Quick post before I take off for the Department of Geosciences Fall Field Trip. If you’re looking for the current status of the eruption in Iceland, be sure to check out the Icelandic Meteorological Office.
However, today’s post is about the renewed activity at Mayon in the Philippines. It appears that lava is now actively extruding at the summit of the volcano, producing rock falls of incandescent blocks of lava. Seismic activity has increased dramatically over the last week and the style of earthquakes suggests to geologists at PHIVOLCS that magma is ascending inside the volcano. They have increased the alert status at Mayon from 2 to 3 (on a 5 level scale) and say that the potential for a “hazardous eruption” within weeks is high.
As I mentioned with the eruption of Rabaul, this activity at Mayon has the potential to have much more direct consequences on people than the activity in Iceland. In the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia, hundreds of thousands of people live within a few tens of kilometers of these potentially highly explosive volcanoes. At Mayon, that number is over 250,000 people within 10 kilometers! Keeping a close eye on these eruptions is definitely a necessity to protect those lives.
* AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article from the Philippine Star quotes a PHIVOLCS volcanologist as saying that Mayon is “overdue” for a large explosive eruption. This is based on a grand total for 2 prior eruptions in 1814 and 1897. I wouldn’t believe this sort of talk as 2 data points cannot be used to set such a pattern, even if it existed.
After spending 48 hours at Category 5 strength, the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in world history, Super Typhoon Haiyan, has finally weakened to a Category 4 storm. With top sustained winds of 155 mph, Haiyan is still an incredibly powerful super typhoon, but has now finished its rampage through the Central Philippine Islands, and is headed across the South China Sea towards Vietnam. Satellite loops show that Haiyan no longer has a well-defined eye, but the typhoon still has a huge area of intense thunderstorms which are bringing heavy rains to the Central Philippines. I’ve never witnessed a Category 5 storm that made landfall and stayed at Category 5 strength after spending so many hours over land, and there are very few storms that have stayed at Category 5 strength for so long.
Figure 1. Super Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines, as seen by the Japan Meteorological Agency’s MTSAT at 0630Z on November 7, 2013. At the time, Haiyan had maximum sustained winds of 175 mph. Image credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.
Haiyan’s place in history
Haiyan hit Guiuan, on the Philippine island of Samar, at 4:40 am local time (20:40 UTC) November 8, 2013. Three hours before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) assessed Haiyan’s sustained winds at 195 mph, gusting to 235 mph, making it the 4th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Satellite loops show that Haiyan weakened only slightly, if at all, in the two hours after JTWC’s advisory, so the super typhoon likely made landfall with winds near 195 mph. The next JTWC intensity estimate, for 00Z UTC November 8, about three hours after landfall, put the top winds at 185 mph. Averaging together these estimates gives a strength of 190 mph an hour after landfall. Thus, Haiyan had winds of 190 – 195 mph at landfall, making it the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history. The previous record was held by the Atlantic’s Hurricane Camille of 1969, which made landfall in Mississippi with 190 mph winds.
According to the official “best track” records from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, here are the strongest tropical cyclones in world history:
However, it is now recognized (Black 1992) that the maximum sustained winds estimated for typhoons during the 1940s to 1960s were too strong. The strongest reliably measured tropical cyclones were all 5 mph weaker than Haiyan, with 190 mph winds—the Western Pacific’s Super Typhoon Tip of 1979, the Atlantic’s Hurricane Camille of 1969, and the Atlantic’s Hurricane Allen of 1980. All three of these storms had a hurricane hunter aircraft inside of them to measure their top winds. Haiyan’s winds were estimated using only satellite images, making its intensity estimate of lower confidence. We don’t have any measurements of Haiyan’s central pressure, but it may be close to the all-time record of 870 mb set by Super Typhoon Tip. The Japan Meteorological Agency estimated Haiyan’s central pressure at 895 mb at 18 UTC (1 pm EST) November 7, 2013. This would make Haiyan the 12th strongest tropical cyclone on record globally, as far as lowest pressure goes.
Figure 2. Damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan in Legazpi city, Albay province, Nov. 8, 2013, about 325 miles south of Manila, Philippines. (Twitter/Ritchel M. Deleon)
Massive damage in the Philippines
Wind damage on the south shore of Samar Island in Guiuan (population 47,000) must have been catastrophic, perhaps the greatest wind damage any place on Earth has endured from a tropical cyclone in the past century. A massive storm surge must have also caused great destruction along a 20-mile swath to the north of where the eye hit, where Project NOAH was predicting a 17’ (5.3 meter) storm tide. Wind and storm surge damage were heavy in Tacloban, population 221,000, the capital of the province of Leyte, according to preliminary media reports. Much of Tacloban is at elevations less than ten feet, and several videos posted on YouTube showed a storm surge of at least ten feet moving through the city. The northern (strong) part of Haiyan’s eyewall made a direct hit on the city. Storm Chaser Jim Edds was in Tacloban, and reported that at least ten crewed boats were in the harbor, attempting to ride out the storm. Haiyan’s winds, rains, and storm surge have caused widespread devastation throughout the Central Philippines, though we do not yet have reports from the worst-hit portions of the disaster zone, including the south shore of Samar Island. Fortunately, the storm’s fast forward speed of 25 mph cut down the amount of rain the storm dumped, compared to typical typhoons that affect the Philippines. Hopefully, this will keep the death toll due to flash flooding relatively low. Flash floods are usually the biggest killer in Philippine typhoons.
Figure 3. Predicted rainfall from the 06Z November 8, 2013 run of the HWRF model, for the 96-hour period ending at 06Z November 12, 2013. A 100-mile wide swath of 8 – 16 inches of rain (medium dark red colors) as well as a 30-mile wide swath of 16 – 24″ (dark red colors) is predicted to affect Vietnam and Laos. Rains of this magnitude are likely to cause a top-five most expensive natural disaster in both nations. Image credit: NOAA/NCEP/EMC.
Haiyan an extremely dangerous storm for Vietnam and Laos
Haiyan will steadily decay over the next two days, due to colder waters and higher wind shear. However, it will still likely be a formidable Category 1 or 2 typhoon when it makes landfall in Vietnam near 06 UTC Sunday. Haiyan is expected to begin recurving to the northwest as it makes landfall, which means that a long 100+ mile stretch of the Vietnam coast will receiving the punishing winds and peak storm surge of the strong northern portion of the typhoon. With part of its circulation still over water, Haiyan will be able to pull in a huge amount of moisture that will create prodigious rains over Vietnam and Laos. I expect that the 12+ inches of rain that the storm will dump on those nations will make it a top-five most expensive natural disaster in their history.
Video 1. Damaging winds and a potent storm surge from Super Typhoon Haiyan are captured in this video from the capital of Leyte Province, Tacloban, which received a direct hit from Haiyan. Thanks to wunderground member GatorWX for posting this in my blog comments.
Very dangerous Tropical Cyclone Phailin has made landfall on the northeast coast of India near the town of Gopalpur (population 7,000) at 16 UTC (noon EDT) Saturday, October 12, 2013. Phailin was weakening substantially at landfall, due to interaction with land, and was rated a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), four hours before landfall. The pressure bottomed out at 938 mb in Gopalpur as the eye passed over, and the city reported sustained winds of 56 mph, gusting to 85 mph, in the eyewall. A 938 mb pressure is what one expects to find in a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds, using the “Dvorak technique” of satellite wind and pressure estimation. Satellite images show that Phailin’s intense thunderstorms have warmed and shrunk in areal coverage, and radar out of Visakhapanam, India also shows a weakening of the storm’s echoes as it pushes inland. Phailin is bringing torrential rains of over an inch per hour, as estimated by microwave satellite instruments.
Figure 1. Radar image of Phailin at landfall. Image credit: IMD.
Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phailin, taken at approximately 07:30 UTC on October 12, 2013. At the time, Phailin was a top-end Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph. Image credit: NASA.
Damage from Phailin
Phailin is the strongest tropical cyclone to affect India in fourteen years, since the great 1999 Odisha Cyclone. That storm hit with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, and brought a storm surge of 5.9 meters (19 feet) to the coast. Phailin should be able to drive a similar-sized storm surge to the coast, since it is larger in areal extent than the 1999 cyclone (although somewhat weaker, with winds perhaps 20 – 30 mph lower.) Phailin’s storm surge and Category 3 to 4 winds will cause near-catastrophic damage to a 50-mile wide swath of the coast where the eyewall comes ashore, and to the right. Hurricane Katrina was weaker at landfall than Phailin, but Katrina had hurricane-force winds that covered a much larger area, making Katrina’s storm surge much more devastating than Phailin’s will be. I think the main danger from Phailin will be from its winds. I am particularly concerned about Phailin’s wind damage potential in the city of Brahmapur (population 350,000), the 58th largest city in India. Brahmapur lies about ten miles inland, and will likely experience sustained hurricane-force winds for several hours. Phailin’s flooding potential is another huge concern, as rainfall amounts of 6 – 12 inches will fall along a swath over 100 miles inland, triggering life-threatening flash flooding.
How strong was Phailin?
Questions have been raised about the India Meteorological Department (IMD) assessments of Phailin’s strength, which were considerably lower than that of the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Both centers use satellite estimates rather than direct measurements of the winds, so we don’t know which center is correct. It is true that satellite estimates using the same techniques give different results for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans–i.e., a storm with the same appearance on satellite imagery will be weaker in the Atlantic than in the Pacific (see this chart of the differences.) It may be that this is the case in the Indian Ocean as well. IMD has looked at some buoy data to try and calibrate their satellite strength estimates, but high-end tropical cyclones are uncommon enough in the Indian Ocean that I doubt we really know whether or not Indian Ocean cyclones have the same winds as a hurricane in the Atlantic with the same satellite signature. Another thing to consider is that the IMD uses 10-minute average winds for their advisories, and JTWC uses 1-minute, so the winds in the IMD advisories will be lower by at least 6%, due to the longer averaging period. This issue could be cleared up if India had its own hurricane hunter aircraft; there have been some high-level discussions about India getting a C-130 aircraft like the U.S. Air Force uses to fly into tropical cyclones and take measurements of the actual winds.
Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Nari, taken at approximately 02:30 UTC on October 12, 2013. At the time, Nari was a Category 1 storm with winds of 90 mph. Image credit: NASA.
Typhoon Nari hits the Philippines
Thirteen people were killed and 2.1 million people lost power on the main Philippine island of Luzon afterTyphoon Nari hit on Friday night near midnight local time. Nari was a Category 3 typhoon with 115 mph winds a few hours before landfall. The core of the storm passed about 80 miles north of the capital of Manila, sparing the capital major flooding, but the storm dumped torrential rains in excess of ten inches to the northeast of Manilla. Passage over Luzon weakened Nari to a Category 1 storm, but it is already beginning to re-organize over the South China Sea between the Philippines and Vietnam. Nari is under moderate wind shear of 15 – 20 knots, which should keep intensification relatively slow, and increasing interaction with land will act to slow intensification on Sunday and Monday. Nari could be near Category 3 strength with 115 mph winds by Monday, and landfall in Vietnam is expected around 21 UTC on Monday.
Typhoon Wipha a threat to Japan
Category 1 Typhoon Wipha is intensifying as it heads northwest towards Japan, and the storm is expected to reach major Category 3 strength by Monday. By Tuesday, Wipha will recurve to the northeast and begin weakening, passing very close to Tokyo, Japan, sometime between 00 – 12 UTC on Wednesday. High winds and heavy rains from Wipha may be a concern for the Fukushima nuclear site, where workers continue to struggle with high radiation levels in the wake of the 2011 tsunami that damaged the reactors.
98L in the Eastern Atlantic weakening
A tropical wave (Invest 98L) located midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands is headed west to west-northwest at 10 – 15 mph. Satellite loops show that 98L has lost most of its organization and heavy thunderstorms since this morning. The disturbance is under a high 20 – 30 knots of wind shear, and the shear is expected to remain high for the next three days. The UKMET model shows some weak development of 98L by early next week, but the European and GFS models do not. In their 2 pm EDT Saturday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance 2-day development odds of 30%, and 5-day odds of 30%. 98L’s projected west-northwest track is expected take it close to the Northern Lesser Antilles Islands by Wednesday, according to the 00Z Saturday run of the European model.
Thanks go to wunderground member thunderfrance for posting the link to the weather station at Gopalpur, India.
Earth’s strongest and most dangerous tropical cyclone so far in 2013 is Category 4 Super Typhoon Utor, which is closing in on the northern Philippine Island of Luzon with 150 mph sustained winds. Landfall is expected at approximately 20 UTC (4 pm EDT) Sunday near Casigran. Satellite imagery shows a formidable storm with well-organized spiral bands, a prominent 15-mile diameter eye, and good (but not excellent) upper-level outflow. Ocean temperatures are very warm, about 30°C (86°F), which is approximately 0.5 – 1.0°C above average. These warm waters extend to tremendous depth, giving Utor a huge source of energy to tap into. Wind shear is low, 5 – 10 knots. Theoretically, the Maximum Potential Intensity (MPI) that Utor can achieve under these conditions is sustained winds of 185 mph. However, Utor will not have time to reach that strength before encountering Luzon. Utor is a very wet storm, and will likely bring a large swath of 8+ inches of rain across Luzon. These rains will cause dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. Utor will likely weaken to a Category 1 storm as it passes over Luzon, but is expected to re-intensify to a Category 2 storm before hitting China a few hundred miles south of Hong Kong about 20 UTC on Tuesday.
Utor is a Marshallese word for squall line, and has been used for three tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific–in 2001, 2006, and 2013. Typhoon Utor is called Typhoon Labuyo in the Philippines. Utor’s 150 mph winds make it the strongest tropical cyclone globally so far in 2013. Earth’s previous most powerful tropical cyclone of 2013 was Typhoon Soulik, which reached Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds on July 10. Soulik weakened to a Category 2 storm before hitting Taiwan on July 12.
Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Utor taken at 04:30 UTC on Sunday, August 11. Image credit: NASA.
The Philippines no stranger to powerful typhoons
The Philippines lie in the most tropical cyclone-prone waters on Earth, and rarely escape a year without experiencing a devastating typhoon. Usually, these storms impact the northern Philippine island of Luzon, but last year, Earth’s deadliest weather disaster of 2012 occurred on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, where Super Typhoon Bopha struck as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h), on December 3. Bopha made two additional landfalls in the Philippines, on central Visayas and on Palawan, on December 4. The typhoon left 1901 people dead, mostly on the island of Mindanao, making Bopha the 2nd deadliest typhoon in Philippine history. Bopha affected over 5.4 million people and left over 700,000 people homeless. With damages estimated at $1.7 billion, Bopha was the costliest natural disaster in Philippines history.
Figure 2. December 7, 2012: rescuers and residents look for missing victims amongst toppled tree trunks and coconut shells after flash floods caused by Super Typhoon Bopha hit Compostela Valley on Mindanao Island in the Philippines on December 3 – 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jay Morales, Malacanang Photo Bureau, HO)
Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no tropical cyclone threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today. Some of the models are suggesting a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical storm could form by Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, in association with a stalled cold front expected to push off the Southeast U.S. coast late this week.
Update 15:54 UTC : We get gradually a better view on what is happening as we have received a number of reports from Kabacan which is less than 30 km from the epicenter. these reports are confirming the strong expected shaking + also the many aftershocks (at least 10). Kabacan Experience reports :
– still experiencing very strong aftershocks. almost 10 aftershocks already (Very Strong shaking indicated)
– in only split of seconds, earthquake for 3x (strong shaking indicated)
– Lasted for less than a minute (Very Strong shaking indicated)
– Both swinging and bouncing motion (Very Strong shaking indicated)
In Libungan, a location 35 km west of the epicenter, the power was out shortly
– I opened the door, got out of the house. Very strong, even our dogs panicked. its 10:28pm on our clock, followed by slight shaking at around 10:55pm .we are viewing PGT but power was off for few minutes.
– Cannot avoid panicking as I was so afraid.
Another location with rather high Shaking values is Midsayap :
– my family was so afraid it is very strong earthquake i easily carry my grand ma because of too nervous all i want is to escaped inside the house carrying my lola a very impressive adrenalin rush
– Strong shaking, swaying of framed pictures on wall.., really caused fear among us.
– I’m worried for our house is not concrete. We’re not able to stand and look for safest place.
– So afraid. It was a sudden shake but really strong.
– it was a strong earthquake, i and my kids seek refuge at the lawn where it is open and the safest place for us.
Update 15:54 UTC : The earthquake occurred at 22h local time. At this time a day, more people are at home and therefore more vulnerable to collapsing residential buildings.
Landslides: The maximum slope in the area of the earthquake is 49.865% and the maximum altitude is 2804 m. Since this is a medium slope, the risk of earthquake induced landslides is medium.
There are no Hydrodams in the greater epicenter area (gdacs data)
Update 15:31 UTC : No information yet from the epicenter area. The earthquake occurred at 22:10 local time, which means probably in the dark. Normally it takes a few hours before Civil Defense reports are starting to come in.
Update 15:16 UTC : Preliminary Focal Mechanism as reported by CPPGeophysics
Update 15:16 UTC : Carmen is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cotabato, Philippines. According LGPMS (as of 2009), it has a population of 65,670 people in 13,325 households. (source Wikipedia)
Update 15:12 UTC : GDACS reports the following locations close with their distance to the epicenter : The earthquake happened 87km from Davao. The nearest populated places are: Wangay (17km), Mlang (16km), Imbuc Rancheria (18km), Kayaga (12km), Lamiaon (18km), Kinudal (7km), Linao (15km), Carman (5km), Miuban (19km), Tubac (17km), Manarapan (7km), Simoney (6km), Kibudtungan (12km), Datu Santilla (17km), Liliongan (18km). The closest civilian airport is Awang (70km).
Update 15:15 UTC : So far, we have not received any I Have Felt It reports from the direct epicenter area (President Roxas or Carmen).
Update 15:12 UTC : The USGS picture below shows scary data – A MMI VII (very strong) shaking is expected to be felt by 110,000 people !
Update 14:54 UTC : The Phivolcs epicenter map below shows the main faults cris-crossing the many islands but surprisingly not a main fault near the epicenter of today’s earthquake
Update 14:54 UTC : Phivolcs Philippines is just like us expecting damage as well as aftershocks.
The shaking intensities as reported by Phivolcs are as follows (at ER we think that the shaking will be stronger, more like USGS predicts):
Intensity IV – Matalam, North Cotabato
Intensity III – Tacurong City, Marawi City; Kidapawan City; Cotabato City; Cagayan de Oro City
Intensity II – Davao City; Valencia City; Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte
Important : the Phivolcs Shaking values are NOT MMI values but are according their own scale which is as follows :
II : Slightly Felt – Felt by few individuals at rest indoors. Hanging objects swing slightly. Still Water in containers oscillates noticeably.
III : Weak – Felt by many people indoors especially in upper floors of buildings. Vibration is felt like one passing of a light truck. Dizziness and nausea are experienced by some people. Hanging objects swing moderately. Still water in containers oscillates moderately.
IV : Moderately Strong – Felt generally by people indoors and by some people outdoors. Light sleepers are awakened. Vibration is felt like a passing of heavy truck. Hanging objectsswing considerably. Dinner, plates, glasses, windows and doors rattle. Floors and walls of wood framed buildings creak. Standing motor cars may rock slightly. Liquids in containers are slightly disturbed. Water in containers oscillate strongly. Rumbling sound may sometimes be heard.
Update 14:44 UTC : We have just changed the title of this page from ‘dangerous into ‘very dangerous. The main reason is the very populated area and new data from local Phivolcs (Philippines seismological agency). they have reported a Magnitude of M5.7 at a extremely shallow depth of 5 km and thats really bad news for an radius of 25 km around the epicenter.
Update 14:41 UTC : The village of Carmen is at only 4 km from the epicenter (USGS data). The shaking lasted from 5 seconds to even a minute like some people reported. If a shaking of 30 seconds to a minute is confirmed, this will be bad news, as the longer the shaking is lasting the more chance there is for damage.
Update 14:35 UTC : The image below (Google Satellite View) is showing an additional reason of fear : A lot of farming fields left of the river and near the USGS epicenter (Which differs a lot from the initial EMSC epicenter). USGS is locating the epicenter very close to Carmen.
Update 14:32 UTC : The shaking map below shows why we are calling this earthquake dangerous. An MMI very strong shaking is (theoretically) expected by USGS.
Update 14:28 UTC : USGS has reported a depth of 18 km and a Magnitude of M5.6.
President Roxas is a location of 10,000 inhabitants at only 14 km from the epicenter (EMSC epicenter location)
A strong earthquake occurred in the middle of Mindanao.
Earthquake-Report.com calls this earthquake as very dangerous for damage and/or injuries, the main reason being the shallow depth and the chance on landslides.
932 km SE of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,444,527 / local time: 22:10:11.0 2013-06-01
54 km W of Davao, Philippines / pop: 1,212,504 / local time: 22:10:11.0 2013-06-01
14 km NE of President Roxas, Philippines / pop: 10,879 / local time: 22:10:11.0 2013-06-01
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.6
Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-06-01 22:10:09
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Mw7.6 (USGS), Ml7.7 (PHIVOLCS)
UTC Time : 31st August, 2012 – 12:47:34 UTC
Local time at epicenter : 31st August, 2012 – 20:47:34 UTC
Depth (Hypocenter) : 34.9 km (USGS), 10km (PHIVOLCS)
Geo-location(s) : 96km (60mi) E of Sulangan, Philippines
Phivolcs was predicting:-
Intensity 7 in Guian, Oras, Sulat, Borongan City, Eastern Samar;
Intensity 6 in Siargao, Surigao del Norte; Tacloban City; Palo Leyte; Saint Bernard, S. Leyte;
Intensity 5 in Mati City; Compostela; Compostela; Legaspi City; Iloilo City; Beilig City; Iligan City;
Intensity 4 in Butuan City, Catbalogan City, Butuan City, Cagayan De Oro City;
Intensity 3 in Cotabato City, Mambajao, Camiguin, General Santos City; and
Intensity 2 in Marawi, Sipalay City
UPDATE:- NDRRMC is expecting damage from an earthquake of this size, but still waiting on more damage reports.
1 person has been killed through a house collapse in Southern Cagayan de Oro city on the South Island of Mindanao killing a 54-year-old woman and injuring her 5-year old grandson.
The center in Philippines said that very small tsunami waves of 3 centimeters meters (just over an inch) were recorded along the eastern Philippine coast near Legazpi city and another nearby location indicating a possible escape from a major tsunami.
The quake knocked out power in several other towns and cities across the central and southern Philippines, though it was restored in some areas later Friday.
SUMMARY:- A massive earthquake has hit off the East coast of the Philippines. It has been felt up to an intensity VII onshore through USGS.
The tsunami was due to hit Eastern Samar Island and also the following other locations – Northern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur. It was due to have hit already and we are waiting on reports.
The latest PTWC ratings:- Only a local tsunami warning was enforced. Eyewitness reports in the east have seen 1.2m waves.
SEA LEVEL READINGS CONFIRM THAT A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. THIS TSUNAMI MAY HAVE BEEN DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTLINES OF THE REGION NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES IN THE REGION SHOULD TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS POSSIBILITY. THIS CENTER WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL GAUGES NEAREST THE REGION AND REPORT IF ANY ADDITIONAL TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY. THE WARNING WILL NOT EXPAND TO OTHER AREAS OF THE PACIFIC UNLESS ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED TO WARRANT SUCH AN EXPANSION.
FOR AFFECTED AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS.
AS LOCAL CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE ALL CLE
for more information and updates, go to: http://earthquake-report.com/2012/08/31/massive-earthquake-hits-philippines-with-tsunami-warning/
M 5.9 2012/02/04 13:09 Depth 19.0 km SAMAR, PHILIPPINES
09:09:29 PM at epicenter
Very strong earthquake 60 km out in the Philippine Sea
140 km from Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
Reported intensities by Phivolcs, the Philippines seismological agency Intensity IV – Gamay, Northern Samar Intensity III – Palo, Leyte; Tacloban,Leyte; San Policarpo, E. Samar; Dolosa, Leyte; Catbalogan, Samar; Oras E. Samar
Update 15:14 UTC : 4 aftershocks so far, among these aftershocks 1 of M 5.0 PHIVOLCS Satellite map of the greater epicenter area
M 5.8 2012/02/04 07:40 Depth 10.1 km TONGA
08:40:13 PM at epicenter
Strong earthquake with an epicenter approx. 50 km from the Hai-apai group.
140 km (86 miles) ENE of NUKU`ALOFA, Tonga
Satellite map of the greater epicenter area (see below)
Label info : M = magnitude, D = depth (km), Time = UTC
Earthquake overview : Strong coastal earthquake. Initial reports where mentioning a magnitude of 5.9, but PHIVOLCS, the Philippines seismological agency reports a far less dangerous M 5.0 at a depth of 42 km.
Landscape at the peninsula closest to the epicenter – Panoramio image by Ronnie Muring
– IMPORTANT Update15:58 Phivolcs has also updated his earthquake data as follows : Magnitude 5.9 at a depth of only 25 km, completely the opposite from 1 hour ago
– Update15:58 Phivolcs is expecting damage from this earthquake. ER estimates that the damage will be minor, if any, but as described by meteorologist Robert Speta in the video below, the chance on landslides in the current weather conditions is “very high”. The ground motion sets many earth masses gliding.
Phivolcs has reported the following intensities (more or less the same than USGS) Intensity V– Salcedo, Borongan and Guiuan, Eastern Samar Intensity IV– Tacloban, Palo and Tolosa, Leyte; Catbalogan, Samar; Dolores and San Policarpo, Eastern Samar Intensity III– St. Bernard and Hinunangan, Southern Leyte; Catarman, Northern Samar Intensity II– Naval, Biliran Intensity I– Cebu City
The PHIVOLCS intensity is ranging from 1 to 10
V, the max. intensity reported by PHIVOLCS is described as : Strong – Generally felt by most people indoors and outdoors. Many sleeping people are awakened. Some are frightened, some run outdoors. Strong shaking and rocking felt throughout building. Hanging objects swing violently. Dining utensils clatter and clink; some are broken. Small, light and unstable objects may fall or overturn. Liquids spill from filled open containers. Standing vehicles rock noticeably. Shaking of leaves and twigs of trees are noticeable
– Update15:47 USGS has decreased his magnitude data from 5.9 to 5.7. The depth has been updated from 50 km to 36 km. As the calculation of earthquake data is very difficult, it is normal that preliminary data are updated later on, however a such a big difference in between a local agency (Phivolcs) and USGS is rather seldom.
Tropical Storm Washi Slams Philippines Leaving Hundreds Dead
Tropical storm Washi swept across the Philippines last night leaving a least 430 dead and even more missing. The storm hit last night while many people were sleeping in their homes. 12 hours of continuous rain and wind pounded the islands overnight. Many river banks bursted causing big waves of water to slam into homes with the force of a truck while people slept overnight. The storm was only at tropical storm strength but the wind was not the killer in this storm. Rain on the mountain tops seeped into the ground causing some mountain slides and flash floods across the region. The death toll could reach as high as 700+ by the time all the damage is removed. The area is hit by 15+ typhoons every year but they usually tend to take a more northerly track then Washi did. Some reports have it that the flood waters got as high as 11 feet at the height of the storm. A lot of the population was able to escape to higher grounds and others fled to the northern islands before the storm made landfall. 20,000 soldiers have been deployed across the region trying desperately to find any survivors and recover any of the deceased. Floods swamped about 30% of Iligan and about a dozen of outlying villages. More then ten thousand people were brought into shelters on higher ground. The storm dragged in warm pacific temperatures reaching up to 80 degrees in some parts around the impact area. In neighboring Taiwan temperatures are in the high 50′s and low 60′s instead of the Philippines high 70′s to mid 80′s. Although flood waters have receded since the height of the storm it will still take a few days to a week until those rivers return back to a normal level. Most of the area remains without power and could not have any for the days to come.