Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Surreality - November 2013
The storm "Haiyan"
Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was an exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, in November 8, 2013. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 6,201 people in that country alone. Haiyan is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall, and unofficially the strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed. As of January, 2014, bodies are still being found.
The thirtieth named storm of the 2013 Pacific typhoon season, Haiyan originated from an area of low pressure several hundred kilometers east-southeast of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia on November 2, 2013. Tracking generally westward, environmental conditions favored tropical cyclogenesis and the system developed into a tropical depression the following day. After becoming a tropical storm and attaining the name Haiyan at 0000 UTC on November 4, the system began a period of rapid intensification that brought it to typhoon intensity by 1800 UTC on November 5. By November 6, the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) assessed the system as a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale; the storm passed over the island of Kayangel in Palau shortly after attaining this strength.
Thereafter, it continued to intensify; at 1200 UTC on November 7, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) upgraded the storm's maximum ten-minute sustained winds to 230 km/h (145 mph), the highest in relation to the cyclone. The Hong Kong Observatory put the storm's maximum ten-minute sustained winds at 275 km/h (170 mph) prior to landfall in the central Philippines, while the China Meteorological Administration estimated the maximum ten-minute sustained winds at the time to be around 75 m/s (270 km/h or 165 mph). At 1800 UTC, the JTWC estimated the system's one-minute sustained winds to 315 km/h (195 mph), unofficially making Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed based on wind speed; several others have recorded lower central pressure readings. Several hours later, the eye of the cyclone made its first landfall in the Philippines at Guiuan, Eastern Samar. With little change in intensity at landfall, this would make Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone at landfall on record based on wind speed, surpassing the old record of 305 km/h (190 mph) set by Atlantic Hurricane Camille in 1969. Gradually weakening, the storm made five additional landfalls in the country before emerging over the South China Sea. Turning northwestward, the typhoon eventually struck northern Vietnam as a severe tropical storm on November 10. Haiyan was last noted as a tropical depression by the JMA the following day.
The cyclone caused catastrophic destruction in the Visayas, particularly on Samar and Leyte. According to UN officials, about 11 million people have been affected and many have been left homeless.