The “world’s strongest storm to hit land” may have already passed, but its full impact has yet to come to light as the Philippines continues to reel in the wake of super typhoon “Haiyan”, locally named “Yolanda”.
With the death toll feared to reach 10,000, the country is torn among mixed emotions – from grieving to feeling grateful that the worst has passed. The most terribly hit is the country’s central region, particularly the provinces of Samar and Leyte, where most of the casualties have been recorded so far. An accurate and comprehensive picture of Haiyan’s damage in the country has yet to be seen as the hardest-hit areas are still suffering from power outages and loss of communication lines.
‘Waterproof’ Spirit Keeps Country Afloat
At its peak strength, Haiyan made landfall on November 7th in Eastern Samar. It sustained its incredible power as it smashed through the Visayas region, traversing the provinces and islands of Leyte, Cebu, Panay and Palawan. By November 8th, Haiyan exited through the South China Sea significantly weakened with winds at 105 to 145 miles per hour.
Barely 24 hours after the super typhoon ravaged the Philippines, however, the country is already focused on moving on toward a full recovery. Filipinos and many others who are following the news worldwide described such a display of resilience as a “waterproof” spirit.
No stranger to natural disasters, the Philippines weathers nearly 20 typhoons per year. Due to its geography, it is the world’s most vulnerable country of its size in terms of exposure to tropical cyclones.
Barely a month earlier, its central region also endured a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, from which it is also still recovering from. In spite of the back-to-back devastations, Filipinos are carrying on without denying that the next few days will continue to be heartbreaking, but many find strength and solace in knowing that their spirit is not only waterproof but also shatterproof.
The Philippine government as well as international and local humanitarian organizations such as Red Cross welcome much needed help in cash and in kind from donors worldwide. Concerned individuals and groups may extend their help through the following links:
- The American Red Cross
- U.N. World Food Programme
- World Food Programme
- Save the Children
- World Vision
- Habitat for Humanity
- Operation USA
- The Philippine Red Cross
World’s Worst Storm to Make Landfall
With winds that moved at speeds up to 195 miles per hour and gusts that reached 235 miles per hour, Haiyan has been documented as one of the strongest cyclones in the world – and the worst one to have ever made landfall.
To make a clearer visualization, Haiyan has been described to be stronger than hurricane Camille – previously recorded as the world’s strongest tropical cyclone – that hit Mississippi in 1969 with winds reaching 190 miles per hour.
As of 21:00 Coordinated Universal Time, Haiyan has been tracked 16.0 degrees North and 110.6 degrees East or about 182 nautical miles East of Da Nang, Vietnam. It is moving west-northwest at 21 miles per hour with 100 to 105 miles per hour winds, up to 120 miles per hour gusts and pressure of up to 950hPa or 28.05 inHg.