Friday, November 08, 2013

Philippines Hammered by Super Typhoon

Two numbers tell the story - winds of 196 mph gusting to 235 mph.   That makes Typhoon Haiya, now hitting the Philippines, a full, category 5 hurricane.

“If it maintains its strength, there has never been a storm this strong making landfall anywhere in the world,” said Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “This is off the charts.”

The storm went ashore at about 5 a.m. in Guiuan, eastern Samar, said the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. Twenty-one areas mostly on the island of Visayas, which suffered a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last month, are on highest storm alert. President Benigno Aquino, in a televised address last night, warned of serious danger and said Haiyan may cause more damage than storm Bopha, which killed more than 1,000 people in Mindanao in December.

The typhoon is expected to cause storm surges upwards of 6 metres (20 feet) along the coast.  Experts say the construction standards in the affected area generally cannot withstand a storm this powerful.

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