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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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.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1579
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..


Sounds to me like he doesn't need your help; he seems to have the answers you lack, sir...
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Looking at the animation only, it does appear that El Nino is past its peak.
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Quoting StormW:


Let me clarify something for you...the Oceanic portion of El Nino is not what has been causing the shear since the beginning of the season. This WEAK to MODERATE El Nino is reactive...meaning it is being driven by the atmospheric conditions that were set in place back around APR/MAY of this year, not the other way around (i.e. The Oceaninc Nino driving the atmosphere). Everything we've been seeing with the atmopshere is a reaction to over the past 2 years with the La Nina and Neutral conditions. To back up my point, if El Nino (oceanic) is causing all this, then explain why the PAC is below numbers, especially EPAC. Generally during an El Nino, the PAC is VERY, VERY active.
Now that makes much more sense. Thanks StormW
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Quoting tornadodude:
Proof or Poof, I like that

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.
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Quoting StormW:


Yes.


must be the strong el nino
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
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..


can you post an image, graphic, or something that proves that there is a strong el nino?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Pat...WU mail...
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All must Bow to El Nino...
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21 dead as major quake hits Indonesia

* From: AFP
* Thu Oct 01 00:49:00 EST 2009

AT least 21 people have been killed and thousands are trapped underneath rubble after a major earthquake hit Indonesia's Sumatra island last night, officials said.

Large buildings, including hospitals and hotels, caved in while fires raged in the coastal city of Padang, home to nearly a million people, as communications and power remained cut hours after the 7.6-magnitude quake.

"Houses and buildings have collapsed, causing thousands of people to be trapped inside in the rubble,'' Health Ministry crisis centre head Rustam Pakaya said, adding that a major city hospital was among the destroyed buildings.

Rescue teams and doctors have been sent and were expected to arrive in about 10 hours, Mr Pakaya said.

Local media reported that panicked residents rushed from their homes during the quake, which struck off Sumatra's west coast at about 5pm (8pm AEST), 47km northwest of Padang.

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"A number of hotels in Padang have been destroyed,'' Indonesian tsunami warning head Rahmat Triyono said, adding the agency did not release a tsunami alert.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii however issued a tsunami watch for Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Thailand, but later cancelled it.

"Up to now we haven't been able to reach Padang, communications have been cut,'' Triyono said amid fears the death toll could rise sharply.

The quake was felt in the capital Jakarta, 940km away, and sent frightened office workers streaming out of buildings in nearby Singapore and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

"The shaking was the worst I had ever felt,'' Yuliarni, a resident of Pariaman district outside Padang, told TVOne news channel.

"Houses have collapsed, the lights and electricity were cut off,'' she said.

The quake caused a landslide that destroyed houses at Lake Maninjau inland from Padang, local resident Hafiz told the channel.

"Part of the roof of the arrival hall at the Padang airport collapsed but nobody was injured. The runway is okay. The airport has been closed but will reopen at 7am tomorrow,'' an official of airport operator company Angkasa Pura II, Hariyanto, said.

Geologists have said Padang, which lies near the colliding Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates, was the most likely in the country to fall victim to the next major quake or tsunami.

"There will be aftershocks but it's difficult to predict whether there will be a bigger quake,'' Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Centre head Surono said.

"There are three big volcanoes in West Sumatra - Merapi, Talang and Tandikat. We fear that this quake might cause volcanic eruptions there,'' he said.

Samoan Tsunami Pics
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting atmoaggie:
A more than strong el nino:


wow
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
A more than strong el nino:
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More AP First Person Accounts and video from Somoa.

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Proof or Poof, I like that
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
last week:

The huge extreme el nino of 2006:

How is it that this year's nino is strong, again?
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Tacoman
Quoting tacoman:
shear overthe entire caribbean sea for 2009 caused by the strong westerly winds from elnino..strong shear in the gom causing a northerly flow in july over the gom increasingthe shear ...and finally off the coast of africa sst lower then usual and also a huge dust plume for most of the season letting dry air into the systems and killing them..all caused by elnino..
PROOF OR ...POOF!
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Quoting tacoman:
shear overthe entire caribbean sea for 2009 caused by the strong westerly winds from elnino..strong shear in the gom causing a northerly flow in july over the gom increasingthe shear ...and finally off the coast of africa sst lower then usual and also a huge dust plume for most of the season letting dry air into the systems and killing them..all caused by elnino..


just because you say something doesnt mean it is true... also, can you post an image that shows that we have a "strong el nino"?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Associated Press

A powerful earthquake in the South Pacific hurled a massive tsunami at the shores of Samoa and American Samoa, flattening villages and sweeping cars and people out to sea, leaving at least 82 dead.

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hey, look...a strong El Nino...NOT!
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Quoting presslord:
IMHO, the seasonal predictions are largely publicity stunts...


And justification for insurance / gas rate hikes.

Notice they are both coming down now
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Quoting StormW:


is that cooler than normal temps off the coast of South America?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
I say lets go the full Monty in Samoa presslord...they took a Bad Hit from the Quake and Tsunami.
Lemme know what I can do i that regard,blog wise or other.
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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.
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so sad i'am on my last chance i would love to say something but no its not worth it

bb in 30 mins or so for my lunch
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


yea it boggles my mind that he is allowed to continue to create new accounts when it is clear his motives are only to antagonize yet some get lifetime bans


Well, this one is my bad; my rule has always been "Do not get into a battle of wits with an unarmed man" and I let him get the better of me. If they ban him permanently he'll only get another name and be back in an hour
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well done dr master!do u think the east phase of the qbo got something to do with too?
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Quoting tacoman:
burn i have already give my reason scroll up and read them im not going to be posting them every 15 minutes guy...do your homework dude scroll up and read..


again saying shear is high is like saying the yankees have money

WE KNOW THAT ALREADY, but you have zero proof that we have a strong El Nino and that we cant have a named storm next month

you have shown us nothing, ignored the question and then gotten defensive when we have asked you to back up your statements with facts; something you have failed to do
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Quoting tacoman:
burn i have already give my reason scroll up and read them im not going to be posting them every 15 minutes guy...do your homework dude scroll up and read..


how bout you do your homework, and provide us with some facts that this is a strong el nino?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Post 76
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If the press,NOAA and others,Like CSU would spend 50% of their time promoting Hurricane Preparation,..and also have it taught in Public schools,the Gen Public would be better served as a whole.
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Quoting tacoman:
well dude you gather valuable experience off your mistakes..you are not always going to be right ..take this season for instance im perfect wasnt wrong once..i predicted way before the season started 6 named storms...dr gray and all the experts were saying anywhere from 13-18..which is impossible in a strong elnino year...this comes from experience tornadodude you will be able to do this just give it some time...you will get better as the years roll along..


(post 76)
yes, that is highly improbable in a strong El Nino year, but........ this is no where near a strong El Nino year. show me maps that prove other wise. thanks.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
tacoman, post 76
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IMHO, the seasonal predictions are largely publicity stunts...
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Quoting tacoman:
well reed we will just have to see what happens ..but im very confident and im willing to back up my statment..i stand on what i say..i will say it like this IMHO i do not think we will have anymore storms for the 2009 season its over!!!!!!!!!IS THAT BETTER REEDZONE..


You are clueless lol

just saying that you will stand by what you say, isnt backing up your statement

show us actual proof

oh and answer post #76 please
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Well one thing for sure is this..some posting right now wont be in a few hours.


And that's a fact,not a prediction.

Achille's Last Stand..
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Hey Tacoman, post 76?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting Floodman:


LOL...sorry, he got my Irish up...The worst thing about this guy is that I have like 11 of his "noms de plume" ignored and he keeps showing up with a new one...


yea it boggles my mind that he is allowed to continue to create new accounts when it is clear his motives are only to antagonize yet some get lifetime bans
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105. IKE
Quoting Floodman:


Numbers, airhead, facts...the talker is you. Show me one of your posts that isn't conjecture; show me one of your posts that cites actual data and not something you thought up sitting in your grandmas basement, looking at others work...you can't, because it doesn't exist...you're all talk, airhead...the difference between you and I is that I never claimed to be a meteorologist, and you, joke that you are, claim 25 years of study. You haven't been out of grandmas basement in 25 years...done, son


LOL!
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Quoting Patrap:
In my view,seasonal predictions mean nothing. If one cant say where or when a System will strike,its all Moot.
The numbers mean Jack Squat in the Big Scheme.


Preparation is the Only edge one can have against the Frays.


Amen, my Catholic brotha!
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=======TACOMAN======

=====JUST FOR YOU=====


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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


JERRY JERRY JERRY JERRY lol


LOL...sorry, he got my Irish up...The worst thing about this guy is that I have like 11 of his "noms de plume" ignored and he keeps showing up with a new one...
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Quoting tacoman:
floodman you need to stop being so lazy and do your own homework dude..my predictions for 2009 speak for themselves dude..i dont see none of yours thats eveident because you are to stupid ..you have no idea whats going on in the tropics dude so clam up or post some of your own information..


hey admin, does this not deserve a ban?
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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.