Extreme Weather A Matter Of Survival For Many Cities
In the wake of once-Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda), the death toll has climbed to over 3,600 with more than 12,000 injured and more missing according to the Philippines government. A senior regional police official and a city administrator in the typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city in the central Philippines say the death toll there could reach 10,000 people as reported by the Associated Press.
Most of the deaths have been caused by drowning and collapsed buildings. However, it is feared that the coastal cities will have even more casualties. With wires, trees and debris cutting off access to these areas, aid has been struggling to reach victims and unable to determine a final death toll.
Tacloban was “ground zero” for Haiyan’s devastation, stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak. CNN reports that no building in Tacloban appeared to have escaped damage from Haiyan.
Haiyan was so strong that Friday morning, local time, an observation site in Guiuan, Philippines, measured the sustained winds at 96 mph, before the site was disabled. South of landfall point, Surigao City recorded over 10 inches of rainfall, much of which fell in under 12 hours.
Roxas City had sustained winds over 70 mph for several hours as Haiyan passed south of city Friday afternoon, local time.
Other areas were hit even harder, but due to power outages, no observations were reported in the direct path of Haiyan.
At its peak, the winds of Haiyan were equivalent to peak winds of the infamous Typhoon Tip, which was known for having the lowest sea-level pressure ever observed on Earth and its massive size.
Haiyan topped Utor as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year and could end up the strongest cyclone ever at landfall after further analysis of the typhoon becomes available.
“Three other cyclones [Nari, Utor and Krosa] have crossed the Philippines at typhoon strength so far this year. All three tracked across Luzon, while Haiyan crossed through the central Philippines,” stated Wanenchak.
Widespread torrential rain and destructive winds accompanied Haiyan through the centralPhilippines, leaving a trail of destruction and triggering life-threatening flash floods.
Unfortunately areas that were devastated by a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake less than a month ago, were directly in the path of Haiyan on Friday.
The U.S. Department of Defense said it directed its Pacific Command to send search and rescue and other resources to the damaged areas..
After slamming the Philippines, the storm targeted Vietnam and China, where more than 20 people were killed.