Saturday, November 9, 2013

Super Typhoon Haiyan Devastates Philippines

Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall around the center islands of the Philippines.  The category 5 cyclone packed sustained peak winds of 195mph at one point.  Weather officials say the storm packed winds of 147mph at the time of landfall.  "Haiyan" is the fourth typhoon to hit the islands this season.  The storm also impacted areas directly affected by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake back in October.
Courtesy: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Thousands are feared dead across the Philippines due to Haiyan's wrath.  It's hard to get an exact number due to the lack of a way to communicate (i.e. computers, cell phone, telephone).  Once communication venues are restored, the death toll is expected to rise.  Many of these deaths are expected to be from flooding after nearly a foot of rain fell in some areas, as well as collapsed buildings.  The nation's disaster agency reports that nearly 4 millions people were evacuated before the storm hit.

While the storm has weakened just a little bit, it's still a very strong cyclone churning in the South China Sea and is expected to brush parts of Vietnam in the next couple of days.  Vietnamese officials have evacuated nearly 500,000 people from "high risk" areas to buildings that are more able to withstand the destructive winds.

I expect more bad news & pictures coming from overseas in the coming days, unfortunately.  For more on the storm and to see some of the damaged areas, click this CBS story.

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