.
“They end up slamming him back on the ground and hogtying him at his feet,” said Griffin’s mother, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of privacy concerns. “I’ve never seen police do that.” She said her son was arrested and is facing charges, including second-degree assault.
Her son, she said, was “extremely scared” after the incident. “He’s young. That kind of thing would scare anybody.”
The four teens arrested on Saturday, all of whom are from Harrisburg, Pa., were charged with counts including disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and second-degree assault. They were released after appearing in Maryland District Court.
Court records did not list attorneys for them.
The videos left many people incredulous of the city’s explanation for why force was warranted.
“Black and brown children should not be tased while their hands are up,” Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, D-Baltimore County, wrote on Twitter, urging Ocean City officials to review the incident. “Officers should not kneel on the back of a minor. Vaping should not yield a hog tie.”
Published : June 15, 2021
By : The Washington Post · Julian Mark, Paulina Firozi
Oklahoma glider pilot flies around landspout tornado
Oklahoma City native David Evans has been a pilot for about 30 years, but few things compare with what he encountered while flying his glider Sunday. Evans came face to face with a bona fide tornado – and decided to hitch a ride on the upward-moving air around it.
Weather wasn’t conducive for strong thunderstorm activity or tornadoes in the Sooner State on Sunday, but Evans found a landspout, or a borderline tornado that forms in a way similar to many waterspouts or dust devils. That meant it wasn’t born from a thunderstorm or cloud-based rotation, but rather developed from the ground up.
It also couldn’t be spotted on radar, and there were no obvious large-scale weather features that would have clued meteorologists into the chance for tornadoes.
“Realistically, it was more of a landspout, but we sort of have no justification as to why it occurred,” said Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla. “We didn’t have any answers.”
Instead, it appears a small, broad surface-based whirl cooked up in the heat of the afternoon sun – as is routine during the summertime.
“I have a little motorglider, and you look for these thermals to stay aloft,” said Evans, who hadn’t been optimistic about the day’s gliding prospects. He took off from Wiley Post Airport on the northwest side of Oklahoma City anyway, hoping to get lucky.
“I motored around Tuttle and Minco, and then I saw some hawks,” recalled Evans. “They’re always a telltale sign of where a thermal might be. I started getting an indication I was getting lift, so I circled in there with them.”
What was a broad, weak, invisible circulation that Evans was riding quickly became drawn into a cloud developing overhead. That stretched it up to the cloud base, causing it to become more narrow and strengthen. Before long, a funnel cloud appeared.
“[The thermal] was raising me up at about 100 or 200 feet per minute,” said Evans. “Then all of a sudden that vapor funnel started forming. It was going down and down and down, but there was no turbulence. I just kept flying around that thing.”
It was unclear to Evans at the time, but apparently the funnel did have a ground circulation attached to it – making it bona fide tornado, albeit a weak one. Winds were probably less than 75 mph, but it did stir up vegetation and hay on the property of Judy Curry.
That would make it an official tornado, similar in formative processes to the picturesque funnel that danced east of Denver last week.
“It was really pretty,” said Evans. “It went from base of clouds . . . it was a rat’s tail-looking thing.”
Back at the Weather Service, Bunker was equally impressed.
“I’ve seen cool drone footage, but you never see someone in their own plane flying right next to a funnel,” he said.
Bunker’s hypothesis is that there was a residual weak boundary of some sort draped across the area, sufficient to enhance low-level spin. That might have helped a tiny whirlwind form while also initiating upward-growing clouds above.
“You can stretch it and get a brief spinup,” said Bunker.
In the meantime, Evans says he’s looking forward to taking to the air again soon – but doubts he’ll see anything so spectacular again.