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Super Typhoon Surigae to pass near Philippines at Category 5 strength on Sunday

Super Typhoon Surigae satellite image on Saturday. (NOAA)

Surigae has strengthened to the first super typhoon of 2021 as it edges closer to the Philippines. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu indicated its peak winds had risen to 180 mph, equivalent to a high-end Category 5 hurricane. It is the strongest super typhoon ever observed in the western Pacific during the month of April.

The storm is still projected to remain just offshore the Philippines but is predicted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to spread moderate to heavy rains, rough surf and gusty winds, especially to the east coast of the central Philippines, on Sunday into Monday. It is expected to gradually weaken to a Category 4 equivalent storm by late Sunday and Category 3 Monday into Tuesday.

Courtesy of washingtonpost.com

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Typhoon Vicky leaves 9 dead in Visayas and Mindanao, Philippines

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TROPICAL Depression “Vicky” left nine people dead and affected thousands in the Visayas and Mindanao as it slowly moved away from the country.

Mark Timbal, deputy spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), confirmed on Sunday that three persons died during the storm’s rage in Mahaplag, Leyte as reported by local authorities.

Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane, meanwhile, reported three fatalities and one missing from the town of San Francisco with some areas still flooded.

Cane said the local government units of Agusan del Sur have been preparing for natural calamities, especially typhoons and other types of weather disturbances.

But the typhoon’s heavy rainfall reached the red warning, causing rivers to overflow.

Cane identified one of the fatalities as an employee of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The victim tried to cross the highway with his wife on a motorcycle, but floodwaters dragged them to their death.

The two other victims crossed rivers separately, with one of them drunk at the time. The two were swept away by the strong waves.

Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel, meanwhile, said three people also died in his province.

In its situational report, the NDRRMC said it monitored a total of 26 incidents in Caraga Region during Vicky’s onslaught, with 25 incidents of flooding and one landslide recorded.

The NDRRMC said 1,590 families or 6,702 persons across the regions of Davao and Caraga were affected by the weather disturbance.

Damage to infrastructure has reached P105.4 million in Caraga alone. Agricultural damage is still being assessed, the NDRRMC said.

“Our operations are continuous and our local government units have been on-alert even before [the tropical depression] entered. Everyone coordinated through the regional disaster councils in the Visayas and Mindanao,” Timbal said in a separate interview over TeleRadyo.

Courtesy of manilatimes.net

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Typhoon Vamco heads for Vietnam after 67 are killed in the Philippines

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Typhoon Vamco has made landfall in Vietnam after leaving 67 dead in the Philippines, making it that country’s deadliest storm this year.

Packing winds of up to 150 kph (93 mph), Vamco hit Vietnam’s coast roughly 100km (62 miles) northwest of Da Nang Sunday local time, according to CNN Weather. Although the storm is weakening and will continue to do so as it moves inland, there is still a threat of flooding and landslides.

“This is a very strong typhoon,” said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, before the storm hit as he warned provinces in Vamco’s projected path to prepare for its impact.

The provinces planned to evacuate 468,000 people by the end of Saturday, according to state media citing the government’s disaster management authority.

Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. Vamco is the 13th storm to hit the Southeast Asian country this year, where more than 160 people have been killed in natural disasters triggered by a series of storms since early October.

“There has been no respite for more than eight million people living in central Vietnam,” said Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, president of the Vietnam Red Cross Society. “Each time they start rebuilding their lives and livelihoods, they are pummeled by yet another storm.”

In the Philippines, coast guard and disaster agencies scrambled on Saturday to rescue thousands in a northern province after the 21st cyclone to hit the Philippines this year tore through the main island of Luzon late on Wednesday and early Thursday.

On Sunday, 21 people were injured and 12 were missing.

More than 25,000 houses have been damaged and $9.7 million (469.7 million Philippine peso) worth of infrastructure has been destroyed, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesman Mark Timbal said Sunday. Another $24.7 million worth of agriculture has been damaged by the flooding and landslides caused by heavy rainfall and strong winds brought by Typhoon Vamco.

Courtesy of erienewsnow.com

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Strong typhoon leaves 42 dead, 20 missing in Philippines

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Thick mud and debris coated many villages around the Philippine capital on Friday after a typhoon killed at least 42 people and caused extensive flooding that sent people fleeing to their roofs, officials said.

Troops, police, coast guard and disaster-response teams rescued tens of thousands of people, including many who flooded radio and TV networks and social media with desperate pleas for help.

Floodwaters receded and the weather cleared in many areas after Typhoon Vamco blew out into the South China Sea on Friday, but the military said it was still rescuing people trapped in some flooded communities.

Amphibious assault vehicles usually used in counter-insurgency operations were deployed for the rescue work, military chief of staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay said in a meeting with disaster-response officials.

“We’ll continue to look for the missing, help in damage assessment,” Gapay said.

The national police reported that the death toll had risen to at least 42 with 20 missing. The government’s main disaster-response agency, which waits for provincial reports and follows a laborious process of verifying casualties, reported a much lower death count, causing confusion.

Among the dead were at least 12 villagers who were dug out from mud and rockslides in the northern provinces of Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya, police said.

After slamming into northeastern Quezon province, Vamco gained strength with sustained winds of 155 kilometers (96 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 255 kph (158 mph). It blew north of metropolitan Manila overnight Wednesday, toppling trees and power poles, swelling rivers, flooding residential communities and setting off landslides and storm surges.

In hard-hit Marikina city in the capital region and the towns of Rodriguez and Cainta in nearby Rizal province, several villages were inundated by water that reached the second and third floors of many houses, prompting hundreds of residents to flee to their roofs and call TV and radio networks or post desperate messages on social media. The panic was exacerbated by widespread power outages and loss of internet access.

Videos of Marikina showed a thick coat of muddy water covering roads and staining houses and cars. Residents carried appliances and furniture from their homes and used pails and shovels to remove the mud after the water receded.

In a televised meeting of Cabinet and disaster-response officials Friday, a reporter asked where President Rodrigo Duterte was, prompting an annoyed response from his spokesman.

“The president’s whereabouts should not be asked. That’s foolishness coming from the opposition. The president is not missing, he is always with us,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said, without offering any further details.

More than 400,000 people were evacuated to higher ground before the typhoon hit, mainly residents of vulnerable coastal and low-lying areas.

At least 3.8 million households lost power in the capital and outlying provinces, but crews later restored electricity in many areas. Government offices were closed and most classes were suspended Friday.

Vamco hit the Philippines on the heels of Typhoon Goni, one of the strongest typhoons in the world this year, which left more than 30 people dead or missing and damaged or destroyed 270,000 houses. Tens of thousands of people were still displaced when Vamco hit.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year and also has active seismic faults and volcanoes, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

Courtesy of startribune.com

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Super Typhoon Goni Now The Strongest Cyclone To Make Landfall Since 2013’s Haiyan

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Photo Credit: weather.com

Super Typhoon Goni made landfall with sustained winds of 195 mph in the eastern Phillippines early Sunday. This makes Goni the strongest typhoon to make landfall anywhere on earth since 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, which also made landfall in the Philippines.

Goni is locally known as Rolly in the Philippines.

Catastrophic wind gusts are expected in a small area near the landfall area. Damage may be tornado-like.

Goni is expected to rapidly weaken as it moves through the Philippines but could bring typhoon-force winds to parts of the greater Manila metro area on Sunday. Flooding rain, storm surge and high seas are expected to batter the northern and central Philippines through the weekend. Mudslides are expected.

Then, Goni is expected to cross the South China Sea while continuing to weaken as it approaches southern Vietnam.

Only a few storms each year reach the equivalent strength of a super typhoon, those with winds of 160 mph or more. Even fewer have ever attained wind speeds as high as 195 mph.

Goni made landfall on the Philippines’ island of Catanduanes with an estimated pressure of 884 mb, which is among the top 15 most intense typhoons in the basin. This pressure would make Goni the second most intense cyclone in the Atlantic if it were in that basin, behind Hurricane Wilma.

This strength has only been tied or surpassed by a handful of storms.

Most recently, Hurricane Patricia in 2015 attained sustained winds of 215 mph off the southwest coast of Mexico.

These winds were directly measured by the Hurricane Hunters while Goni’s winds are so far only estimated by satellite measurements due to the lack of hurricane reconnaissance in the western Pacific Ocean.

Impressively, this extreme landfall intensity occurs in the same part of the same country where Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall at a similar intensity in 2013. Haiyan caused nearly $2 billion in damages and killed more than 6,300 people.

Nearly 800,000 people were evacuated ahead of Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Comparatively, nearly one million people have evacuated ahead of Goni, which is expected to pass near the country’s most populated cities of Manila and Quezon City.

Manila’s airport also closed, according to their facebook page.

A persistent storm track has taken storm after storm through central Vietnam, and recently the Philippines has gotten involved.

Most recently, in the last week, Typhoon Molave took a very similar storm track across the central Philippines and then central Vietnam, but was considerably weaker in the Philippines.

Molave killed more than 50 people in the two countries, including 16 in the Philippines.

The devastation has been even more widespread in Vietnam, where tropical storms Linfa and Nangka, the remnants of two other tropical systems and Molave moved across the country in October alone.

More than 200 people have died, many of which died in flooding, in Vietnam during the month.

At least one location in central Vietnam received more than 125 inches of rainfall during the month of October.

Behind Goni, another system named Atsani is expected to near the Philippines’ northern island of Luzon by the middle of the week as a typhoon.

Courtesy of weather.com

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Super Typhoon Goni intensifies to category 5 in the Pacific, becoming strongest storm of 2020

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Super Typhoon Goni exploded into Earth’s most powerful storm of 2020 as a category 5 storm with 180 mph winds in the waters to the east of the Philippines, at 11 a.m. EDT Friday, October 30. Goni is expected to make landfall on Luzon Island in the Philippines on Sunday as a category 4 storm, and pass very close to the capital of Manila at category 1 strength or stronger.

Goni put on an extremely impressive bout of rapid intensification beginning at 0Z October 28, strengthening by 145 mph – from a 30-mph tropical depression to a 175-mph super typhoon, in 54 hours. According to Sam Lillo, only five storms in the global tropical cyclone database have achieved a 145-mph increase in 54 hours or less: Typhoon Vera in 1959 in the northwest Pacific; Hurricane Linda in 1997 in the northeast Pacific; Cyclone Zoe in 2002 in the southeast Pacific; Hurricane Wilma in 2005 in the Atlantic, and Hurricane Patricia in 2015 in the northeast Pacific.

Courtesy of yaleclimateconnections.org

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Nearly 9,000 flee homes in Philippines as Typhoon Molave intensifies

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Nearly 9,000 people fled their homes in the Philippines as Typhoon Molave made landfall while traversing provinces on the southern part of the main Luzon island on Sunday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds, officials said.

The disaster monitoring agency said it had received reports of damaged roads and bridges, flooding and landslide incidents in some areas, but there were no casualties so far.

Packing top sustained winds of 130 kilometres per hour (80 mph) Molave intensified into a typhoon as it moved westward and made landfall over San Miguel Island in Albay province early in the evening.

It made a second landfall on Malinao municipality also in Albay, the weather bureau said.

Some 5,518 people were evacuated to safer grounds, while 3,421 people took shelter with their relatives in areas outside danger zones, the disaster monitoring agency said.

Molave follows Tropical Storm Saudel, which last week caused widespread flooding in Quezon province in the Calabarzon region, southeast of the capital Manila.

The weather bureau warned of storm surges as high as 2 metres (6.5 feet) in coastal areas in northern Samar province, the Bicol Region and the central and southern portions of Quezon province.

Tropical cyclone wind alerts were issued for several provinces in the Bicol and Calabarzon regions, and several provinces in the central Philippines, as well as for Metro Manila and Central Luzon provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales.

Sea travel operations were cancelled in danger zones, with 569 people stranded at ports due to strong winds, according to the disaster monitoring agency.

After crossing the Philippine archipelago, Molave was expected to continue intensifying over the South China Sea, the weather bureau said.

Courtesy of deccanherald.com

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