Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Philippines - Tropical Storm Alley

Have you ever wondered why so my bad storms make their way to the Philippines? Super Typhoon Haiyan just happens to be the latest storm to pass through with devastating force. Haiyan was the third Category 5 typhoon to make landfall there.
Just prior to Haiyan, another typhoon hit the island nation on December 3, a storm known as typhoon Bopha. Still to date, it is known as the most destructive typhoon in Philippine history, as far as property damage goes. It is just too early to tell how much damage Super Typhoon Haiyan caused, althought the preliminary reports show so much destruction. Allot of the property damage was caused by storm surges as the storm finally came on land. Walls of water between 20 and 40 feet were reported, and towns along the coast in the direct path of the storm were demolished.
Typhon Bopha killed more than 1,900 people, and this latest storm that happens to be one of the largest and strongest ever recorded already has a prediction of 10,000 people killed, although the headcount so far is around 300. In the past 200 years, there has been at least 10 typhoons where there were at least 1,000 + casualties according to a historian named Christopher Burt from 'Weather Underground'.
So year after year, the Philippines experiences such storms of high magnitude. I have been in the country three different times, and during my stay during each one of them, I never experienced such bad weather as what has happened here now and in the past. Even with all of the tropical weather that affects the Philippines, there is one other country that has been hit more, and that would be China.
The western Pacific Ocean happens to be a spawning bed as on an average, there are at least 30 tropical cyclones formed there each year. The main reason being that this area of the world has consistant warm ocean waters year around.
Another country named India is well known for a Cyclone named Phailin that made landfall in 1999. The death told that October only reached 44.
Storms that form in the Western Pacific are called Hurricanes. Storms that form in the eastern Pacific are called Cyclones, and storms that form in the Indian Ocean are called Cyclones. They are actually the same type of storm.
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