The Philippines is a country within the reaches of the Pacific ring of fire. The Ring of Fire is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Countries within the pacific ring of fire are prone to calamities. The Philippines has been a victim of great super typhoons on the level of storm surges. How do we manage a storm surge? With sufficient knowledge of what a storm surge is, maybe casualties and devastation could be minimized.
What is a storm surge?
A storm surge is a is an abnormal rise in seawater levels during a storm, it is measured by the height of the water above the normal predicted astronomical tide. Storm surges are caused primarily by a storm’s winds pushing water onshore.
A storm surge is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low pressure weather systems (such as tropical cyclones and strong extra tropical cyclones), the severity of which is affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, and the timing of tides. Most casualties during tropical cyclones occur as the result of storm surges.
The two main meteorological factors contributing to a storm surge are a long fetch of winds spiraling inward toward the storm, and a low-pressure-induced dome of water drawn up under and trailing the storm’s center.
Here are the top 5 Storm surges to hit the Philippines
- Even in modern days, no super typhoon or storm surge was able to devastate the Philippines the same way typhoon Haiphong did. Haiphong happened in October 8, 1881 and still ranks as the deadliest storm surge to hit the Philippines to date. Haiphong has caused great damage to structures , the environment and population. Casualties reached over 20,000 in the northern part of the country. It is ranked as the most devastating typhoon in Philippine history and damage caused is three times worse than that of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
- Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) is the most devastating Storm surge to hit the Philippines in the modern times. Its heavy winds and catastrophic surging of waters has taken away the lives of over 6300 Filipinos and about 1061 people went missing after the super typhoon. Haiyan is recorded to be the most devastating storm which hit landfall on November 8, 2013.
- Tropical storm Thelma (Uring) started out as a tropical disturbance in the northeast of Palau but eventually escalated into a Storm surge in November 4, 1991. Thelma reached its peak intensity when it reached the Philippines especially when it approached the Visayas region. Thelma was so strong that it took away the lives of over 5081-8165 people.
- When it comes to structural and economic devastation,typhoon Fengshen (Frank) is one of the most notable storm surge to behold. Its devastating winds reached up to 172 kph. Fengshen left its marks on Metro Manila and other provinces in Luzon, causing over 13.5 Billion pesos worth of damage from June 18-23, 2008.
- Severe Tropical Storm Wasahi known in the Philippines as Tropical storm Sendong. It is notorious as the most devastating storm surge of 2011. It hit the Philippines in December 2011. The storm which struck Nothern Mindanao, Visayas and Palawan over the weekend has killed at least 957 people.