Monday, August 12, 2013

Typhoon UTOR, also known as Labuyo brought devastation to North Eastern Luzon on Monday local time.  The storm track was previously reported and the storm did stay on that track. UTOR hit the coastline of the Philippines with 250 kph as a Category 4 storm. So far this year, this is the strongest storm recorded during the hurricane season worldwide. One of the towns hardest hit, Casiguran was about 95% destroyed. Homes and buildings in this town were just not built to withstand any type of high winds. The storm shelters put up for such an occasion of bad weather were also damaged. It is unknown of the total fatalities at this time. Cars were reported as flying through the air. Most home structures have been destroyed throughout the town. They were torn apart like matchsticks.  There have been reports of extreme rain, flooding and landslides throughout the mountainous areas of Luzon. None of the details of  the results of the landslides is known at this time other than one fatality in Benguit because of a landslide. Further reports will reveal what actually happened and details will be available right here on this site.
As the storm was passing through the mainland of the Philippines, it was weakening in strength, and when it finally emerged into the South China Sea, it was downgraded to a severity 2 Typhoon, now aiming for Southern China. The island nation was able to weaken the storm quite a bit, but in return, the storm actually grew in physical size. The storm outer bands with rain extended to over twice the distance when it originally entered the Philippines. So at the moment, the storm is producing lots of rain, and even though the storm is now centrally located over water and downgraded in strength, it is still producing lots of rain for North Western Luzon. 
One lucky factor as a result of this storm is the number of known fatalities to date. The results so far seem to be very low, and the lack of population along the North Eastern coast of the Philippines is a big factor. Unfortunately for China, the storm will enter land where there is an abundance of people. It appears as if Hong Kong will now be spared, as the storm now is expected to move on land south of Hong Kong, now likely to be centered to be over Zhanjing. The storm is still located in the middle of the South China sea. It now appears that the northern third of Hainan will be affected when the storm passes by. 
As it moves to the north west, it will be the third such type of storm to enter southeastern China this month. 

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