Typhoon Haiyan - Case Study

  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 23-02-14 13:15

Development and Tracking of Typhoon Haiyan

Source Area:- Southeast of the Federate states of Micronesia in the Western Mid-Pacific Ocean

The tropical storm develop a central eye and becase a typhoon on 5th of November and the storm tracked NorthWest towards South East Asia

  • It developed into a super Typhoon just before it made landfall in the Philippines as a category 5 equivalent typhoon. It had sustained winds of 145mph and gusts of upto 235mph
  • Lowest Pressure - 895mb
  • 425km in diamter - roughly the width of southern England
  • Strong convective band of rain along the western side of the storm - this is because the strongest winds blow in the same direction as the storm is travelling so thi sis where the most moisture is obtained. This moisture then rises, cools and condense but has rotated with the storm to give this band of especially heavy rain
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Landfall and Dissipation

It made landfall in Guiuan, Eastern Samar in the Philippines - weakening as it moved over the islands land masses and the most notable deterioration was of the eye well. However, as the Philippines is a chain of Islands, the storm didn't lose all of its energy or moisture source so it remerged in the South China Sea as a category 4 storm.

The South China Sea is cooler than the mid PAcific so the Typhoon continued to weaken. It veered northwards and made its final landfall as a category 3 typhoon in Northern Vietnam before quickly weakening without the ocean heat source. The remnants of the storm were last recoreded over China on 11th November

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JMA and Public Storm Warning Signla in Philippines meant:

  • 1million people could be evacuated from the Central Philippines
  • Most people had warning of the storm
  • Unessential public buildings were closed
  • Areas vulnerable to landslaides and flooding were evacuated as well as possible - especially in Samar

In Vietnam :

  • 600,000 people were evacuated
  • flights grounded and public buildings closed
  • fishing fleets in the South China Sea sheltered in harbours outside of the region to avoid the rough seas and dangerously high wind speeds
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  • Death toll: 6200 people with 1,700 missing
  • 11 million people affected
  • Rural areas hard to access
  • survivors are desperate for aid - no clean water, electricity and little food. Looting is widespread

THe storm surge was 5m in height which killed people, destroyed infrastructrue and communcations in the coastal areas and flooded large areas. In Tacloban, Eastern Samar - not one home has survived the storm, only some of the more substantial buildings in the town centre

High winds meant thousands of trees were uprootes and cars were flund around as well as damaging infrastructure.

High rainfall caused flashflooding in ubran areas and numerous landslides- in Suirago City 300mm fell in 12 hours ( equivalent six months worth of rain in Kettering)

Mudslides have isolated survivors by blocking access routes and increasing the likelihood of death from secondary effects like disease or dehydration

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Why such severe damage?

Geography of the country - thousands of small islands not a substantial landmass so the Typhoon did not weaken as you would expect

poverty - limited resources to cope, everything was lost, government has little money to invest in defences while trying to lift people out of poverty

poor construction - houses and infrastructure collapsed relatively easily (having said this, what infrastructure could with stand conditions this extreme)

booming population - 98million people so relatively few people were killed

The philippines is one of the most vulnerable areas in the world to tropical revolving storm events!

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Future Implications

Agricultural Damages US$8.5 million - philippine economy hugely dependent on agriculture and millions of poeple have lost their sources of income. Decreased food supply will only increase food prices so these people can't even afford to buy the needed food

Infrastructural Damages US$2million  - damage to public services will hamper the recovery of people ie hospitals 

This makes people very dependent on foreign aid and makes it diffiuclt for the government to be able to reinvest in infrastructure until the immediate recovery has finished

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  • UN launched as £190million relief effort
  • Several countries (including the UK) deployed military vessels and personnel to aid the releif effort as well as sending resources and money.
  • UK sent £10million and military personnel to the area but it takes time for everything to reach the worst effected areas.

People in the mean time have resorted to filtering water through clothing - the government have been unable to respond quickly or on a large enough scale.

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