Can The Philippines Recover From Non-Stop Natural Disasters?

Super Typhoon from NOAA the Philippines

Super Typhoon Haiyan devastates the Philippines – NOAA

Never before in human history have we seen so many natural disasters hit one area – over and over again.

Many islands in the Philippines are in total ruin, and hundreds of thousands of people have been devastated by continuous natural disasters.

7,000 Islands

Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons.

And don’t forget to throw in a volcano or two.

The Philippines is actually an archipelago of 7,107 islands that are within three main geographic divisions:

  1. Luzon
  2. Visayas
  3. Mindanao.

With a population of more than 98 million people, the Philippines is the seventh-most populated country in Asia.

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda) is the strongest recorded tropical cyclone to ever make landfall, with wind speeds up to 315 km/h (195 mph).

On November 4, 2013, the tropical storm began to intensify to typhoon levels. By November 6, the typhoon had magnified into a super typhoon equal to a Category 5- hurricane as it passed over the island of Kayangel.

Haiyan continued to intensify as it made landfall. Gradually weakening, the storm made five more landfalls before reaching the South China Sea. Over 720,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.

Typhoon Haiyan leveled Samar Island and Leyte, where at least 10,000 people in the city of Tacloban alone are reported dead. Turning northwest, Haiyan struck northern Vietnam as a severe tropical storm on November 10.

Next Is Typhoon Zoraida

The world will be closely watching the next typhoon, Zoraida, that appears to be going on the same track as Haiyan. Still a Tropical Depression, Zoraida is the 25th cyclone to enter the Philippine archipelago this year. It made landfall in Cagayan, Davao Oriental Tuesday morning, November 11, 2013.

Several areas within the Philippines have been placed under Public Storm Warning Signal Number 1.  Zoraida is packing maximum winds of 55 kp/h (34 mph). This cyclone is not as powerful as Haiyan by any stretch, but high waves and flooding will impact an already saturated region.

Earthquakes

A seismogram reading showing an increase in earthquake activity today.

The Philippines is experiencing large earthquake activity today.

Typhoon Haiyan exacerbated the damage on Bohol Island from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed 222 people merely three weeks earlier.

Over 270,000 people are displaced and homeless from the October 15 quake.

On November 3, 2013, a 6.0 magnitude quake struck SSW of Palimbang, Philippines.

And, then came Haiyan.

A picture of Mount Mayon Volcano in the province of Bicol, Philippines.

Mount Mayon Volcano in the province of Bicol, Philippines.

Volcanoes

Today, volcanic eruptions are increasing worldwide, and the Philippines is no exception.

Located on the Pacific Rim’s Ring of Fire, the Philippines sits on top of the world’s most active volcanic zones.

It is hard to label a volcano as “active” or “inactive” these days as earthquake and volcanic activity increases. There are 23 – 25 volcanoes within the Philippine archipelago, however, that are presently showing signs of volcanic activity.

Tsunamis

There have been no tsunamis to date, although several local tsunami warnings have been posted after large earthquakes have rattled this region in 2013.  Let’s hope for the best on this one.

The Philippines has had its share of natural disasters in 2013.

Enough, right?

 

 

Deadly Typhoon Wipha Slams Japan

A weather map of Typhoon Wipha.

Deadly Typhoon Wipha is a once in a decade storm.

As if Japan needed another natural disaster, Typhoon Wipha just passed over the island of Izu Oshima, south of Tokyo, bringing strong winds and 80 cm (31 1/2 in) of rain in merely 24 hours.

Fourteen people have been killed in landslides, so far, and houses have been buried or completely destroyed, and many more are unaccounted for.

Now, watch Tokyo and Fukushima as Wipha tracks north.

Once In A Decade Storm

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported the storm as the most powerful in ten years, and the amount of rain has surpassed their records, which date back to 1991. 122 mm (5 in) of rain fell in just one hour on Wednesday morning.

After passing Izu Oshima, 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate as the typhoon approached Japan and the storm moved northward over the mainland of Japan.

Deadly Landslides

Due to landslides, rescue efforts are hampered on Izu Oshima. Affected areas are difficult to reach and search. Almost 300 homes have been destroyed on the island, and the full extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Updates from International Charter: Space and Major Disasters

Floods In Hawaii And More To Come

A tropical beach with clouds raining over it.

Heavy rains are causing flooding in Hawaii.

Heavy rains and runoff are causing flood advisories in Hawaii. If the heavy rains persist, the advisories will be extended.

To top this off, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck east of Balilihan, Philippines early morning October 15, 2013, and although tsunami warnings for Hawaii were not issued, high waves will be rolling into the upper Hawaiian Islands.

This will exacerbate heavily flooded areas.

High waves crashing on the sea shore.

High waves will reach the Hawaiian Islands after the 7.2 quake in the Philippines.

Advisory

A flash flood watch through Tuesday has been issued for the State of Hawaii. The entire Island of Lanai is under flood advisory, as well as the Big Island, Oahu, Kauai, Waianae, Maui, Haleakala, and Kona.

The Island of Molokai was under flood advisory, but that was cancelled once the heavy rains stopped.

Let’s hope the volcanoes don’t erupt right now – that’s all they need.