Typhoon Durian kills at least 388 in Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:30 PM GMT on December 01, 2006

At least 388 people have died in the Philippines due to the landfall of devastating Typhoon Durian, which slammed ashore in the central Philippine Islands yesterday. Durian hit extreme southern Luzon Island in the province of Albay as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 mph. The typhoon passed directly over Mayon, the most active volcano in the Philippines and one of the country's most famous tourist attractions because of its near-perfect cone. Loose rock that the volcano had deposited in a July eruption rushed down the slopes in the form of deadly mudslides, thanks to Durian's torrential rains. Estimates from NASA's TRMM satellite of the rain amounts were 8-12 inches in a 24 hours period. The mudslides swept into villages and rivers at the foot of the Mayon Volcano. Evacuations of the villages had not been ordered, since the region had never before experienced severe mudslides from a typhoon.

Next, Durian hit the island of Marinduque as a Category 3 typhoon with sustained winds of 120 mph. Virtually every building on the island was damaged or destroyed, and Durian was judged the worst typhoon ever to hit the island. In all, the death toll from Durian makes this storm more deadly than Typhoon Xangsane, which killed 218 people in the Philippines on September 27. Durian is the fourth major typhoon to hit the Philippines this year.

Figure 1. Visible satellite image from NASA's Aqua satellite of Typhoon Durian from 05 GMT November 30, 2006 (1pm local time in the Philippines). The Mayon volcano was in the southern eyewall underneath an impressive tower of high cumulonimbus clouds at the time. Image credit: NASA.

Durian is now a weakening Category 1 typhoon over the South China Sea, and is expected to weaken further as it continues westwards towards Vietnam. A large area of dry air over the region should reduce Durian to tropical storm strength by the time it reaches Vietnam on Monday, where it is not expected to do significant damage.

I'll save my discussion of why the 2006 hurricane season was so mild for next week. Expect a short update on Durian Saturday.

Jeff Masters

Mt. Mayon Lava Flow (shaggi)
Taken from Linonl Hill Observatory (13 09'40 123 43'46) at Albay Philippines. Glow from the volcanoes peak can been seen from dusk til dawn. Still at 8km danger zone.
Mt. Mayon Lava Flow
Mayon Volcano, City of Legazpi, Philippines (Hugo)
Mount Mayon, the world's most perfect cone-shaped volcano.
Mayon Volcano, City of Legazpi, Philippines

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153. aquak9
4:08 PM GMT on December 02, 2006
"97L is dead; never to rise again."

Yes, yes finally, some closure. No more haunting.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 198 Comments: 29051
152. pottery
3:54 PM GMT on December 02, 2006
........well it seems that there is a real sad condition there.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 26675
151. dawhiff
3:27 PM GMT on December 02, 2006
Up to 700 feared dead in typhoon aftermath

By Tony Bergonia, TJ Burgonio
Last updated 09:44pm (Mla time) 12/02/2006

PADANG, Legazpi City -- No one will probably know for sure how many lives were swallowed up in the torrents of volcanic mud and rocks unleashed by super-typhoon Reming but the man who should know, Philippine National Red Cross chief Senator Richard Gordon, said the figure could reach 700.

Survivors of the disaster that struck this village of 1,400 people in Albay say they are certain many of their men, women, and children still lie underneath the pile of boulders and volcanic sand that wiped out entire neighborhoods here.

“They’re still under there,” said a man, pointing with his lips at what used to be a two-kilometer stretch of road that debris from Mayon Volcano had obliterated. “There are houses under these.”

Gordon on Saturday visited some of the areas ravaged by Reming in its powerful strike at Albay and other provinces in the Bicol region on Thursday.

“Six hundred to 700 people are feared dead,” Gordon told reporters on the plane flying him back to Manila.

The official casualty toll released by the National Disaster Coordinating Center in its 7 p.m. update put the number of dead at 303, including 285 dead in Albay, which bore the brunt of Reming’s gusts of 265 kilometers per hour.

The NDCC said 10 people died in Camarines Sur, five in Catanduanes, two in Oriental Mindoro, and one in Quezon.

The number of those on the official list of missing stood at 293.

The NDCC said 195,153 families, or 799,056 people, in 12 provinces were affected.

Of that number, 44,348 people were in evacuation centers.

Reming also destroyed or damaged 118,324 houses.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal was as puzzled as many of the villagers over what brought the destruction.

“We weren’t expecting this,” he said. He said city officials anticipated flood and mudflows from Mayon to follow the course of the river, but they didn’t.

“The mudflow descended on the village, not on the river. There must be something really wrong,” Rosal said.

Villagers pointed to roofs jutting out of mud and boulders and said they were sure that there were people under them -- dying if not already dead.

Joseph Manjares, an official of the PNRC chapter in Albay, said that based on projections, the number of missing might reach 769.

All that some of the villagers could remember of that scary Thursday was the sound -- the terrifying braaam, braaam of boulders crashing down as floodwaters carried them from the slopes of the volcano, the woooosh of the winds, and human voices barely audible in the noise of nature’s wrath.

“We can’t hear each other,” said Lordito Bautista, whose family was among about 10 who took shelter on the roof of a cement factory.

“But I can hear women and children shouting. I can’t hear what they were shouting about but I’m sure they were crying for help. All I could hear was the sound of boulder hitting boulder.”

“That was where we survived,” Bautista said, pointing to the roof that was all that could be seen of the cement factory.

Some villagers recalled watching helplessly as people clinging to trees lost their grip and fell into floodwaters that they said reached the height of a two-story house.

Jesus Almayda, a village official, said he was on the roof of his house and saw bodies being swept away in the waters like pieces of logs.

People pointed to a roof that was all that stood out of a pile of mud, sand, and rocks at one end of the village.

“Twenty people died there,” one man shouted at reporters and cameramen.

The man said floods swept the villagers to the house where, seconds later, boulders and mud followed and buried them.

Some villagers said they wanted to run away, but a wall of water rushing to them forced them to stay indoors.

That was what the family of John Louie Belon tried to do.

“We tried twice to just get out,” said his mother, who would not give her name.

She said the family wanted to try a third time to leave the house, but the waters were coming fast.

“So we just climbed our roof,” she said.

When the water subsided and the mud dried, the family saw what was left of their belongings -- a pair of sofas, spoons and forks caked in mud, a set of dusty plates, and a pool of water in the middle of what used to be a living room.

As officials and reporters wound their way into the village, the Belons were laying muddied clothes, kitchen ware, bed sheet,s and pillows out in the sun to dry.

“We want to build a new house in another place,” said the mother. “We’re afraid of this place now.”

There was no way of knowing for sure how many bodies the 20-foot-high pile of volcanic materials were holding.

“We don’t have the equipment (to dig through the rubble),” said the mayor, “but we will surely retrieve their bodies.”

“Our mission now is search and retrieve,” he said.

The task of finding the dead was slow, and the stench of those that had been found started to fill the air.

City officials said that in this village alone, at least 41 people were dead. At least 141 others were missing, believed to be underneath the pile of debris where there used to be roads and communities.

At the lone funeral parlor here, a white board lists the names of 12 people who were confirmed dead.

Inside a small room that served as a morgue, the bodies of four children, a woman, and a man were covered with pieces of cloth.

Their names were not on the list yet. They had not been identified.

A garage was emptied of vehicles to make way for white coffins.

“These are reserved. These are still empty, but reserved (for the dead),” said one funeral parlor worker.

At a larger funeral parlor outside the village, bodies were being sprayed with formalin, a commodity that Mayor Rosal said the city might run out of soon.

One villager rushing to a crowd that gathered around the mayor yelled in Filipino—“Mayor, please help us.”

With a report from Alcuin Papa

148. pottery
11:18 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Good morning..........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 26675
147. aspiringstat
10:51 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
The official and latest updates from the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council are here:

146. aspiringstat
10:45 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
UPDATE) '469 dead or missing in Albay mudslides'

LEGASPI - At least 469 people were dead or missing after rivers of mud and volcanic ash triggered by typhoon Reming (international codename Durian) swamped villages in Albay province, disaster officials said Saturday.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council said the victims were all in the Bicol region, which bore the full brunt of the storm on Thursday.

The NDCC said 208 people were killed, 90 were hurt and 261 were missing in regions IV and V. All the deaths were around the Mount Mayon volcano where mud and ash flows driven by torrential rain swamped villages on Thursday night.

It said that 195,153 families, or 799,056 people, in 928 villages have been affected. About 27,000 houses were destroyed. Damage to property amounted to over P27 million.

Power and communications are still down in Bondoc Peninsula and in Bicol, officials said, while electricity in Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon has yet to be restored.

The Philippine National Red Cross had earlier reported 388 confirmed dead and 96 missing but revised their total down to 134 dead and 159 missing Saturday. However, the Red Cross said it was also investigating reports of another 200 dead in a village on the slopes of Mount Mayon. AFP


i wish this will be the last typhoon to hit the country this year.
143. TyphoonHunter
9:15 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Photos just uploaded from the mudflow site at www.rambocam.com Conditions between 93W and the Philippines seem ripe at the moment. There is minimal wind shear and SSTs must still be boiling. If this develops could be serious business!
142. diveralison
9:02 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Sandcrab, I would like to make a donation too. Can you tell me where and how?
140. Pieman2
8:41 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Having visited the area around Mayon several times a few years ago I can scarcely imagine the devastation caused by dumping up to 12" of rain on top of recent eruption debris. Mayon does suffer from lahars (mixture of pyroclastic ash and water) down gullies and river channels all the way to the sea but these dreadful mudflows sound exceptional. Also as pictures show most housing is very insubstantial and vulnerable to wind.
The government resources do not appear to be great and have already had to deal with 3 previous typhoons this year alone. You can contribute direct to Philippines Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org.ph/) but they do not appear to have a secure system for credit cards. I have asked what they can suggest and will post any extra info.
Member Since: August 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
134. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:39 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
New Invest 093W

An area of convection near 4.3N 155.1E or 265 nm southeast of Chuuk. Imagery shows flaring convection over a developing low level circulation center with low vertical wind sheer and favorable westward and equatorward outflow.

Maximum sustained winds 10 to 15 knots with a center pressure of 1006 mb. development into a significate tropical cyclone is poor

note 92W which we know as Durian started at 6N 153E, this new invest isn't that far off from Durian's starting point =/
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 62 Comments: 54054
132. TyphoonHunter
6:10 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Afternoon all.
News seems to be getting worse and worse out of the Philippines. Geoff Mackely (who've I've already mentioned several times on here but I'll mention again for those who missed it) is in the Mayon Volcano region as I type. He'll be posting updates on his website www.rambocam.com There are already some sensational pictures uploaded.

Trying to diminish the scale of this disaster by making cras and pointless comparisons to other cyclones is completely inappropriate and disrespectful to those who've been affected. Wind speed is by no means the only indicator for how catastrophic a tropical cyclone is going to be. The highest death toll this season in the NW Pacific(excluding Durian since all details aren't known yet) was from Bilis which wasn't even at typhoon intensity when it made landfall in China.
131. caneman
3:05 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Caneman goes on hiatus

(AP)December 1, 2006

Caneman, destroyer of tropical blobs and other tropical weather systems, has announced that he will be on hiatus until next hurricane season.
"This year, we stood tall in the face of mother nature and turned back what could have been some ferocious storms" Caneman stated at a news conference at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. "It could have gone either way, but thanks to windshear and african dust, the would be tropical blobs didn't stand a chance" he said to an applauding crowd.

Mrs. Jones, long time Florida resident was relieved that the season passed without so much as a warning.
"I knew Caneman wouldn't let us down. He really rose to the task this year and maximized that wonderful upper level windshear."

Fred "storm surge" Knight added "Caneman kicked total tropical tail this season. What a weather stud!"

Caneman took it all in stride. "Just another day at the office" he deadpanned to a beaming crowd. "Let's keep praying for more upper level windshear next season and for good measure, some dry air intrustion".

Caneman plans to relax and work on crossword puzzles, perfect the next generation Pina Colada, and perhaps read a book. Or two.

"I have just over six months to recharge my batteries and get ready for the 2007 season. I hope it will be as successful as this one was", Caneman concluded.
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
130. sandcrab39565
1:50 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Will do my friend.
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
129. sandcrab39565
1:50 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
They might get the Crabby side of the crab.lol
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
127. sandcrab39565
1:46 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
With my state of mind after the week I have had they better watch out! lol
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
125. sandcrab39565
1:44 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
My blood is to thin for that that is why I live in the South.lol
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
124. sandcrab39565
1:43 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Pulling to far north thats good it gettin cold here. mid 30s tonight possible 20s tommorrow night
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
120. sandcrab39565
1:40 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Rand has the front passed you yet?
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
119. sandcrab39565
1:39 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
You got it my friend I will be getting info together for us to share with others as well.
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
118. sandcrab39565
1:37 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
I have a radio interview Monday morning I am planning on asking people to donate to our local Chapter so that we can make a direct donation to a chapter over there.
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
116. sandcrab39565
1:36 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Great we will share info and maybe can do something a bit quicker.
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
114. sandcrab39565
1:31 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
I can do that Drlaura has a brother there she gave me his number I will check through him as well.
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
113. V26R
1:30 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Boomers past rather uneventfully here, Had some pretty good gusts and a pretty Display of fireworks
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1766
111. sandcrab39565
1:24 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
I have secured a 10 person team trained in "Critical Incident and Crisis Management" that could debrief families and responders.
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
109. sandcrab39565
1:23 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
We had so much support last year I feel compelled to do all I can
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
107. sandcrab39565
1:21 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
We are offering assistance in temporary shelters (Tents and portable showers and kitchens)
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
105. sandcrab39565
1:20 AM GMT on December 02, 2006
Yes it will be like concrete
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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