Typhoon death toll 800 and rising

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:13 PM GMT on December 02, 2006

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The terrible toll wrought by Typhoon Durian is just beginning to be known, as rescue workers in the Philippines dig out victims from mudslides that buried at least eight villages at the foot of Mayon Volcano. The volcano, a 2460 meter-high mountain known for its perfect conical shape, had large areas of loose rock from a July eruption that became loosened by Durian's 8-12 inches of rain. The loose rock turned into torrents of liquid mud that swept down the mountain in the form of deadly mudslides, burying entire villages up to their rooftops. At least 800 people are dead or missing, and the head of the Philippines Red Cross estimated on Sunday that the toll would surpass 1000. Many hard-hit areas still unreachable and cut off from communications. Durian has surpassed Tropical Storm Bilis as the deadliest tropical cyclone to affect the globe in 2006. Bilis killed 662 people in July, primarily due to flooding in China.

The Manila Bulletin Online, said that some of the mud flows were up to 100 feet deep.


Figure 1. Topographic map of the Mayon Volcano region hard-hit by Typhoon Durian. Image credit: United Nations UNOSAT project, providing free maps for the humanitarian community.

Durian has unexpectedly strengthened to a Category 2 typhoon over the South China Sea, and may yet cause some trouble when it strikes Vietnam on Monday, most likely as a Category 1 typhoon. The View from the Surface blog has more info on the latest doings of Durian.

I hope that those of you looking for charities to donate to this year will join me in donating to the Red Cross International Response Fund to help out victims of Typhoon Durian. The Philippine National Red Cross does not take on-line donations, but there is contact information posted there for those who want to donate directly to the Philippine Red Cross.

I'll be back with an update on Monday.
Jeff Masters

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167. Patrap
1:12 PM GMT on December 04, 2006
Sunrise here..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
165. LowerCal
10:40 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
For future reference here's a map that gives a fair representation of the terrain of Vietnam along with lots of cities and all the provinces.

I have to call it a night. You have a good one Randrewl.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
162. LowerCal
10:27 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
Would they say they knew them even if they did?
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
158. LowerCal
10:13 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
I was commenting on what you posted to let you know that I read and understood it.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
157. LowerCal
10:11 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
If it is the gun to head it shouldn't be used anywhere. That's why I want to find out the details.

It could be something like the government offering the only means of transport -- take this bus or you're stuck. That wouldn't work in the US.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
155. LowerCal
10:01 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
In addition to the wind speed I see the new projection keeps it offshore longer and it comes ashore at a steep angle. Looks like it's really picking up speed too. All good.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
153. LowerCal
9:57 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
I don't know the details of how they manage effective evacuations before events that would cause massive loss of life in another Central American country. Depending on the details it may or may not be applicable in other countries.

MargieKieper didn't say anything about Mexico. She was just pondering the problem of how to persuade people to evacuate.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
149. LowerCal
9:46 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
I'm talking about Mexico's effective evacuations of the affected populations before TS's and hurricanes.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
148. LowerCal
9:42 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
I wonder if Mexico's solution would even be possible and workable in the US.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
145. LowerCal
9:39 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
What is that CI#? Does it have to do with precip rate.

I would agree if the rainfall rates are not heavy and it moves quickly there isn't much flood risk. The rapidly falling wind speeds reduce the surge threat in the bay.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
144. LowerCal
9:32 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
I read your post about the evacs. People returning home because the sun is still out. :( Officials trying to force them to leave.

Seems like a common problem. MargieKieper talks about it on her current blog.

Apparently Mexico has solved it though. I wonder how.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
140. LowerCal
9:13 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
The two maps are large (thats why I posted links). You have dial up. Since you replied after only one minute I don't think you actually looked at them. I'm sorry I can't make them smaller and keep the detail. I wish you would look at them.

Mountains, flood plains, and a shallow bay near landfall.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
135. LowerCal
8:52 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
Actual topographical maps of the area around the currently projected landfall.

topographical overview
smaller scale section with elevations and depths in meters.

Mountains and flood plains. Along much of the coast it gets deep fairly quickly ... but not all of it.
_____________________________

Currently projected landfall (very close to Phang Rang).
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
127. Wishcasterboy
6:20 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
Everything is time, place, oriented.

Goodnight and good luck too those in Vietnam.
125. Wishcasterboy
6:03 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
That's it, end of story I have nothing more to say too you.
124. Wishcasterboy
6:01 AM GMT on December 04, 2006
This is a thunderstorm to the VietNamese people.

Ok normally i'd let this go, but when somebody understimates the flooding these
storms can cause I get pissed.

Do you think that Mitch killed all those people becasue he was a cat 5. No, Mitch was a cat 1/tropical storm when he caused his worst damage. If you want to say this storm is no big deal say it too the 11,000 or so souls who died from a slow moving Tropical Storm Mitch.

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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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