Two Pacific-sized disasters: the Samoan tsunami and Typhoon Ketsana

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:29 PM GMT on September 30, 2009

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The Pacific spawned another huge natural disaster yesterday, when a magnitude 8.0 - 8.3 earthquake near Samoa generated a tsunami that devastated portions of American Samoa and neighboring islands. While the ocean surface was only displaced about three inches by the force of the earthquake near its epicenter, the rupture occurred near the 10,000 meter-deep Tonga-Kermadec Trench, along a swath 200 - 300 km long. A column of water miles deep and 200 - 300 km long accelerated downward by the force of gravity (or lifted upward by crustal motion) by three inches represents an massive amount of energy released into the ocean. The quake was able to generate a 1.5-foot tsunami on the Hawaiian island of Oahu 2,700 miles away, and a 0.6-foot tsunami on the Oregon coast, over 5,000 miles away.

Portlight.org is considering adopting an American Samoa family to help out in the wake of this huge disaster. They would like some feedback from their contributors on whether to go ahead with this idea, so stop by the Portlight.org blog to join the discussion.

Typhoon Ketsana
Typhoon Ketsana has finally dissipated, but not before bringing record flooding to Vietnam, two days after creating recording flooding and chaos in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Ketsana made landfall Tuesday morning in Vietnam between Hue and Da Nang as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds. The storm dumped up to 20 inches of rain on Vietnam, according to satellite estimates. Some rivers in central Vietnam rose above the record flood heights recorded in an epic 1964 flood. In all, Ketsana has been responsible for 41 deaths in Vietnam and 11 in neighboring Cambodia, with many more missing. At least 350,000 people are homeless in Vietnam, joining the 380,000 left homeless in the Philippines from the storm.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Ketsana approaching Vietnam on Tuesday, September 28, 2009. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

The death toll in the Philippines from Ketsana has stabilized at 246, with another 38 missing. Residents of the islands need to keep a wary eye on Typhoon Parma, which is expected to intensify into a major typhoon and brush the northern Philippine island of Luzon on Saturday and Sunday.

Quietest September in the Atlantic since 1997
Well, it's the end of September, and what is traditionally the busiest month in the Atlantic was unusually quiet. We had only two named storms this September, the first time since 1997 we've had less than three September named storms. There were only 6.75 days in September with a named storm, which ranks as the 4th fewest September named storm days since 1950 (only 1962, 1970, and 1994 had fewer). The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index for September ranked as the 6th lowest since 1950. The quiet period is likely to continue for at least another week, as there are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation over the next seven days. I'll post my first-half-of-October outlook for the Atlantic tomorrow.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Patrap:


If you direct the funds collected to portlight.org we will make quick and immediate use of them.

This is a Full all out effort in response to the Calamity there.


ok, thank you!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:


I wonder if I can organize some type of fund raising event for Samoa here at Purdue


If you direct the funds collected to portlight.org we will make quick and immediate use of them.

This is a Full all out effort in response to the Calamity there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:

I'm checking to see if my company may be able to help with the transportation side of the relief effort into American Samoa.


Contact Presslord via wu-mail if that pans out Jeff,..and thanks.
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Quoting Patrap:








More Images from the Samoan Region...


I wonder if I can organize some type of fund raising event for Samoa here at Purdue
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360








More Images from the Samoan Region...
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Quoting Ossqss:


That one was pretty deep, the one the other day was shallow.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

They did issue a Tsunami alert.


My opinion is that the one in Samoa has "woke up" the surrounding areas. If I understand correctly it occurred in the Trench, which is quite deep. When you look at the eq's that happened after it, they are not calming down they are getting stronger. So when I saw the 7.6 this morning it didn't surprise me.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


taco and wrap lol

very nicely done lol



someone caught it haha
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:
I say we call this taco bashing session a wrap, time to move on


taco and wrap lol

very nicely done lol

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183. i think it also goes to show that high sea surface temps, although important, are not the only important driver in tropical cyclone formation. in fact, sea surface temps can be really high but if there's a lot of shear, the chances are that ACE will be down.
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Quoting Patrap:
Can we get past the personal attacks?

Im getting winded flagging all the garbage.

Lets see if we can make a dent in some new Misery in Samoa..

Capitalism can do wunderful things.

Pass the word.

Portlight Rallies for Samoa

I'm checking to see if my company may be able to help with the transportation side of the relief effort into American Samoa.
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Quoting IKE:


Got a whole six-pack. Minus the 2 I've now guzzled lurking at the posts by one, tacoman.

Done got me a pot of coffee brewed up now. Maxwell House caffeine light.


mmm, coffee is pretty much ahmazing
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
189. IKE
Quoting tornadodude:
IKE-

You got anymore Pepsi?

this el nino is making things a little hot, made me thirsty


Got a whole six-pack. Minus the 2 I've now guzzled lurking at the posts by one, tacoman.

Done got me a pot of coffee brewed up now. Maxwell House caffeine light.
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Quoting timtrice:


Most websites do not ban by IP as many providers use dynamic IP addresses. Just because you have IP 11.222.333.45 now, next time you turn on your computer you may have *.46.

Probably best way to ban him is to just allow one username per email address. But, then, of course with free Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc., that wouldn't help much, either.

Which is why you have the ignore button. Or just turn a deaf ear.

This is funny, though. Thanks for the laughs taco bell!

I have added 24 people to my ignore list this season, talk about trolls
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15940
Quoting Patrap:
Can we get past the personal attacks?


Sorry Patrap. I'll go back in my corner now.
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I say we call this taco bashing session a wrap, time to move on
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Good afternoon sir Storm..


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Yea it is pretty obvious that this seasons' El Nino is not the primary cause of the inactive season
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IKE-

You got anymore Pepsi?

this el nino is making things a little hot, made me thirsty
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Can we get past the personal attacks?

Im getting winded flagging all the garbage.

Lets see if we can make a dent in some new Misery in Samoa..

Capitalism can do wunderful things.

Pass the word.

Portlight Rallies for Samoa
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:


I like that one

My edit on that one:

Foolish
Looser
Unmercifully
Shaming
Himself
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178. IKE
***sprinkles salt on bag 2 of popcorn***

Quoting Dakster:
IKE - Pass the salt, please.


LOL....

here ya go.....
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Quoting LACajunKid:


I thought it might have been:

Failing
Life
Unmercifully
Shaming
Himself


I like that one
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
1997



1998



Although Pacific activity was rather high in 1997 when comparing to 2009. So, that being said, are they really that similar?
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Quoting tornadodude:
FLUSH

Fake.
Loopy.
Underage.
Senile.
Hack. (a mediocre and disdained writer) link #7


I thought it might have been:

Failing
Life
Unmercifully
Shaming
Himself
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
IKE - Pass the salt, please.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360


More News from Samoa..
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Portlight Rallies for Samoa
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
FLUSH

Fake.
Loopy.
Underage.
Senile.
Hack. (a mediocre and disdained writer) link #7
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting atmoaggie:

Not even close. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1997 was a 10.5. This year? A 2? Maybe?
The 2 have very little in common.


She may have been reading Tacoman's postings and assumed he knew what he was talking about.

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167. yeah, i was wondering as well how that conclusion was drawn...
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Quoting Dialady:
Dr Masters . . . would love to see you blog about what the hurricane season was like in 1998. Since we are experiencing El Nino similar to 1997, what happened the next year? I know that's not always the way weather goes, but it would interesting to consider.

Thanks!!

Theresa 8-)

Not even close. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1997 was a 10.5. This year? A 2? Maybe?
The 2 have very little in common.
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Quoting LACajunKid:
For someone who has supposedly had 25 years of experience in studying hurricanes, this "tacoman" sure has some horrible grammar!

Like everyone else, I'm still awaiting the answer to post #76 also.


Reading through the blog, that was my same thoughts. Using "DUDE" in every post.

back to lurking.
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i love these type of images:

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Quoting tacoman:
good point n england guy..whats wrong with the patriots this year..i think they will a hard time making it to the big dance dude..


did a strong el nino cause this snow storm?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting jeffs713:

Same here.

I'm wondering why Tacoman/StormTop/StormT/Stormno/whatever-the-name-of-the-week-is hasn't been IP-banned yet.

Also... I wonder if he has made any enhancements to his T.O.I.L.E.T. model.


Most websites do not ban by IP as many providers use dynamic IP addresses. Just because you have IP 11.222.333.45 now, next time you turn on your computer you may have *.46.

Probably best way to ban him is to just allow one username per email address. But, then, of course with free Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc., that wouldn't help much, either.

Which is why you have the ignore button. Or just turn a deaf ear.

This is funny, though. Thanks for the laughs taco bell!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
157.

Wow... you are really trying to stir up the blog today, aren't you?
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Quoting WaterWitch11:
Good Morning Guys,

I don't know if you have seen the news but there was another earthquake, 7.6 in Indonesia. I can't remember the last time there was back to back large eq's like this.


That one was pretty deep, the one the other day was shallow.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

They did issue a Tsunami alert.
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Quoting LACajunKid:



I didn't know they had the answers to these questions on the back of cereal boxes.


Between that and the TOILET and FLUSH models, Tacoman knows everything!

I can't remember what the FLUSH model stands for, but tornadodude described the TOILET model very well.
Quoting tornadodude:


T.O.I.L.E.T-

Tacoman
Obviously
Is
Losing
Everyone's
"Trust"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dr Masters . . . would love to see you blog about what the hurricane season was like in 1998. Since we are experiencing El Nino similar to 1997, what happened the next year? I know that's not always the way weather goes, but it would interesting to consider.

Thanks!!

Theresa 8-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
A more than strong el nino:


That 97 fall was rather interesting for me... while I was in Chicago, the snow storm I experienced was quite intense... heck first time I ever experienced thunder-snow. Quite a sight.
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Quoting tacoman:
storm w you have a good point there and im working and doing reseach to get that information..i have not come up with any reason why but you will be the first to know when i do..give me a little time sir i will find the answers you are looking for..



I didn't know they had the answers to these questions on the back of cereal boxes.

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I'm going to stop ignoring people,they just keep getting quoted,so whats the point
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Quoting jeffs713:

Same here.

I'm wondering why Tacoman/StormTop/StormT/Stormno/whatever-the-name-of-the-week-is hasn't been IP-banned yet.

Also... I wonder if he has made any enhancements to his T.O.I.L.E.T. model.


T.O.I.L.E.T-

Tacoman
Obviously
Is
Losing
Everyone's
"Trust"
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Good morning...
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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.

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