Saturday, November 9, 2013

Powerful typhooon strikes Philipines

Heavy snow piled up at the local shopping center. Photo by V. Bergman.
Up here in Minnesota, we have a blizzard now and then in the winter months and an occasional tornado in the spring, summer, or fall. Most of us have come to terms with our weather extremes; the rest have become what we fondly refer to as our "snowbirds" - they keep the Florida economy booming.

It's when we read about storms like the typhoon that struck the Philippines on Friday that we realize our Minnesota weather is moderate in comparison and even when it's severe, we are usually well prepared with fleets of snowplows at the ready, etc. In the modern era, we seldom receive news of wide-spread deaths of our citizens due to bad weather.

It's jarring to read this report from the Philippines:

MANILA, Philippines -- MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Rescuers in the central Philippines counted at least 100 people dead and many more injured Saturday, a day after one of the most powerful typhoons on record ripped through the region, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes with massive storm surges.

With communications and roads still cut off, Capt. John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, said he had received "reliable information" by radio from his staff that more than 100 bodies were lying in the streets of the city of Tacloban on hardest-hit Leyte Island. It was one of six islands that Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Friday.

Regional military commander Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda said that the casualty figure "probably will increase," after viewing aerial photographs of the widespread devastation caused by the typhoon, which was heading toward Vietnam after moving away from the Philippines.

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