Storm of the Year

There seems to be a bit of international interest about this particular storm (Super Typhoon Haiyan), so I figured a thread about it might be a good place to centralize talk.

I'll be your friendly GWJer on the ground reporting about local news on this and talking about ground events in Manila, where I live.

So far, Manila appears to have weathered the storm better than expected. It has already weakened somewhat from its peak strength, with current sustained winds of 195 kph near the center with gusts up to 230 kph. However, the main Visayas islands of Cebu, Bohol, Samar, and Leyte have been powered down and it's likely that the damage to infrastructure will be severe. Leyte has fallen completely off the grid. Coastal towns have been inundated with the storm surge, and even towns on higher ground are dealing with knee-high floodwater from the intense rainfall.

More as I hear from my local sources.

Staying safe. I'll keep you guys posted. Please feel free to supply additional information.

Looks like you have power and internets, meaning that you're already better off than we were here in Norht-East after Superstorm Sandy last year!

I hope you and your folks remain safe!

Blog from Jeff Masters at Weather Underground about Super Typhoon Haiyan.

My thoughts and prayers go out to people in its path.

This is an incredible live video report of ANC reporter Atom Araullo reporting right in the heart of the storm as it passes over Tacloban city at about 6am Friday local time. He narrowly escapes the storm surge sending knee-high water barreling into the city at a remarkable pace.


Thanks, man. Manila is relatively far away from this ongoing catastrophe. Many towns and cities have already fallen dark. We have still not received any word at all from Leyte island since communications were cut earlier today.

I am currently in San Juan City in the middle of the greater Metro area. We have power, internet, light, and everything. In terms of impact on this locale, it's just another typhoon. I do not expect any interruption in services tomorrow.

Good luck LarryC. Continued thoughts with you and all in the more severely impacted areas.

Update: The eye of the storm was reported to be in Palawan (the westernmost of the Philippine islands) at 8pm last night. It is expected to be out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility by mid morning today, Saturday, November 9th. Most of the storm effects are expected to abate by noon. It has been mercifully swift in passing.

Power is out in the 4 central regions.

More than 150, 000 families over 7 regions and 20 provinces were safely evacuated and protected under reinforced structures. So far, 3 people have been reported dead and 7 injured as a result of the super typhoon, but most areas affected are still dark and news on the ground is still sketchy.

Metro Manila is only expected to have moderate to light rains from this storm today; I believe we Metro residents have managed to escape mostly unscathed. Time to break out the rescue gear.

Typhoon Haiyan is expected to make landfall on mainland Asia (Vietnam) on Sunday. We hope it will have weakened into a Cat 2 by then.

What a storm. I can't believe that guy was reporting from the middle of that thing. Suck it Cantore! Hope everyone stays safe.

Wow, I've been interested to hear more about this, but there hasn't been much in my corner of the web. Thanks for creating the thread.

The size and scale of this thing is hard to imagine. It's not quite the strongest storm ever recorded (it's like #4) but it appears likely to be the strongest storm ever recorded at the point it made landfall. As Jeff Masters says in the blog that tboon linked:

Wind damage on the south shore of Samar Island in Guiuan (population 47,000) must have been catastrophic, perhaps the greatest wind damage any place on Earth has endured from a tropical cyclone in the past century.

If the description is accurate, that it had 195mph winds, gusting to 235, Saiyan was basically a tornado a thousand miles across.

Yeah, I've been following this storm and how it's one of the strongest storms ever recorded, and immediately thought of LarryC. Glad to hear you're doing well man!

Satellite imagery of the storm:



The US Navy's Joint Typhoon warning Center clocked the storm at 314 kph sustained winds with gusts up to 379 kph. As Malor pictures, it was for a short period of time, essentially a tornado a thousand miles wide.

One of the worst worries about the storm is flooding. Since the storm went by so fast, this may not be such a concern for the southern parts of Luzon (the northern island) hit by the typhoon; but storm surges in Tacloban pushed the water level 10 feet high on city streets as the storm passed.

Preparations for rescue operations are winding down as the storm's effects abate and active relief operations begin. Three C-130 airplanes are already on standby as are 32 other military planes and helis as well as 20 navy ships. Non-government forces have also prepared goods and various supplies for distribution to the stricken areas.

As of 7 am local time today, power transmission lines have been checked and service normalized in 4 service areas in Metro Cebu, one of the biggest urban areas in the Visayas regions.

Sporadic reports of dead and injured are coming in. It looks bad. Some of the poorest Filipinos live on those islands, and Bohol island is still reeling from a 7.1 earthquake in October. A small typhoon hit the island earlier this month causing flooding in many areas and severely retarding relief and reconstruction.

Wow. Hope your extended family and friends are well.

Thanks, Robear. Most of my family is actually abroad - mainly US and Australia. Of the friends I have in the country, nearly all are as well-off or better than me, so they're in secure shelters and under no threat. I'm waiting for one of my friends in Bohol to phone in once power is back up.

Tacloban city devastated; nearly 100 people presumed dead on city streets

"Nothing left of the airport but the runway."
"No working public transport for relief workers."
"...barely any house (left) standing."

Man, that's awful. I'll echo the 'stay safe, LarryC' sentiments.

Thanks, guys. Most of the Visayas regions remain dark as the sun sets. The death toll is at least 120, but authorities fear it could be as bad as Typhoon Bopha last year that reached 1,000 dead. As the typhoon leaves the Philippines, preparations have begun in Vietnam where the typhoon is expected to make landfall Sunday morning.

Do we have GWJers in Vietnam? Time to tie everything down and reinforce the doors and windows. This one is strong. Good luck to our Vietnamese brothers.


An image of the devastation left behind by the super typhoon. Observers on the ground are comparing the carnage to scenes after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Glad you made it through LarryC. So very sorry at the prospect of the number of lives lost.

Good God.

All the best to you and yours Larry.

There was a storm last December that killed 1900. If they get off with less than that, it'll be a blessing.

I can't imagine a 60 foot surge.

Glad to hear your ok Larryc.

Sandy was scary enough, I couldn't imagine dealing with a storm of this magnitude. Good luck to everyone in its path.

From Prederick's "Good God" link:

A Philippine regional police chief has estimated that about 10,000 people died in the central province of Leyte as a result of a catastrophic typhoon that ripped through the archipelago Friday.

A tornado, a thousand miles wide.

Wow, stay safe LarryC.

I was just in the Philippines training at PLDT in Manilla on Wednesday. Left Thursday morning before landfall.

Glad you are safe, such a shame to see such devastation.

Thanks, guys. I'll be going to the volunteer efforts in a bit, so I may not be able to update here for a while. Rest assured that I am safe and will continue to do so. I'm not likely to be deployed as manual labor, in any event.


If you're ever back in the city due to some misfortune, feel free to PM me and we'll have a game of Catan or something over drinks. No alcohol for me, though, unless you tempt me beyond my good sense (have alcohol-triggered severe arthritis).

Dead bodies lie unclaimed on the shores of Leyte. There are so many dead that relief workers have still not gathered them all and the bodies present a serious health risk. Part of the reason there are so many dead is heart-wrenching.

The powerful storm surge overtook an evac center.

31 images of Haiyan destruction from buzzfeed.

Good grief, that's awful. Stay safe Larry.

A much weaker Haiyan makes landfall in Vietnam, but inadequate warning may still lead to significant casualties.

Let's hope they had enough time to get to higher ground with enough supplies.

'Worse than hell' in typhoon-ravaged Philippines

Philippine authorities warned that the typhoon may have killed thousands there, leaving behind a trail of devastation on a scale they'd never seen before.

No electricity. No food. No water. Houses and buildings leveled. Bodies scattered on the streets. Hospitals overrun with patients. Medical supplies running out.

And a death toll that could soar.

The Philippine Red Cross estimates that at least 1,200 people were killed by the storm, but that number could grow as officials make their way to remote areas made nearly inaccessible by Haiyan.

Others put the toll much higher: The International Committee of the Red Cross said it's realistic to estimate that 10,000 people may have died nationally.

[long snip]

A steady stream of typhoon survivors arrived at Tacloban airport, looking for food, water and escape.

Magina Fernandez was among them. She had lost her home and business. And she was desperate to leave on the next military plane.

She made an anguished plea for help.

"Get international help to come here now -- not tomorrow, now," she said. "This is really, really like bad, bad, worse than hell, worse than hell."

I'm so sorry, LarryC. I'm glad that you're ok. I think I'll rustle something of a donation for the relief effort from what I can spare.