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Breezin’ Up

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A few quick notes about this typhoon

Earlier today, the Philippines were hit by the most powerful typhoon ever recorded, with the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center reporting sustained winds of 195 miles an hour with gusts to 235 miles an hour when the storm made landfall. Those numbers put it just above Hurricane Camille, which had wind speeds of 190 miles and hour when it made landfall in the southeast United States in 1969.

Photo from EUMETSAT

Prior to hitting the islands, Typhoon Haiyan was given an 8.0 rating on the Dvorak Scale, a method of measuring cyclone intensity. That is the highest rating a storm can get.

Gwendolyn Pang of the Philippine National Red Cross stated that, “about 90 percent of the infrastructure and establishments were heavily damaged.” And while the death toll confirmed as of now is only four, that number is expected to skyrocket once rescue authorities are able to access the remote areas of the islands that have been completely cut off due to landslides and other storm damage.

The only silver lining in this is that the storm was moving fast—about 25 miles per house—as it passed over the island chain, so flooding wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Typhoon Haiyan is now heading into the South China Sea, where it is expected to gain strength, and should make landfall in Vietnam sometime over the weekend. 

Typhoon image from CIRARAMMB-at-Colorado-State