Typhoon Bopha death toll climbs above 350

Expedition 34, International Space Station image of Typhoon Bopha

Image: Expedition 34, International Space Station image of Typhoon Bopha

Typhoon Bopha (known as Pablo in the Philippines) has left the Philippines reeling with 350 dead and 400 missing. The hardest hit regions were Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and six other provinces where deaths have been reported in all. Compostela was the hardest hit with over 200 deaths. 80% of plantations there were estimated to have been destroyed.

The damage is staggering. “Entire families may have been washed away,” according to Philippines Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Bodies were laid out side by side in rows so they could be identified by villagers who were searching for missing family. Over 200,000 people have been affected by Bopha. The storm disrupted ports and over 5,000 travelers were stranded in the country.

Image: Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite

Image: Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite

In the town of Davao Oriental, almost no buildings were still with their roofs including the evacuation centers.

Donations are being collected by Red Cross International to help provide aid for the country. The Red Cross Philippines reported setting up and monitoring 218 evacuation centers overseeing 31,000 families. You can access the Philippines Red Cross site and also donate to them by {clicking here}.

3D Image: data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite

3D Image: data from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite

Bopha was an extremely powerful super typhoon as it crossed the Philippines. It had sustained winds of 160 mph gusting to 200 mph. It was the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane during landfall. The 3-dimensional image above shows that the tallest and most powerful thunderstorm cells contains within the typhoon were within the inner and outer eyewall. They were also in the hot towers which you can see elevated above the image in yellow. Hot tower thunderstorms were one of the precursors meteorologists used to accurately predict rapid intensification of Bopha. Cloud top temperatures inside the eye were as cold as -130° Fahrenheit. Bopha was the second most southerly category 5 super typhoon and the most powerful typhoon to ever strike Mindanao.

Typhoon Bopha SatRad Loop

Bopha is expected to isolate itself in the South China Sea during the next several days where it will steadily lose strength.

In 2011, tropical storm Washi brought major flooding to the Philippines and killed over 1,200 people. Bopha is measuring up to Washi in the destruction left behind in its wake. The Philippines are usually struck by up to 20 powerful tropical storms yearly. The US has offered help to both the Philippines and Palau, where the US has embassies in Manila and Koror.

Typhoon Bopha Track

Typhoon Bopha Track

About these ads

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s