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

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

Share this Blog
2
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 801 - 751

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17Blog Index

Quoting wunderkidcayman:

possible low level circulation on that T-wave
might be a player down the road if the caribbean can find some better shear condition
what you guys think
Link
We've been looking at that. Mostly still wait & see, though.

Quoting xcool:


oh matt looking at snow ;)
And in the WY central basin, too, not just over the Winds and Bighorns....

Quoting tornadodude:


Tonga has had a few small ones within the last couple of hours. the latest being a 4.8
Looks like Tonga is having something volcanic... they are watching but no warnings yet. Given the extent of seismic activity along the WPac edge this week, anything could happen there....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Went to Twitter, there are so many people trying to reach friends and family in the Panang area. Post after post after post of people leaving their phone numbers for their loved ones to call.

News reports are very upsetting. Currently the Global Red Cross is assisting in the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and Samoa.

Nearly impossible to get any further reports out of Panang. Infrastructure is totally crippled, no power, no water, and the 2nd quake futher terrified the people. Reports say people came running out into the streets.

The USGS stated the revised 6.6 MW earthquake was NOT an aftershock from yesterday's 7.6 MW quake, rather a new event.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


this is a picture of my station that i have its located on the roof of a 15 story building which is mounted on a mask 20 feet above roof line


very nice
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326


this is a picture of my station that i have its located on the roof of a 15 story building which is mounted on a mask 20 feet above roof line
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
Earthquakes have really been prevalent.. we are beginning day 3 of this really active time. Kind of overwhelming. I wonder if we will see Tonga have a really strong one.


Tonga has had a few small ones within the last couple of hours. the latest being a 4.8
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
795. Skyepony (Mod)
Earthquakes have really been prevalent.. we are beginning day 3 of this really active time. Kind of overwhelming. I wonder if we will see Tonga have a really strong one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:



mines bigger :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:
I know everything happens for a reason, but God PLEASE give these people a break!

Super Typhoon Parma is going to trek across parts of the Philippines and Taiwan. Typhoon Melor, is anyones guess where it goes, after Saipan.

The cleanup in Samoa, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines is going to take a long, long time.


No doubt, long road to recovery, we can pray, and also donations to Portlight are a great idea
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
I know everything happens for a reason, but God PLEASE give these people a break!

Super Typhoon Parma is going to trek across parts of the Philippines and Taiwan. Typhoon Melor, is anyones guess where it goes, after Saipan.

The cleanup in Samoa, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines is going to take a long, long time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting charlesimages:
ah ok, I live in West Lafayette Indiana.

I have a friend who is planning on moving around there
'

oh ok cool
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
ah ok, I live in West Lafayette Indiana.

I have a friend who is planning on moving around there
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


Between Typhoon Ketsana, the Samoan Tsunami, Super Typhoon Parma and Typhoon Melor, and this earthquake, I swear, I just wanna cry, this is so awful!!!!!


it is so depressing
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Quoting tornadodude:
Bordonaro- that is so devastating and incredible


Between Typhoon Ketsana, the Samoan Tsunami, Super Typhoon Parma and Typhoon Melor, and this earthquake, I swear, I just wanna cry, this is so awful!!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow, Freeze watches in Texas, Winter Storm Warnings in North Dakota.

Hello October
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Quoting Bordonaro:
Off the Jakarta Globe, Indonesian Newspaper

Indonesia Earthquake: Padang Mayor Pleads For Assistance
Padang’s mayor has desperately appealed for assistance on Indonesian radio station el-Shinta after a 7.6 magnitude quake devastated the West Sumatra city on Wednesday evening.

“We are overwhelmed with victims and ... lack of clean water, electricity and telecommunications,’’ Mayor Fauzi Bahar said. “We really need help. We call on people to come to Padang to evacuate bodies and help the injured.”

Hundreds of people were trapped under collapsed buildings in Padang alone, including a four-star hotel, he said. Other collapsed or seriously damaged buildings included hospitals, mosques, a school and a mall.

“I was studying math with my friends when suddenly a powerful earthquake destroyed everything around me,’’ an unidentified boy told the TVOne broadcaster. He escaped out of the top floor just as the three-story structure, used for after-school classes, crumpled.

TVOne footage showed heavy equipment breaking through layers of cement in search of more than 30 children it said were missing and feared dead.

Thousands were believed trapped throughout the province, said Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry’s crisis center.

Search and rescue teams were working in heavy rain when the second strong quake struck, causing widespread panic and badly damaging 30 houses in Jambi, another Sumatran town. It was not yet clear if there were injuries, said Jambi Mayor Hasfiah. Frantic parents were seen rushing to local schools in search of their children.

The shaking in Padang felled trees and crushed cars. A foot could be seen sticking out from one pile of rubble. At daybreak, residents used their bare hands to search for survivors, pulling at the wreckage and tossing it away piece by piece.

“People ran to high ground,’’ said Kasmiati, who lives on the coast near the quake’s epicenter. “I was outside, so I am safe, but my children at home were injured,’’ she said before her cell phone went dead.

The loss of telephone service deepened the worries of those outside the stricken area.

“I want to know what happened to my sister and her husband,’’ said Fitra Jaya, who owns a house in downtown Padang and was in Jakarta when the quake hit. “I tried to call my family there, but I could not reach anyone at all.’’

Hospitals struggled to treat the injured.

Indonesia’s government announced $10 million in emergency response aid and medical teams and military planes were being dispatched to set up field hospitals and distribute tents, medicine and food rations.

AP

Wow. Thoughts are there...and all over where there are cries. Night. Will keep in mind all in these
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bordonaro- that is so devastating and incredible
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Recent update from the Jakarta Globe Newspaper

Indonesia Earthquake: 464 Confirmed Deaths, Thousands More Bodies Expected to Be Recovered

At least 464 people are confirmed to have died in a huge earthquake that struck Indonesia%u2019s Sumatra island, a social affairs
ministry official said Thursday.

"The number of people who died in West Sumatra is 464 and they are from six districts," the ministry official in charge of handling death toll data, Tugyo Bisri, told AFP.

The death toll is feared to run into the thousands after the 7.6 earthquake struck on Wednesday evening.

The powerful earthquake triggered landslides and trapped thousands of people under collapsed buildings %u2014 including two hospitals, an official said.

%u201CThe rescue personnel in the location estimated that so far at least 200 people have died,%u201D Disaster Management Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono said in Jakarta.

But that number was likely to soar, officials said, as the first outside rescue teams from the Indonesian army and health ministry reached the city to reinforce overwhelmed police on the ground.

%u201CIt%u2019s difficult to confirm the death toll as communications have been cut off,%u201D Kardono said.

%u201CWe need heavy machinery to lift the rubble... we expect that to arrive at the location soon,%u201D he added.

The temblor started fires, severed roads and cut off power and communications to Padang, a coastal city of 900,000 on Sumatra island. Thousands fled in panic, fearing a tsunami.

In the sprawling low-lying city of Padang, the shaking was so intense that people crouched or sat on the street to avoid falling. Children screamed as an exodus of thousands tried to get away from the coast in cars and motorbikes, honking horns.

At least 500 buildings in Padang, the regional capital, collapsed or were badly damaged, said Disaster Management Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono, adding that 200 bodies had been pulled from the rubble there.

The extent of damage in surrounding areas was still unclear due to poor communications, he said.

The shaking flattened buildings and felled trees in Padang, damaged mosques and hotels and crushed cars. A foot could be seen sticking out from one pile of rubble. At daybreak, residents used their bare hands to search for survivors, pulling at the wreckage and tossing it away piece by piece.

%u201CPeople ran to high ground. Houses and buildings were badly damaged,%u201D said Kasmiati, who lives on the coast near the quake%u2019s epicenter.

%u201CI was outside, so I am safe, but my children at home were injured,%u201D she said before her cell phone went dead.

The loss of telephone service deepened the worries of those outside the stricken area.

%u201CI want to know what happened to my sister and her husband,%u201D said Fitra Jaya, who owns a house in downtown Padang and was in Jakarta when the quake hit. %u201CI tried to call my family there, but I could not reach anyone at all.%u201D

Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told MetroTV that two hospitals and a mall collapsed in Padang.

%u201CThis is a high-scale disaster,%u201D Supari said.

Hospitals struggled to treat the injured as their relatives hovered nearby.

Indonesia%u2019s government announced $10 million in emergency response aid and medical teams and military planes were being dispatched to set up field hospitals and distribute tents, medicine and food rations. Members of the Cabinet were preparing for the possibility of thousands of deaths.

Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry%u2019s crisis center, said Wednesday that thousands of people had been trapped under the collapsed houses. It was unclear how many people were still missing or trapped by Thursday morning.

Local television reported more than two dozen landslides. Some blocked roads, causing miles-long traffic jams of cars and trucks.

AP, AFP
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Child Abduction Emergency

TXC015-039-041-051-071-089-157-167-185-201-225-239-291-313-321-
339-373-407-455-471-473-477-481-010545-

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
CHILD ABDUCTION EMERGENCY
TEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
1145 PM CDT WED SEP 30 2009

...AMBER ALERT...

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE TEXAS
DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

THE HENDERSON POLICE DEPARTMENT IS SEARCHING FOR KESHAUN DANSBY,
BLACK, MALE, 3 YEARS OLD, DATE OF BIRTH JANUARY 9 2006, HEIGHT 3
FEET, WEIGHT 35 POUNDS, SHAVED HEAD, BROWN EYES AND WEARING A
TEAL BLUE SHIRT, BLUE JEANS, AND BLACK AIR JORDON TENNIS SHOES.

POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR VICTOR DANSBY, BLACK, MALE, 43 YEARS OLD,
DATE OF BIRTH MARCH 28 1966, HEIGHT 6 FEET, WEIGHT 240 POUNDS,
SHAVED HEAD, BROWN EYES AND WEARING A BROWN MUSCLE SHIRT, BLUE
JEANS, AND WHITE SHOES IN HIS ABDUCTION. THE SUSPECT MAY BE ARMED
WITH A HANDGUN.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS BELIEVE THE CHILD TO BE IN GRAVE OR IMMEDIATE
DANGER.

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THIS ABDUCTION, CALL THE HENDERSON
POLICE DEPARTMENT.

NEWS MEDIA POINT OF CONTACT IS HENDERSON POLICE DEPARTMENT AT (903)
657-3512.

$$






Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Quoting Melagoo:


a couple of dips and a ridge, looks interesting, sever weather threat potential in the southern plains
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
776. Skyepony (Mod)
Here's stormydee's earthquake blog..full of good links.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting charlesimages:
central & southern lower peninsula.. I am north of Grand Rapids, MI in Kent City, MI

Local map:



Click here for National WWA map

Cold air really pushing southward.. *Thanks the High Pressure from Canada*


ah ok, I live in West Lafayette Indiana.

Quoting juslivn:


Really...Oh my. In Chi...I think we are getting rain, rain, rain until Sunday. THAT will just add insult to the cold here. I'm hoping not huge amounts. I say Columbus Day, first snow here??? Oct. 12.


hmmm, maybe, I'd shoot more for the 19th for Chicago
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Quoting tornadodude:
Lake Effect already????


Really...Oh my. In Chi...I think we are getting rain, rain, rain until Sunday. THAT will just add insult to the cold here. I'm hoping not huge amounts. I say Columbus Day, first snow here??? Oct. 12.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Click Here you can see how far this cold air is sinking.. wow!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:


where in MI?
central & southern lower peninsula.. I am north of Grand Rapids, MI in Kent City, MI

Local map:



Click here for National WWA map

Cold air really pushing southward.. *Thanks the High Pressure from Canada*
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Off the Jakarta Globe, Indonesian Newspaper

Indonesia Earthquake: Padang Mayor Pleads For Assistance
Padang’s mayor has desperately appealed for assistance on Indonesian radio station el-Shinta after a 7.6 magnitude quake devastated the West Sumatra city on Wednesday evening.

“We are overwhelmed with victims and ... lack of clean water, electricity and telecommunications,’’ Mayor Fauzi Bahar said. “We really need help. We call on people to come to Padang to evacuate bodies and help the injured.”

Hundreds of people were trapped under collapsed buildings in Padang alone, including a four-star hotel, he said. Other collapsed or seriously damaged buildings included hospitals, mosques, a school and a mall.

“I was studying math with my friends when suddenly a powerful earthquake destroyed everything around me,’’ an unidentified boy told the TVOne broadcaster. He escaped out of the top floor just as the three-story structure, used for after-school classes, crumpled.

TVOne footage showed heavy equipment breaking through layers of cement in search of more than 30 children it said were missing and feared dead.

Thousands were believed trapped throughout the province, said Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry’s crisis center.

Search and rescue teams were working in heavy rain when the second strong quake struck, causing widespread panic and badly damaging 30 houses in Jambi, another Sumatran town. It was not yet clear if there were injuries, said Jambi Mayor Hasfiah. Frantic parents were seen rushing to local schools in search of their children.

The shaking in Padang felled trees and crushed cars. A foot could be seen sticking out from one pile of rubble. At daybreak, residents used their bare hands to search for survivors, pulling at the wreckage and tossing it away piece by piece.

“People ran to high ground,’’ said Kasmiati, who lives on the coast near the quake’s epicenter. “I was outside, so I am safe, but my children at home were injured,’’ she said before her cell phone went dead.

The loss of telephone service deepened the worries of those outside the stricken area.

“I want to know what happened to my sister and her husband,’’ said Fitra Jaya, who owns a house in downtown Padang and was in Jakarta when the quake hit. “I tried to call my family there, but I could not reach anyone at all.’’

Hospitals struggled to treat the injured.

Indonesia’s government announced $10 million in emergency response aid and medical teams and military planes were being dispatched to set up field hospitals and distribute tents, medicine and food rations.

AP
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting charlesimages:
Under a widespread freeze warning here in MI.. *chokes at the sight of blue on that radar in the NE*


where in MI?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
769. xcool
bye all work at 500am
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Under a widespread freeze warning here in MI.. *chokes at the sight of blue on that radar in the NE*
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
767. xcool
nono .

Temp
59.°F
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lake Effect already????
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
763. xcool
Link



emergency and disater
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
winter is takeing overe fast overe the USA in the mean time thursday tempser for N CA well be in the 80s but this will be vary short lived with other big ccool down come this could be vary well be are last 80s this year for N CA


sounds good to me, I am definitely craving some snow
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8326
winter is takeing overe fast overe the USA in the mean time thursday tempser for N CA well be in the 80s but this will be vary short lived with other big ccool down come this could be vary well be are last 80s this year for N CA
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
760. xcool
chilling eatFastfood:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:
Here is my earthquake section on my website if this will help some....great up todate pic of the Redoubt Volcano also.....


ty.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
756. xcool



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
755. xcool
oh wow Weather456
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Geeze...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
753. xcool
heyyybtwntx08
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
752. xcool
.oct 19 my birthday.Yeah I'm get old.!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PcolaDan:
If you use Firefox, there is an add-on called eQuake alert. It can drive you crazy sometimes, but interesting.


Did you ever tell how your family members came out?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 801 - 751

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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