Super-Typhoon
November 8, 2013 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Super-Typhoon Haiyan has struck the Philippines. It is the fourth strongest hurricane in recorded history and has the highest wind speed of any hurricane at landfall.
posted by dances_with_sneetches (51 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Welcome to a new, warmer world!

My heart goes out to everyone affected by this storm.
posted by xingcat at 7:17 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man... The radar imagery makes it look like they've run out of ways to show intensity, the whole area's just white. Stay safe, Philippines! :S
posted by slater at 7:18 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


One post in and we're already blaming global warming on the basis - not entirely sure what evidence.

Scientifically recorded history of hurricane strength does not go back that far at a guess?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 7:18 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


One of the links says the Philippines have had 25 typhoons this year. That seems unreal - especially living in the Caribbean during such a quiet season.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:19 AM on November 8, 2013


I hope people there weather it optimally. I in no way mean to diminish the gravity by noting: In before the Dragonball Z jokes.

It's just a worm in my brain.
posted by mobunited at 7:22 AM on November 8, 2013


They've had a hell of a year in the PI.

On October 15, 2103 a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the Central Philippines island of Bohol and surrounding islands of Cebu, Negros and Iloilo, leaving, as of the latest count by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 211 people killed.

Any readings on the eye-pressure? I imagine there could be a record low there too.
posted by three blind mice at 7:22 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Scientifically recorded history of hurricane strength does not go back that far at a guess?

NOAA has US hurricane data dating back to 1851. It's hard to say for other areas of the world, though.
posted by troika at 7:24 AM on November 8, 2013


Are there going to be more hurricanes due to global warming? From my reading, the answer is unknown. Global warming, a single thing, temperature up, is easy to track and identify trends. Hurricanes are complex. Ocean temperature is only one factor. If upper atmosphere winds increase, there will be fewer hurricanes, they will be sheered to pieces. However, those that do escape during moments of wind-sheer calm, will be worse (due to such factors as warmer water).
Eye pressure was 895 according to the Masters link.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:25 AM on November 8, 2013


Awwwwww, geez. This morning just gets grimmer and grimmer.

Hang tough, Phillippines. Don't know if it will help any, but all the good vibes I have are being sent your way!
posted by Samizdata at 7:26 AM on November 8, 2013


195 MPH sustained winds is absolutely mind boggling. I lived through hurricanes, but that's really something else. I hope the harm is as light as possible, which is probably still very bad.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:26 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]






I've ridden out three hurricanes or hurricane strength storms; two in the Caribbean and one really nasty one in Scotland, where through a window that was warping in the wind, I watched waves go over the top of my neighbors house. Learnt the next day of loss of life two islands away.

However, that last one, though sustained in time, only gusted up to 140mph. I can't really comprehend sustained winds of 195mph and gusts of ... 230mph. Much British housing would be damaged in that.
posted by Wordshore at 7:36 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Any readings on the eye-pressure? I imagine there could be a record low there too.

No hurricane hunters out in the Western Pacific, so none over water, certainly not the long term data stream we get in the Atlantic. Most of the wind estimates were made using the Dvorak technique of estimating storm strength by satellite imagery -- storms of similar strengths have similar presentations.

ST Haiyan was running a solid 8 most of the last three days. The Dvorak technique breaks down on landfall, where it tends to overestimate strength; and during extratropical transition, where it underestimates strength, but for normal overwater tropical storms, it's a very useful way to track storm strengths when you have no actual measurements in place.
posted by eriko at 7:37 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Much British housing would be damaged in that.

Damaged? 195mph winds are the same as a high EF4 tornado, and the gusts are well into EF5.
posted by eriko at 7:40 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines, as seen from space.

Do you have a source for/more of this image?
posted by cthuljew at 7:41 AM on November 8, 2013


Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines, as seen from space.

Okay, that's fake, right? Because that is like science fiction Star Destroyer level scary.
posted by Shepherd at 7:41 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Higher water & air temp == more energy dumped into the storms. So, yes, global climate change is causing both this and other weather changes.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:44 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


three blind mice, they also have had flooding there recently, with the inevitable disease and general misery. Bless & keep those poor, poor people.

These pictures in the (U.K.) Telegraph are pretty amazing. (What emotion is on the faces of the guys in #10?)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:46 AM on November 8, 2013


Oh no. :(

The Wunderblog linked in the post breaks it down:
Extreme damage likely in the Philippines
Wind damage in Guiuan (population 47,000) must have been catastrophic, perhaps the greatest wind damage any city on Earth has endured from a tropical cyclone in the past century. A massive storm surge must have also caused great destruction along a 20-mile swath to the north of where the eye hit, where Project NOAH was predicting a 17’ (5.3 meter) storm tide. Wind damage will also be extreme in Tacloban, population 221,000, the capital of the province of Leyte. Much of Tacloban is at elevations less than ten feet, and the most recent storm surge forecast made by the Philippines' Project NOAH calls for a storm tide (the combined height of the surge plus the tide) of 12’ (3.6 meters) in Tacloban. The northern (strong) part of Haiyan’s eyewall is now battering the southern part of the city. Haiyan’s winds, rains, and storm surge will cause widespread devastation throughout the Central Philippines during the day, though the storm’s fast forward speed of 25 mph will cut down on the total rainfall amounts, compared to typical typhoons that affect the Philippines. Hopefully, this will substantially recede the death toll due to flash flooding, which is usually the biggest killer in Philippine typhoons. Once Haiyan exits into the South China Sea, it will steadily decay, due to colder waters and higher wind shear. However, it will still be a formidable Category 1 or 2 typhoon when it hits Vietnam and Laos, and I expect that the 12+ inches of rain that the storm will dump on those nations will make it a top-five most expensive natural disaster in their history. Early on Thursday, Haiyan hit the island of Kayangel, 24 kilometres north of Palau's capital, Koror. Damage was heavy, with many homes damaged or destroyed, but there were no injuries among the island’s 69 inhabitants.
I hope everyone survives. :(
posted by zarq at 7:50 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


What a horror.
posted by Thing at 7:55 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just read a new book called "Vanished" that concerns Palau and Koror, and that place just doesn't sound very…hardened against the storms.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:55 AM on November 8, 2013


i was reading about this and was hoping someone would make a post.

i learned that typhoon and hurricanes are the same thing, just different names.

i really can't fathom the size of that thing. it would cover several eastern seaboard states.
it is covering an entire island.

that is just insane.

i love when nature does weird shit, but i also don't like when it affects people. scary and beautiful all at once.
posted by sio42 at 7:59 AM on November 8, 2013


The daughter, son in law and children of missionary friends of mine are over there. I think they are in Cebu City.

I'm concerned.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:10 AM on November 8, 2013


Are there going to be more hurricanes due to global warming? From my reading, the answer is unknown. Global warming, a single thing, temperature up, is easy to track and identify trends. Hurricanes are complex. Ocean temperature is only one factor. If upper atmosphere winds increase, there will be fewer hurricanes, they will be sheered to pieces. However, those that do escape during moments of wind-sheer calm, will be worse (due to such factors as warmer water).

You kind of have it there. They may not be more hurricanes (although that's a possibility), but those that make it will be stronger, more likely to make landfall, and more likely to stay strong. Increasing urbanization also means that the numbers of those affected will quickly increase, too.

BTW, the effects of climate change (massive urban damage, widespread droughts, etc) just in the near-term will, in all likelihood, be one of the greatest drags on economies worldwide, including ours. Possibly especially ours, since food is our major export. Which is why any climate change denier who also claims to be concerned about debts or deficits is either wildly misinformed, in someone's pay, and/or talking out both sides of their mouth.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:39 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines, as seen from space.

Do you have a source for/more of this image?


Source
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:42 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The daughter, son in law and children of missionary friends of mine are over there. I think they are in Cebu City.

There's footage from Cebu City in the updates of the Guardian link above.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:51 AM on November 8, 2013


cthuljew: Do you have a source for/more of this image?

It's from EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) & the Japan Meteorological Agency, here's EUMETSAT's flickr page with some more images.
posted by troika at 9:10 AM on November 8, 2013


Hopefully the speed of the storm spared lives.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:27 AM on November 8, 2013


I read on a weather blog last night that this is the third super typhoon they've experienced in three weeks.
posted by rtha at 9:47 AM on November 8, 2013


Scroll down for a mind blowing comparison picture of Haiyan vs Hurricane Katrina
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:50 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


What aid groups are working in the Philippines? How can we help?

The place is going to be in shambles after this.
posted by Jacob Knitig at 10:06 AM on November 8, 2013


You kind of have it there. They may not be more hurricanes (although that's a possibility), but those that make it will be stronger, more likely to make landfall, and more likely to stay strong. Increasing urbanization also means that the numbers of those affected will quickly increase, too.

Another element is that as weather patterns have changed, the routes that the storms take change. Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in 2012 went way further south than they normally do and absolutely destroyed an area that just wasn't used to dealing with storms like that. I was in Mindanao last summer and stayed in a community that had to significantly rebuild after that storm, even with predominantly concrete construction (which puts them way ahead of many areas in other cities).
posted by brilliantine at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a catastrophe, especially for the Bohol area that was still recovering from the earthquake. However, it's important to note that the photos wenestvedt links to are the result of earlier monsoon rains, an annual phenomenon that causes repeated flooding in Manila. I haven't yet seen reports from this storm, but Manila was forecast to miss the worst of the storm. (My relatives there have been on Facebook, FWIW.)

Here's a gallery of Haiyan/Yolanda photos.

It looks like the hardest-hit major city was Tacloban, as seen in these reports from Philippines' ABS-CBN news.
posted by underthehat at 10:39 AM on November 8, 2013


There are a lot of images at Weather Underground too. Our relatives in Manila have said that it's just been a bit of strong rain and not much wind. Looking at the photos above Legazpi City got really hard.
posted by brilliantine at 10:55 AM on November 8, 2013


Scroll down for a mind blowing comparison picture of Haiyan vs Hurricane Katrina

Further down in that article is a superimposed image of what the hurricane would look like hitting the east coast of the US, in case anyone needs a horrifying moment of comparison.
posted by elizardbits at 11:33 AM on November 8, 2013


Hope for the best and fear for the worst.
From my POV, (having just been through the worst storm in recorded history in our region), it's about time we begin to deal with this new reality. I don't really care who's fault it is. I care about the lives lost and the damages caused to livelihoods.
We all need to help the victims here, but we also need to begin thinking of new ways of inhabiting the world.
posted by mumimor at 11:40 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ok, my friends' family got a text through-they are okay, tho without power, of course.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:55 AM on November 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


Barnes' Mother of Storms is looking more and more prophetic.
posted by Justinian at 2:21 PM on November 8, 2013


Glad it didn't hit Fukushima. I don't think they can handle any more water.
posted by surplus at 3:43 PM on November 8, 2013




What aid groups are active in the area
The Red Cross.

I'm thinking of all of you who are there and with family there.
posted by chapps at 8:50 AM on November 9, 2013


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posted by mazola at 8:59 AM on November 9, 2013




!
posted by mazola at 11:31 PM on November 9, 2013




In his update, Jeff Masters of wunderground/tropical notes the 10,000 estimated dead would be the highest of any cyclone in Philippines history. It is estimated to be their costliest storm (14 billion dollars versus about 2.2 billion for second place.)

He cites this blog post from a storm chaser. Storm chasers are not wimps.

The greatest death toll from Haiyan is likely to be in the capital of Leyte, Tacloban (population 221,000), which received a direct hit from Haiyan's northern eyewall. A stark eyewitness account posted to Facebook of what Tacloban endured, by storm chaser Josh Morgerman of iCyclone.com:

"First off, Tacloban City is devastated. The city is a horrid landscape of smashed buildings and completely defoliated trees, with widespread looting and unclaimed bodies decaying in the open air. The typhoon moved fast and didn't last long--only a few hours--but it struck the city with absolutely terrifying ferocity. At the height of the storm, as the wind rose to a scream, as windows exploded and as our solid-concrete downtown hotel trembled from the impact of flying debris, as pictures blew off the walls and as children became hysterical, a tremendous storm surge swept the entire downtown. Waterfront blocks were reduced to heaps of rubble. In our hotel, trapped first-floor guests smashed the windows of their rooms to keep from drowning and screamed for help, and we had to drop our cameras and pull them out on mattresses and physically carry the elderly and disabled to the second floor. Mark's leg was ripped open by a piece of debris and he'll require surgery. The city has no communication with the outside world. The hospitals are overflowing with the critically injured. The surrounding communities are mowed down. After a bleak night in a hot, pitch-black, trashed hotel, James, Mark, and I managed to get out of the city on a military chopper and get to Cebu via a C-130--sitting next to corpses in body bags. Meteorologically, Super Typhoon HAIYAN was fascinating; from a human-interest standpoint, it was utterly ghastly. It's been difficult to process."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:42 AM on November 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


[I'm from Metro Manila and I was going to make a post about Haiyan's devastation, but it turns out there's an existing post so I'll add some links here.]

This is a very good summary of how Haiyan hit us, including a timeline of events as they unfolded (and are unfolding), and what people can do to help.

One of the links says the Philippines have had 25 typhoons this year. That seems unreal - especially living in the Caribbean during such a quiet season.

FUN FACT: An average of twenty typhoons enter the Philippines per year, and our local naming convention reflects this. Each typhoon/cyclone has a name beginning with the corresponding letter of the alphabet; the first storm of the year will have a name that starts with 'A', the next one with 'B', and so forth (cycling usage until a name is retired). Locally, super typhoon Haiyan is known as Yolanda, which indicates that it's our 25th typhoon this year.

The whole country prepared for Yolanda for a week before it arrived, with news sites and social media buzzing with photos of the storm and its path coupled with strong warnings and precautions to stock up on supplies, move away from the coasts and low-lying areas, and stay indoors.

However, no one could have truly imagined what was going to happen when the super typhoon finally got here. The Philippines is an archipelago made up of 7,107 islands: damage to power lines and telco cell sites can isolate them completely. Since the hardest-hit region was Visayas, the center cluster of the country with the most islands, this is exactly what happened.

It might be hard to visualize just how hard the storm hit, but if you're curious, here are some videos of the typhoon (no English subtitles, sorry): The priority right now is to get food, water, and medical aid to all disaster areas, to get communication signals and power back up in the Visayas islands. At the moment the main way those islands can be reached is by boat since many airports are not operating. Filipinos from all over the Philippines are using social media to reach out for help and round up volunteer and relief efforts, as well as to track and find information about relatives and friends who lived in the areas hit the hardest. Hearts are breaking all over the country from the despair hanging over Visayas. We're used to typhoons and we've been hit pretty hard in the past, but never have we prepared so much and yet be damaged so badly as this.

Various governments have pledged aid to the Philippines. If you'd like to help as an individual or pledge through humanitarian organizations, here are some ways you can help internationally.
posted by Lush at 5:07 AM on November 11, 2013 [20 favorites]


On Tumblr and Twitter, I noticed many pleas to "Pray for the Philippines" and that "every prayer makes a difference", which I thought was a little strange. No matter what your thoughts about religion, if you have a pragmatic mindset it would seem actual, physical aid would been more helpful in concrete terms than prayer.

Then I read an op-ed piece by Miguel Syjuco who says:

On natural disasters, the church’s outlook has been at best reactive – and at worst, ridiculous. Last year, Bishop Broderick Pabillo claimed that Typhoon Bopha, which killed nearly 2,000 Filipinos, was God’s warning against reproductive health reform. Last week, Archbishop John Du urged sincere prayer for protection from Haiyan, while also reminding people to reinforce their homes with tree branches. And Bishop Joel Baylon asked Filipinos to recite the Oratio Imperata, a prayer for good weather – reputed to have helped recovery from a 2006 typhoon. Although the church and its organizations respond to such calamities with tireless selflessness, one can’t help but wonder whether faith and fatalism too often stand in for proper preparedness.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:56 AM on November 13, 2013


The Atlantic's In Focus photo blog:

The Philippines: One Week After Typhoon Haiyan
(Warning: some graphic images of death)
posted by bluecore at 10:54 AM on November 14, 2013




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