Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Hagupit at 04:30 UTC on Wednesday December 3, 2014. At the time, Hagupit was a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Fears of Renewed Devastation as Super Typhoon Hagupit Targets Philippines

Many of the same communities so devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan just over a year ago are once again under threat from extreme weather

Jon Queally

What meteorologists are characterizing as the likely "strongest storm of the year," Super Typhoon Hagupit on Thursday had picked up in both speed and intensity as worries mounted that it could ultimately make landfall later this week on some the same vulnerable Philippines islands that were devastated just over one year ago by Typhoon Haiyan.

As Mashable's Andrew Freeman reports on Thursday:

Super Typhoon Hagupit poses a major, life-threatening danger to the Philippines — including the same areas of Leyte and eastern Samar that were devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan last year, and where nearly 100,000 families are still living in highly vulnerable makeshift shelters.

Making matters worse, residents of the central and northern parts of the archipelago are facing considerable forecast uncertainty, with the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicting a slow, drenching crossing of northern areas, including a direct hit on the capital of Manila over the weekend.

Watch:

As those possibly in the storm's path are moving as fast as possible to make preparations, Accuweather reported the storm had sustained winds over 255 kph (160 mph) on Thursday, making it equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane. According to their analysis:

Wind gusts over 240 kph (150 mph) are expected near landfall in eastern Visayas. Landfall is expected within 100 miles of where Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall last year.

With landfall farther north, the hardest-hit areas by Haiyan will escape the worst tidal surge from Hagupit but will still be severely impacted including the city of Tacloban which was devastated by Haiyan. To make matters worse, some areas are still trying to recover from Haiyan, which will leave them more vulnerable to the impacts of Hagupit.

Meteorologist Jeff Masters, writing at his blog on the Weather Underground website, said that though an extremely large and dangerous storm, certain factors make it less threatening and hopefully less damaging than Haiyan. "There is less heat energy available in the ocean for Hagupit," explained Masters, "and wind shear is expected to rise to the high range on Friday as strong upper-level winds tear at the storm. Heavy rains, not high winds and storm storm surge, will likely be the greatest threat for the Philippines from Hagupit."

In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan—one of the most powerful storms ever recorded—devastated the communities in and around the Tacloban region. According to Oxfam International, that storm left more than 6,000 people dead and 4.1 million displaced. As has been noted by climate justice and human rights advocates in the wake Haiyan, the increasing number and intensity of such storms have been widely attributed to the effects of global warming. Experts warn that if global emissions continue to rise, larger, more frequent, and more destructive storms can be expected in the years ahead with low-lying and coastal communities particularly vulnerable.

On Twitter:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

On Election Day, Warnock Supporters Urge Georgians 'Don't Walk, Run to the Polls!'

"The stakes could not be higher," said Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Alexis McGill Johnson, who campaigned for the Democratic senator. "Freedom is on the ballot."

Jessica Corbett ·


Revealing New Evidence in Abu Akleh's Killing, Al Jazeera Sues Israeli Forces at ICC

The news network said the journalist's killing was part of a "wider attack on Al Jazeera, and journalists in Palestine."

Julia Conley ·


'Heartbreaking' and 'Pathetic': US Obstructs Patent Waiver for Covid Tests and Treatments

"There have been at least 290,000 deaths from Covid-19 since the WTO punted on the question of global access to tests and treatments back in June," said one advocate. "How many more need to die before the U.S. joins the right side of history?"

Kenny Stancil ·


Fears of Escalation as Ukraine Answers Russian Missile Onslaught With Strike Deep Inside Invader's Territory

Ukrainian drones bombed two air bases more than 300 miles inside Russia, reportedly killing three soldiers, wounding four others, and damaging multiple warplanes.

Brett Wilkins ·


Patient Groups Push Congress to Combat Big Pharma Greed in Spending Bill

"As Congress works toward finalizing an end-of-year budget package, we urge the chambers to include bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the Food and Drug Administration's citizen petition process in order to reduce drug prices and save the government hundreds of millions of dollars."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo