Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Haiyan is a Category 5

Image credit: http://www.thenation.com/blog/177119/typhoon-haiyan-global-poor-bear-deadly-brunt-climate-change#

Photo: Dennis M. Sabangan, European Pressphoto Agency

 Image credit: Wally Santana/AP


Image credit: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/typhoon-haiyan-publics-overwhelming-generosity-6316093



Image credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/philippines/10455715/Typhoon-Haiyan-Foreign-Office-staff-hunt-for-missing-Britons.html

DondiTawatao/Getty Images

Image credit: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/typhoon-haiyan-luxury-cruise-new-2802971


Image credit: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/photography/2013/11/super_typhoon_haiyan_devastates_philippines_photos.html


Image credit: http://www.urban75.net/forums/threads/10-000-feared-dead-in-philippines-typhoon.317050/

Yesterday, I put up a very brief post about Typhoon Haiyan. This is not to say that it is just another calamity to befall another country – and I am treating it very lightly. This is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that we can expect many more catastrophes and it is a sign of the times. And I accept that I cannot possibly blog about everything that happens in this world of ours.

My appeal for us to give generously is timely. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself admitted that the UN had only achieved 30% of the $791 million in aid it had appealed for to boost relief and rehabilitation efforts in the part of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Still (Super) Typhoon Haiyan demonstrated a brutal ferocity that is menacing and fearsome. It features sustained winds of 200 mph (320 km/h) and gusts up to 230 mph (370 km/h) – the fastest seen since 1979's Super Typhoon Tip, the most powerful tropical cyclone on record.

Haiyan is known as a typhoon (or super typhoon) because it formed in the Northwest Pacific. These storms are called hurricanes in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, and cyclones in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean region.

NASA labeled Super Typhoon Haiyan as being equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane. In fact, the US National Hurricane Center website indicates that a Category 5 hurricane/typhoon would cause catastrophic damage: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

I am reminded that climate talks at the UN have not been making much progress. If governments needed reminding of what’s at stake – Typhoon Haiyan did just that when it visited the Philippines, bringing with it death and destruction.

Shouldn’t the images of widespread suffering reinforce the evidence of climate science to galvanize action before it is too late?

We can no longer ignore the fact that climate change has conspicuously contributed to increasingly severe weather events.

No comments: