Hundreds dead from Burma's worst tropical cyclone on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:57 PM GMT on May 04, 2008

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Cyclone Nargis, the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclone ever to hit Burma (Myanmar), is finally dissipating today over Thailand. Nargis--a popular woman's name in India--slammed into the coast of Myanmar Friday night as borderline Category 3/Category 4 cyclone, with winds of 130-135 mph. After passing over the low-lying and densely populated Irrawaddy Delta region, Nargis made a direct hit on the capital city of Rangoon (Yangon), as a Category 1 storm with top winds of 80 mph. Winds at the Yangon airport hit 69 mph, gusting to 138 mph, at 5:30am local time on Saturday. The anemometer failed at that point, and the winds likely rose higher.

The death toll from Nargis is already at least 351, and is certain to rise as reports from hard-hit areas still cut off from communications begin to arrive. In particular, the low-lying Irrawaddy Delta region where Nargis initially made landfall is densely populated, and a storm surge in excess of 10 feet likely occurred there. It is unusual for a Bay of Bengal cyclone to pass so far south, and Nargis is the strongest tropical cyclone on record to hit the capital city of Rangoon. The previous highest death toll from a tropical cyclone in Myanmar was 187, during the Category 1 storm that hit on May 7, 1975. Nargis is the most powerful cyclone to hit Myanmar since Category 3 Cyclone Mala hit on April 28, 2006. Mala hit a less populated area less prone to storm surge, and killed 22 people and damaged 6000 buildings.


Image credit:NASA.

I'll have an analysis of Nargis' storm surge on Monday.

Jeff Masters

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118. all4hurricanes
9:16 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Other than being cities a can find any other reason they would be posted on WU but Typhoon Bart was a Cat 4 that took a path similar to the prediction it made landfall near Kadena Air force Base Misawa wasn't hit that Year (1999)
mayde someone can find a hurricane that took a path like the storm on WU that hit Misawa
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2374
117. all4hurricanes
9:09 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
It's feared 10,000 deaths may have resulted from this cyclone when was the last time a cyclone death toll topped 4,000? It wasn't Bangladesh last year that was 3,000
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2374
116. Skyepony (Mod)
2:29 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Taz~ there was a lot of scratched out news articles about something possibly forming in Bay of Bengal would be named ABC storm.. Looked like maybe some media put something out there without verifing & is now retracting the stories.

Unforchanately Nargis death toll has really skyrocketed...

YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- Almost 4,000 people have died and another 3,000 remain missing in Myanmar as a result of this weekend's devastating cyclone, state media reported Monday amid fears that the death toll could continue to soar
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38688
115. Patrap
2:23 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Situation in Yangon, Burma after Nargis Cyclone hit strongly.
Presented By http://cuteburmesegirl.zinmedia.net/

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
113. Tazmanian
2:04 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
80. Cazatormentas 1:47 AM PDT on May 05, 2008
Hi there !

I was surprised by MISAWA and KADENA typhoons in the Western Pacific Storm Advisories... Clearly this is an error. I have been looking for full disk satellite images trying to find them, but I only find two invests at that area.

I'm not sure how those typhoons have appeared :P !

Perhaps suddenly forecast models have improved a lot and they are showing their development? :D

Regards from Spain.


what you are seeig is not real what they are doing overe there is testing


like so this was from last night



TYPHOON 86W (KADENA) WARNING NR 002
UPGRADED FROM TROPICAL STORM 86W
05 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONES IN NORTHWESTPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
---
WARNING POSITION:
050000Z --- NEAR 20.0N 132.0E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 315 DEGREES AT 07 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 070 KT, GUSTS 085 KT


they are olny testing none of the storms are real


i hop this helps
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
112. ShenValleyFlyFish
2:03 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
110. lindenii

Hi you beat me to the storm-surge issue.

Don't know if we have a case of "Great minds think alike" or "Shallow minds splash in the same puddles." lol
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
111. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:55 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
HouseofGryffindor

Water is the real killer in storm events. You might want to se if there are any storm-surge maps to guide you in making choices WHEN not if a storm comes your way. I worry that folks may derive a false sense of security from building codes and choose to "ride out" events. Having been involved in the clean up after a number of storms I think folks often don't realize that dealing with the chaos and dangers afterwards is as critical as surviving the event itself. Patrap has a bunch of preparedness info on his blog that is invaluable.

Enjoy wisely
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
110. lindenii
1:49 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
ricderr,

True that.

My garage doors are rated to 155mph and the shed I have out back is rated to 165mph. Windows and sliding glass rated to 125mph.

First floor cinderblock walls are filled with re-bar and concrete every third course and the wall is capped with a 18 inch lintel. Tie downs are everywhere. Make sure you keep them on their toes by photographing the progress of the build so that you can make sure that everything is on the 'up and up'.

With Wilma, the wind got so bad several of the lighting fixtures were ripped of the house and little else was damaged.

The codes got even better after my house was built in 2002. Your biggest issue will be dealing with potential storm surge if the storm hits the opening of Tampa Bay with the south side of the storm.
109. ricderr
1:36 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Gryff

hillsborough has adopted the florida building code...rather than use it's own codes...it's a good thing as now the builder can use one set of codes county...and the FBC...is a good set of codes for safe sturdy buildings....now...i've noticed a tone in this blog that seems to belittle the minimums....the minimums in your case provide a home that will withstand wind speeds of 120MPH...and chances are many components are rated higher....case in point...most doors sold in florida meet the miami dade codes in an effort to reduce inventory needs and as such meet windspeeds of 140MPH...the same applies to most roofing products
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 675 Comments: 22038
108. lindenii
1:34 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Burma....10,000 and counting.

107. rhodos49
1:33 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
RE: Pacific "TYPHOONS"

UPDATE:

The "Public Advisories" for those two "typhoons", KADENA and MISAWA contained the word "**Exercise**" in the body of the text. I didn't see it at first.

It appears that the exercise has concluded.
106. ClearH2OFla
1:30 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Good morning all. Typing to from the 4th floor of my office building on US 19 overlooking the Bayside Bridge. Storm Good morning to you Sir.
104. emagirl
1:25 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
good morning everyone...well less than a month until hurricane season.......any thoughts on what this season may hold.....
102. rhodos49
1:19 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
To: Cazatormentas (Blog No. #80 in this session)

FYI: It looks like those two "typhoons" are part of some sort of exercise.

"Kadena" is the name of the largest city on Okinawa and the name of its associated Air Base.

Likewise, "Misawa" is the name of a city in Japan, located at the northern tip of Honshu, and also the name of an Air Force Base nearby.
I was stationed there in the late 60's.

I hope to find out more about these "typhoons"
101. StormJunkie
1:19 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Morning SW, good to see ya
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
99. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:08 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
BBC News Berma/Myanmar Storm Report
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
98. FLWeatherFreak91
1:06 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
a question for all of you builders out there:

I am in the process of buying a new home in Tampa about a tenth of a mile inland from the bay. The builder is telling me that the home was built "according to Hillsborough County Hurricane Code". Does anybody know exactly what that is? In other words - is this house safe?


Well, I'm an architectural engineer student so I can tell you that building "to the code" means the bare minimum that the county will allow. BUT, you're not screwed or anything because all you have to do is request are 'RT2A hurricane ties' to be installed. These are cheap and basically save your house by binding the top half and roof to the studs. Now, if you want to go even further you can request Hurricane rods which are continuous metal bars which run from each lintel, through the wall, to the foundation. These sorta' hold the foundation to the wall and roof. All of this can be carried out inian already constructed house with minimum intrusion.

You can also ask the builder what the expected wind resistance of the house is. This will give you an idea of when you should evacuate. Enjoy the new house.

Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3631
97. StormJunkie
1:00 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
Habitat Destruction

I like the term lindenii and all very good points.

ric, great info!
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
95. Cavin Rawlins
12:43 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
the tropics
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
94. lindenii
12:42 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
87. StormJunkie 11:33 AM GMT on May 05, 2008

**************

Actually, we could go a step further and call it what it really is...Habitat Destruction.

Global warming...global cooling, are not something we have a lot of control over and probably have no business tinkering with, at least for the next few decades until our understanding catches up with our equipment.

Habitat destruction, on the other hand, is much much more immediate of a problem.

If, according to the statistical information available, our global population does grow to over ten billion by 2040...we be in deep dodo. There comes a point where climate modification will be overwhelmed by the population increase and we owe it to ourselves to begin developing plans that deal with population growth, or should I say explosion. And we need to do it NOW!!!

Polution control...solar energy for our energy needs...better farming practices...prohibiting agricuturally based fuel generation...we are way past carbon control etc.
93. ricderr
12:37 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
texasgulf......sounds like you might be a semi custom or custom home builder and not a fan of tract housing...which is fine..neither am i....i don't really want a house that looks like my neighbors 2 doors down....now....i have some clarifications and a disagreement...

osb....as from the distributor...it is almost identical to uplift and ratings as plywood....so...that's usually what the builder will use in defense of using the product..the differences and quality of plywood is proven over time...osb degrades faster under adverse conditions i/e moisture and rot...and where plywood will soak up moisture evenly...osb soaks it up fastest at the edge causing it to swell and pull up the nail to where you no longer have a safe amount of nail embedment for wind uplift...also...in humid conditions it degrades faster...and an improperly maintained roof deck is susceptible to boat water infiltration and wind uplift...so....no matter what your builder says..if you're not a fan of rolling the dice...stick to plywood sheathing as your roof deck material

hurricane clips....first...this is not an afternoon job for the typical homeowner....first..you're going to need to get plywood up inside your attic to use at your platform...you're also going to be working for the most part lying down..and from may through october in most hurricane prone areas you're going to be working in a high heat atmosphere...you're also working is a space restricted area usually with nails protruding from the roof deck....in a typical 6/12 pitched roof you're going to have 3' of headroom at 6 ft away from the exterior wall decreasing to about 5 inches where you will be fastening the hurricane clip...it's tough nailing..if you are going to undertake this yourself consider renting an electric palm nailer...the job will go a lot quicker and your arms will thank you....also...read the box and use the right fasteners.....according to my simpson catalog the only clip that utilizes a 16 d nail is an H11...by all means though...if your roof is not up to existing hurricanes codes get it done

now as for vinyl siding...while not a fan....i understand both the environmental and economic advantages....and....most vinyl sidings are now constructed to withstand when speeds in excess of 160 mph and many exceed wind speeds over 200mph
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 675 Comments: 22038
92. StormJunkie
12:28 PM GMT on May 05, 2008
That's awful vort, thanks for the update.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
88. pianomahnn
11:33 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
I think there's a bug with the hurricane/typhoon tracker. I'm seeing two storms near Japan right now...one a cat 4. Does not compute.
Member Since: June 1, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
87. StormJunkie
11:33 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Morning y'all :~)

Interesting article P&A, that said is the global average really that important? I think many here have stated that GW should really be considered global climate change and not GW. Not sure if this example is accurate, but basically if Arctic sea ice is melting would we not expect to see an increase in temps in the Arctic? Then ask yourself where all that cool runoff water is going? Would we not expect to see a cooling in these areas? My point is that I am not convinced that global averages can accurately depict global warming or cooling.

Just for the record I am not saying that I buy in to GW, nor am I saying that it is not happening, just that I am not sure global average temp is a good benchmark for proving a case one way or another.

One thing I am pretty certain of is that if we do not learn to live greener, then I expect it will bite us in the ass one day, one way or another. Maybe it will be our insatiable desire for oil, or maybe mother nature will dish out something we can not handle due to the pollutants we throw out.

All in all we need to quit arguing about global warming. If as many folks that have spent time an money trying to prove it one way or another had invested that same effort in to reducing oil dependency, or working to reduce emissions from factories, and cars, or the countless other things that we need to do to get our act together then we would all be a lot better off.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
85. HurricaneKing
11:05 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
I think they were last years storms. Ahhhh Ghost storms.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2485
84. pearlandaggie
11:04 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Does 'climate change' mean 'changing data'?
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
82. all4hurricanes
10:20 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
400 Dead in Burma 3 dead in Sri Lanka
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2374
81. BahaHurican
9:42 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Caz,

We've had a lot of these "ghost" storms of late . . . :o)
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22583
80. Cazatormentas
8:47 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Hi there !

I was surprised by MISAWA and KADENA typhoons in the Western Pacific Storm Advisories... Clearly this is an error. I have been looking for full disk satellite images trying to find them, but I only find two invests at that area.

I'm not sure how those typhoons have appeared :P !

Perhaps suddenly forecast models have improved a lot and they are showing their development? :D

Regards from Spain.
Member Since: October 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 149
79. KarenRei
7:02 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
"What kind of hurricane season do you think we will have?"

Looks like a fairly big one, but it's really too early to say with much confidence at all right now. We'll know better by the beginning of June.
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 940
78. Floodman
5:09 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Excellent advice, Taz...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
77. Tazmanian
4:33 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
a tip this hurricane season


if you do not like some one dont pick a fight with them thats gos with any thing like trolls and wishcasting this ban and Ignore and move on

ok?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
76. MississippiBoy
4:31 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
hey you experts out there what kind of hurricane season do you think we will have?
Member Since: April 6, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 283
75. FLWeatherFreak91
4:18 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Happy 5 de mayo!!
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3631
74. KarenRei
3:54 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
"I like having trees around the house - they keep the area beautiful and cool"

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you can help keep your house cool with climbing vines, which wouldn't pose a hurricane threat. Of course, you need to be careful with what kind -- virginia creeper and boston ivy are usually safe and won't damage a house, but climbing hydrangea, english ivy, kudzu, and wisteria can do some real damage. Most damage from rootlets burrowing into the walls, but wisteria can damage from outright crushing.
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 940
73. pottery
3:54 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Out.......
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24653
72. pottery
3:47 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Does not look very active to me, lots of dry air around it, west and north.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24653
71. pottery
3:45 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Just in briefly. What is the story with a wave at 31/32 w ?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24653
70. Cavin Rawlins
3:42 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
60. stormdude77 9:49 PM AST on May 04, 2008
Hey W456...Did you notice that the NHC repositioned the tropical wave in the CATL, to around 31/32 west?


It seems reasonable
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
69. KarenRei
3:39 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
2007 had Andrea.
2006 had part of Zeta
2005 had Zeta. Also, Epsilon didn't reach hurricane strength until after the season ended.
2004 had Otto form on the last day of the season.
2003 had Anna in late April.

Storms outside of hurricane season certainly aren't common, but you shouldn't discount them. The tropical Carribean remains hot enough year-round, while the central Atlantic gets hot enough a month or two in each direction from hurricane season. It's shear that normally keeps them down -- and shear varies. So, you keep an eye on the shear forecasts for areas that are hot enough and keep an eye out for convection that might be in the area.

Storms don't care about the date; they just care about the conditions. :)
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 940
68. ktymisty
3:38 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
off topic but interesting - just did the poll on the RHS and the results were dead even with my vote :) amazing
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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.