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Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda Six Years Later

It’s been six years since Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda ripped through the central Philippines taking the lives of over 6,300 people and changing the way most look at typhoons forever, especially in the Philippines.

Even today I still get messages from people worried about future storms more so now than ever because of their horrible experience in Haiyan. A storm which is often now used as the benchmark for the strongest a typhoon can get.

Official records have not confirmed Haiyan to be the strongest storm in recent history due to lack of observations and recon aircraft in the region. In fact that is something still of debate to this day, if recon was available during Typhoon Haiyan many wonder if it would have rivaled Typhoon Tip as the strongest on record. But taking a look at Satellite imagery one can infer this storm was on a whole other level and really stands alone in the realm of Super Typhoons.

 

The other main issue with this storm is that it made landfall right at peak intensity. Plowing on shore with record breaking winds it ushered in a storm surge that most residents referred to as a Tsunami like rise in sea level.  This wall of water left a swath of destruction kilometers inland. In the debris thousands of homes, businesses and lives were swept away.

It was not just Tacloban that suffered the worst of damage but towns much farther inland including in the Cebu area were also devastated due to the storm.

One of the main issues with Haiyan as well was the lack of sufficient warning ahead of the storm. As Jim Edds said on an interview with Jay Leno at the tonight show  “they had a broken truck warning people a storm was coming over a loud speaker”. In return most people thought it was just another typhoon and not the monster it truly was.

The good news is that the disorganization of the hours following Haiyan has now led to a brighter and much organized response. Lessons learned early on have given way to cooperation and efficiency.  PAGASA has put new guidelines in place since this storm and now stress storm surge more clearly in their Typhoon Bulletins. Furthermore they have added a Super Typhoon Category which started in 2015 to help alert people of an impending serious storm.

I know many people reading this were impacted by this storm directly or indirectly. You can contact me at any of the platforms below and share your story.

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Lastly for more information on me please check https://www.robertspeta.com

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