Typhoon Ketsana hits Vietnam; death toll in Philippines swells to 246

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:37 PM GMT on September 29, 2009

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Typhoon Ketsana slammed into Vietnam this morning as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds. Ketsana brought sustained winds of 55 mph, gusting to 71 mph to Da Nang Vietnam. Heavy rainfall amounts of 7.2" and 9.1" were observed at Da Nang, and Hue, respectively, over the past two days. Floods and landslides in Vietnam from Ketsana's heavy rains have already claimed at least 22 lives.


Figure 1. Cars being swept away by Ketsana's flood waters in Manila's Park 9 Alley, where the Barangay Hall of Loyola Heights is located. Image credit: Manuel Quezon III.

The death toll in the Philippines from Ketsana continues to rise, with 284 dead or missing. The storm flooded the homes of 1.9 million people, leaving 350,000 people homeless. Ketsana brought 16.7 inches of rain in a twelve-hour period to Manila on Saturday, which was the heaviest 1-day rainfall ever recorded in the city. Ketsana is the third deadliest deadliest tropical cyclone to affect the globe so far this year. The deadliest was Typhoon Morakot, which left 654 people dead or missing on Taiwan, when it hit the island as a Category 2 typhoon on August 7. The second deadliest was Cyclone Aila, which made landfall near the India/Bangladesh border on May 25 as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds. Aila killed at least 339 people, 149 in India and 190 in Bangladesh.

The Philippines have three more tropical cyclones to their east to keep an eye on. So far, none of these storms appear to pose a major threat. Tropical Storm Parma is expected to curve to the northwest and miss the islands, Tropical Depression 18 is expected to dissipate, and newly-formed Tropical Depression 20 will probably pass to the north of the islands.


Figure 2. Rainfall from Tropical Storm Ketsana as estimated by NASA's TRMM satellite. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

How to help Ketsana victims
Help the UN World Food Programme by making a donation. This program identifies families in specific need of aid. Just $18 provides a family with rice for two weeks. This is the most critical and immediate way you can make an impact.

Donate to the International Red Cross and help them continue to put relief workers on the ground in the Philippines.

Donate via Catholic Relief Services online of the Philippines or call 1-877-HELP-CRS.

Quiet in the Atlantic
None of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the Atlantic over the next seven days. Wind shear is predicted to be high in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean this week, limiting the potential for anything to affect land.

Jeff Masters

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Tsunami watch for Hawaii is cancelled
Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:53pm EDT



WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Tuesday canceled a tsunami watch for Hawaii triggered earlier by a magnitude 8.0 quake off the Samoa islands.

"Based on all available data, a major tsunami is not expected to strike the state of Hawaii," the Center, part of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a bulletin.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler, Editing by David Storey)
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Second Phase Of Tsunami Early Warning System To Be Completed By Year End


PUTRAJAYA, Sept 29 (Bernama) -- The second phase of the country's National Early Tsunami Warning System (SAATNM) is expected to be completed by December.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the system's upgrade would include three seismic stations, 15 tida gauge stations, 10 sirens and 14 beach cameras.

Ongkili who opened Malaysia's Earthquake and Tsunami Risks Forum here Tuesday said many of the systems were already in place and functioning.

"My ministry through the Malaysian Meteorological Department is currently carrying out the second phase of SAATNM to enhance the monitoring and information systems.

"The second phase started in April 2008 and is expected to be completed by December this year. Once ready, the SAATNM can issue tsunami warning through SMS Gateway and fixed lines through the Fixed Line Alert System," said Ongkili.

He said a research conducted by the ministry and relevant bodies showed that the tsunami high risk areas include coastal areas of Sabah, Sarawak, Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Perak and Selangor.

"The research also made a few recommendations, among which is to revive and enforce the Malaysian Building Code when planning and building infrastructure and enhance the SAATNM system's capabilities to create awareness among the people by educating them and getting feedback.

"All the relevant agencies, government or private, at all levels must also cooperate in providing such information to the public," he said.

Ongkili said the Ministry would consider the recommendations by the research group and take the necessary action like establishing the National Seismic and Tsunami Research Centre and expanding its purview to include climate change.

He added that the nation's capacity to handle natural disasters and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) used by the government has been lauded and adopted by the United Nations.

-- BERNAMA

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Quoting Floodman:
"I'm curious as to why so many people think that a tsunami is this huge wall of water traveling across the open ocean...the science is there and hell, from a plain thinking standpoint it stands to reason that a 20' wave couldn't hold itself together across much open space"

I don't think it's lack of education so much as what most people are actually interested in. This is taught in elementary school along with all the rest of the stuff on "Smarter than a Fifth Grader." Most people are not interested in theoretical phenomena outside of the immediate impact on their own lives and what their senses would tell them in that case.

In most people's cases, they would not see, nor care about the 3 or so meter, imperceptive slow rise of water out in the middle of the ocean. They do care, however, about the 50 foot wall of water bearing down on them at high speed on shore. So, that's the image burned into their minds.

You run into much the same with tropical cyclones: the wind provides very visual and immediate effects, while the slower and more stagnant visuals from the much more destructive flooding often get mentally tossed aside despite repeated warnings from the weather-men/meteorologists.
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Tsunami Myths
_____________________________________________
"When a tsunami comes to shore, water first recedes far below the low-tide level. "
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um....another stupid question over here....I live on the coast in Southern Calif...do I need to get to higher ground?

:(
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946


SEAL SAVERS - U.S. sailors from SEAL Teams 1 and 7, Special Boat Teams 12 and 20, and medical personnel assigned to Joint Special Operations Task Force - Philippines, assist residents in Manila, Philippines, Sept. 27, 2009, The sailors used two boats to assist more than 52 people, including a woman in labor, elderly residents and children.
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418. JRRP
?
Link
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Quoting Weather456:
The wave would of only taken 11 minutes to reach California! That is an amazing speed.




WOW
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My stupid question of the week...we have a tsunami warning here...at 2107 in La Jolla. This thing should be fairly fizzled out by the time it gets near us, don't ya think?
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The Earthquake was caused by a rapture in the Pacific Plate. Now how this works is that the Australia and Pacific Plates meet at the Tonga trench and the plates have no where to go but down. The Pacific plate is the lightest plate and it slides under the Australian plate - subduction. Now as this occurs, pressure builds up like pulling back a bending ruler and releasing it causing an earth quake. The tsunami was caused by a displacement of water right above this plate rapture



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American diver underwater during catastrophe

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 Posted: 4:29 PM EST (2129 GMT)


U.S.
American diver underwater during catastrophe

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 Posted: 4:29 PM EST (2129 GMT)



(CNN) -- An American woman who was scuba diving with her husband in Thailand as one of Sunday's tsunamis roared overhead said she was oblivious to the disaster until after they surfaced, her mother told CNN on Tuesday.

Faye Wachs, 34, was diving with her husband, Eugene Kim, Sunday morning off Ko Phi Phi Island in Thailand when they noticed the water visibility worsened and felt as though they were being sucked downward, Helen Wachs said.

Their dive master signaled to them to surface, "but we still didn't know what happened," Faye wrote in an e-mail to her mother Tuesday.

The enormity of what was happening while they were scuba diving was not immediately apparent after they surfaced, Helen Wachs said her daughter told her.

"She said she saw a lot of trash in the water. The dive master said it was really rude for people to throw trash. Then they saw large bits of debris and thought there might have been a boat crash," Helen Wachs said.

She said her daughter didn't know what had happened until the dive master got a text message from his wife telling him about the catastrophe.
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405. presslord 3:13 PM PDT on September 29, 2009
BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand


I saw that on "Pawn Stars" the other day!! I love that show!!

:)
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The wave would of only taken 11 minutes to reach California! That is an amazing speed.
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Quoting Dakster:
TAZ - is that CANADA or CALIFORNIA?



i said CA
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TAZ - is that CANADA or CALIFORNIA?
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Quoting presslord:
BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand


BOATS are cheap to maintain by you, here we have the three thousand minimum repair rule.
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a Tsunami Advisory this went up for CA
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BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand
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Quoting atmoaggie:

If it really takes 15 minutes, or more, for the water to rise 4 feet, anything one would be comfortable driving out there among the usual waves.


It probably also depends on how far out you can get in the boat too.

Since I do not own something that floats that you throw a bunch of money into all the time. (aka a boat) I won't really have to worry about it. I can get 10-15 miles inland, if there is warning.
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Quoting presslord:
Atmo...Any thoughts on this saturday 'tween the Hedges?

Well, here's hoping that the Panthera tigris bengalensis squad can put some improvements together and take care of those ugly mutts 'tween dem hedges. (Look like they ran headlong into one of Shaq's shoes.)

Really, just hoping for them to be competitive and have the chance to win in the 4th. More often than not, if they get that far they finish the job.
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Quoting Dakster:


True. And with the mixing of water and currents, what is the smallest boat you should be on?

If it really takes 15 minutes, or more, for the water to rise 4 feet, anything one would be comfortable driving out there among the usual waves.
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"In Canada now, you have to have a license to operate a boat"

excellent idea...
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Yeah, right. And we require an intelligence test before pregnancy around here, too. That's why Britney Spears moved to Cali.

Truth is, there are probably close to a million privately owned boats in Louisiana. And, no, that is not an exaggeration.


In Canada now, you have to have a license to operate a boat. I bet you a dollar that question isn't on it :)

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Atmo...Any thoughts on this saturday 'tween the Hedges?
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Quoting Orcasystems:


One would hope..anyone competent enough to own a boat?

Yeah, right. And we require an intelligence test before pregnancy around here, too. That's why Britney Spears moved to Cali.

Truth is, there are probably close to a million privately owned boats in Louisiana. And, no, that is not an exaggeration.
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The news station I watch here in South Florida had a special on what if a tsunami hits South Florida. They said that there's something on the Canary Islands that will cause a tsunami to hit here sooner or later. They said a tsunami would come 10-15 miles inland.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


One would hope..anyone competent enough to own a boat?


nah...
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Okay, how many folks that drive boats around our coasts in the southeast would listen to you if you told them "a tsunami is coming, head out to sea"?


True. And with the mixing of water and currents, what is the smallest boat you should be on?

ORCA - I'M JEALOUS. You could almost outrun a Tsunami..
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Okay, how many folks that drive boats around our coasts in the southeast would listen to you if you told them "a tsunami is coming, head out to sea"?


One would hope..anyone competent enough to own a boat? You can never have enough water under your keel... unless you sinking, then you almost always have to much.

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Quoting Dakster:
Weather456 - Are you going to put up Tsunami Graphics and analysis for us?


I was thinking about it, if I can get some data. But with the power of the internet I'm already trying to find wave data.

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Quoting jeffs713:

If its a 50-foot wave, pretty much the entire coast is done for. That is a MASSIVE wave. IIRC, the Indonesian wave in 2004 was 20-30 feet, and that was the result of a magnitude 9.2 quake that shifted the sea floor across a 700 mile stretch up by 30 feet.


How about this one then:

•June 15, 1896: The 70-foot-high Sanriku tsunami strikes Japan, killing 26,000 people.
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Quoting Weather456:
Well I see the blog is up and alive, great. But did this tsunami was large enough to travel across the Pacific to Hawaii or the W coast of America.


Is it large enough to be registered.. yes... large enough to be felt outside the immediate area... probably not.

When its all said and done and they post the graphics in a few days... you will probably see that it registered on the instruments over the entire Pacific region.


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Quoting Floodman:


If you understand the mechanics, there is no paradox...out past the shallowing is the best place to be

Okay, how many folks that drive boats around our coasts in the southeast would listen to you if you told them "a tsunami is coming, head out to sea"?
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Weather456 - Are you going to put up Tsunami Graphics and analysis for us?
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Not much left of 18W, but Melor could be a biggie approaching Guam in a few days
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Quoting Dakster:


I don't know where I would go if a 50 foot Tsunami was heading for Miami-Dade County.... We are on a 80 Mile wide Peninsula so I am not even sure if the West Coast is safe. More importantly if I could even get there in time. I do know that being stuck in traffic in a CAR/TRUCK during one would not be a good answer either - unless it was the RV that turned into a boat?

If its a 50-foot wave, pretty much the entire coast is done for. That is a MASSIVE wave. IIRC, the Indonesian wave in 2004 was 20-30 feet, and that was the result of a magnitude 9.2 quake that shifted the sea floor across a 700 mile stretch up by 30 feet.
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Quoting Floodman:


If you understand the mechanics, there is no paradox...out past the shallowing is the best place to be


The joys of living on a relatively high large rock... I can go up 100 feet in elevation in a few minutes
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Well I see the blog is up and alive, great. But did this tsunami was large enough to travel across the Pacific to Hawaii or the W coast of America?
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Okay, folks...I'm out. Play nice

LOL
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Quoting timtrice:


I disagree. I see a small point where there was an abrupt rise in water elevation followed by a period of slowly returning back to the normal ranges. It wasn't a 6-foot high elevation that lasted 30 minutes as you imply

Every red X is 6 minutes...it took 18 minutes for the water surface elevation to rise from 2 feet above MLLW (mean lower low water) to 6 feet above. And lingered close to 6 for one more 6 minute reading. For those following at home, that is 24 minutes. Do what you will with this information...
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Quoting atmoaggie:


If you had Tsunami warning and were on the coast in an area with a broad coastal plain for land, but had a fast boat ready to go, I have to think you might be better off literally driving as far out to sea as you can go before it hits.

Think about some place like south Louisiana, south Florida, or some of the coral atolls and having a known Tsunami threat coming in an hour. Where do you go that maximizes survivability?
Paradoxically, the science says go out to sea.


If you understand the mechanics, there is no paradox...out past the shallowing is the best place to be
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Quoting atmoaggie:


If you had Tsunami warning and were on the coast in an area with a broad coastal plain for land, but had a fast boat ready to go, I have to think you might be better off literally driving as far out to sea as you can go before it hits.

Think about some place like south Louisiana, south Florida, or some of the coral atolls and having a known Tsunami threat coming in an hour. Where do you go that maximizes survivability?


I don't know where I would go if a 50 foot Tsunami was heading for Miami-Dade County.... We are on a 80 Mile wide Peninsula so I am not even sure if the West Coast is safe. More importantly if I could even get there in time. I do know that being stuck in traffic in a CAR/TRUCK during one would not be a good answer either - unless it was the RV that turned into a boat?
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Flood...exactly right...
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Quoting Orcasystems:


If your in a 100+ Fathoms of water you wouldn't even know it happened.


From what I can gather, if you were floating in the open ocean and a tsunami passed you would hardly notice the water was rising or declining...
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Remember the daytona beach rogue wave a few years ago? it grows a foot in height every time someone speaks of it...
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Quoting atmoaggie:


Huh. Looks like a 5 foot change in water elevation...but an increase in water levels caused by a moving dome of water well offshore is not a wave one would confuse for those we usually see in deep waters. This is different. Looks like water level was substantially elevated for about 30 minutes. (again, not even close to what we usually define as ocean waves, half of those readings would be below the astronomical tide)

And with the 6-minute water level reading interval there, one could figure it may have been higher, but none of the usual wave spectra parameters would be discernible...


I disagree. I see a small point where there was an abrupt rise in water elevation followed by a period of slowly returning back to the normal ranges. It wasn't a 6-foot high elevation that lasted 30 minutes as you imply

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.