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Typhoon Haiyan Brief Technical Report (7 November, 2013)

Manila Observatory
Prepared by:
Monica Ortiz, Genie Lorenzo, Emilio Gozo, Carlo Jamandre,
Richard Antonio, Julie Dado, Gemma Narisma

(Updated November 7, 2013, 21:00)

I. Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) Intensity and Track
A. Regions to be affected
a. Population density
b. Poverty

II. Satellite Images of TY Yolanda

III. Rainfall projections (TRMM and QMORPH)

IV. Historical context
A. Category 5 typhoons in the Visayas
B. Potential Damages of TY Yolanda
C. Other Disasters in Eastern Visayas

V. Conclusions and Recommendations

I. Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) Intensity and Track
A. Regions to be affected and population exposure and poverty vulnerability
a. Poverty incidence
Based on the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) typhoon track, typhoon
Yolanda will move towards the northwest. On November 8 at around 2 am, it will be
to the east of Samar and Leyte with maximum sustained wind speeds of around 269
kilometers per hour.
The typhoon track was overlaid on a map based on poverty incidence data
from the Philippines using data from 2006, 2009 and 2012. Figure 1 shows that
should the typhoon continue its current track, the most vulnerable provinces would
be Northern Samar, Masbate, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Antique because of their
high poverty incidence. In Northern Mindanao, the CARAGA region could be
adversely affected. Similarly, the provinces of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Romblon,
Mindoro, Marinduque and Aklan, as well as the Bicol region also have high poverty
incidence. Damages and losses could be very high in these provinces and could
impede recovery efforts after the typhoon.
In December 2012, supertyphoon Pablo caused disastrous losses of life and
damages especially in Davao Oriental, which had a high poverty incidence of about
47-55%. Due to many factors, many communities in barangays in Davao Oriental
sustained tremendous damages to property, agricultural crops and infrastructure.
The weak physical strength and infrastructure of the homes affected by Typhoon
Pablo in Davao Oriental were not able to sustain the Category 5 winds that had
speeds of more than 260 kph. As Figure 2 shows, homes were nearly flattened out
and leveled off relative to the ground due to the intense wind, with trees and tall
structures uprooted. Similarly, should Typhoon Yolanda maintain high wind speeds,
homes made of light materials and in low-lying areas may be at high risk.
b. Population density
Figure 3 shows the population density in the Philippines based on the 2010
NSO census along with the typhoon track and associated wind speeds. The most
densely populated areas in the typhoon pathway are Cebu and Iloilo. This means
that a large number of people (1,000-13,000 people per square kilometer),
infrastructure and property, especially in urban areas, will be exposed to Typhoon

Figure 1. TY Yolanda track, wind speed and poverty incidence in the Philippines indicating vulnerable provinces.
Image courtesy of the Manila Observatory with GADM, NSCB and JTWC data

Figure 2. Effect of Super Typhoon Pablo in Sta Filomena Cateel. Upper photo shows satellite image in June
2012, before Pablo. Lower image was taken in December 12, 2012 after Pablo. Poverty incidence in Cateel is
47%-55%. Image courtesy of Manila Observatory Center for Environmental Geomatics, with the support of
Sentinel Asia, CNES, GeoEye, Astrium and SpotImage.

Figure 3. TY Yolanda track, wind speed and population density in the Philippines indicating exposed populations.
Image courtesy of the Manila Observatory with GADM, NSCB and JTWC data.

II. Satellite Image of TY Yolanda
This satellite image of the TY Yolanda system taken at 3:30 PM November 7, 2013 shows the
typhoon within the Philippine Area of Responsibility. From the satellite image of the Cooperative
Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies Space Science and Engineering Center / University of
Wisconsin-Madison, TY Yolanda is a large system and its eye currently is over the Philippine Sea.
Satellite images show deep convection and strong storms within the typhoon (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Enhanced IR image of TY Yolanda (Haiyan) from CIMSS-SSEC & Univ. Wisconsin
Satellite Image courtesy of CIMSS-SSEC & Univ. Wisconsin from

This enhanced infrared satellite image shows cloud top temperatures. NASA research has
indicated that cloud top temperatures that reach or exceed the threshold of -52
C typically have
heavy rainfall areas.
Currently, cloud top temperatures (in white) from the image are around -60
degrees Celsius, indicating that there is a high probability that TY Yolanda will bring heavy rainfall to
parts of the Philippines.

A quick analysis of the image shows that the size of the typhoon based roughly on the visual
circular motion close to the center and the presence of strong convective storm clouds (as indicated
by the bright white colors) is about 610.5 kilometers horizontally and 721.5 km vertically (Figure 5).


Enhanced IR Satellite Image
AS OF 3:30 PM 7 NOVEMBER 2013

White areas show
cloud top
below -60 deg C

Figure 5. Size estimate of enhanced IR image of TY Yolanda (Haiyan) from CIMSS-SSEC & Univ.
Wisconsin. Satellite Image courtesy of CIMSS-SSEC & Univ. Wisconsin from

III. Satellite based rainfall estimates (TRMM and QMORPH)

Figures 6 and 7 show the current rainfall map generated from QMORPH and TRMM satellite
data. Maximum rainfall recorded at 11 am of November 7 shows peak rainfall values between 20-25
millimeters per hour.

Figure 6. Rainfall map from QMORPH satellite data.

Figure 7. Rainfall map from TRMM satellite data.

IV. Historical context
A. Category 5 Typhoons in the Visayas
As of November 7, TY Yolanda is expected to reach its peak strength of 268 kilometers per
hour (kph) sustained winds and 324 kph gusts in the next 12 hours, according to the US Navy and Air
Force's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)
. With wind speeds of 268 kph, TY Yolanda is a
Category 5 hurricane according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
(Table 1). Category 5 is
also known as a supertyphoon. The Saffir-Simpson scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricanes
sustained wind speed that is used to estimate potential damages. Typhoons that reach Category 3
and above pose significant risks of loss of lives as well as causing major losses and damages. The
difference between PAGASA and Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported winds speeds are due to
JTWC reporting winds speeds recorded at 1-minute average while PAGASA reports 10- minute

Table 1. Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Winds (1-
Types of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
1 119-153 km/h Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame
homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large
branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled.
Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages
that could last a few to several days.
154-177 km/h
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed
frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly
rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total
power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

178-208 km/h
Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major
damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped
or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable
for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

209-251 km/h
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe
damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.
Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees
and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to
possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

252 km/h or
Catastrophic damage will occur: 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.

Hurricane is the name for a cyclone found in the North Atlantic Ocean, or the NE Pacific Ocean while typhoon
is the name for tropical cyclones in the NW Pacific Ocean.

In the past, several Categories 4 and 5 typhoons have made landfall in the Philippines (Table
2). Some of these Categories 4 and 5 typhoons, namely Rosing, Reming Sisang, and Sening have been
the most destructive in the Philippines based on 1947-2009 data (Table 3). Most have primarily
affected the Bicol region and Southern Luzon; however, the other Category 5 typhoons primarily
affected the Visayan region. The last Category 5 typhoon was TY Pablo (Bopha), which made landfall
in eastern Mindanao and caused over a thousand deaths.

Table 2. Tropical Cyclones with wind speed greater than or equal to 240kph.

Data from NSCB, 2012; 2012/12142012_jrga_calamity.asp

Super Typhoon Ruping (Mike)
In 1990, Supertyphoon (Category 5) typhoon Ruping (International name: Mike) had a similar
track as Haiyan also in the month of November (Figure 8). It entered the Philippine Area of
Responsibility on 10 November 1990 from the western Pacific Ocean. Ruping caused massive losses
and damages in parts of the Visayas, especially Cebu, Negros, Iloilo and Bohol. It slowly moved
towards the west-south-westward, made its landfall in Leyte, and crossed the Visayas on November
13. Ruping had maximum winds of around 220 kilometers per hour. The supertyphoon exited in the
South China Sea towards Vietnam. Ruping caused massive losses and damages due to its devastating
winds and rainfall that resulted in inundation and flooding. In Iloilo, the continuous rainfall caused
the swelling of the Jalaur River that inundated low-lying areas.

UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
ROSING 1995 260 (Virac Radar) Bicol Region, CALABARZON, NCR
REMING 2006 320 (Virac) Bicol, CALABARZON, Marinduque, Mindoro
SISANG 1987 240 (Legazpi) Bicol, Marinduque, CALABARZON
SENING 1970 275 (Virac) Bicol, CALABARZON, NCR
LOLENG 1998 250 (Virac) Bicol, Central-Northern Luzon
AMY 1951 240 (Cebu) Visayas
HERMING 1987 240 (Catarman) Northern Samar, Southern Bicol
SALING 1985 240 (Daet) Northern Bicol, Central Luzon
ILIANG 1998 260 (Over water) Northern Luzon

Super Typhoon Pablo (Bopha)
Typhoon Pablo was the most intense tropical cyclone to make landfall in Mindanao.
made landfall over Banganga town in Davao Oriental on December 3, 2012.
Catastrophic damage
was recorded in the towns of Banganga, Cateel, New Bataan and Compostela Valley. As of December
25, 2012 damage was estimated to be over 36 billion pesos with over 1,900 people dead or
Massive landslides affected many communities and resulted in significant numbers of
fatalities and injuries.

Table 3. Most destructive Category 4 and 5 typhoons (over 209 kph sustained wind speeds) from
Rosing 1995 260 936 11
Reming 2006 320 754 5
Nitang 1984 220 1363 4
Ruping 1990 220 748 11
Sisang 1987 240 979 1
Sening 1970 275 768 2
Data from from

Figure 8. TY Haiyan track similar to TY Ruping track from November 1990. Image courtesy of the UN FAO.


B. Potential Damages of TY Yolanda
According to the US NOAA, catastrophic damage will occur with a Category 5 hurricane. 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. PAGASA Weather Division OIC Robert Sawi says
that there may be very few trees left un-toppled in the path of TY Yolanda should it maintain its very
high sustained wind speeds
. The US NOAA information further states that power outages will last
for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months
In addition, the following impacts are predicted:
Severe and extensive window and door damage.
Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the hurricane
Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and
within 472 meters of the shoreline.
Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 8-16 km of the shoreline may
be required.

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) comes at a very inopportune time. Rarely does a typhoon with
catastrophic properties come just three weeks after a major earthquake. The earthquake was a
humanitarian disaster of its own. This devastated vast areas in the Visayas. Bohol and Cebu Islands
felt the full force of this seismic event with Leyte and other central island experiencing significant
intensities. Several landslides affected the region during the earthquake.
Apart from this, rubble
and sediment has not been cleared up totally from the area, which poses a risk of debris flow (e.g.
mud and landslides and rockfall) during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda. This poses a great risk in
vulnerable communities affected by the earthquake. Structures already weakened by the October
earthquake may not withstand the winds associated with Yolanda. According to Mines and
Geosciences Bureau, in Cebu, at risk are 19 villages of Cebu City, six villages in Naga City, 11 in
Balamban town, five in Toledo City, one in Panamungajan town, five in Asturias, 12 in Dumanjug and
one in Ronda. In Bohol, vulnerable to landslides are Tagbilaran City and the towns of Baclayon,
Corella, Cortes, Alburquerque, Panglao, Dauis, Loon, Calape, Catigbian, Balilihan, Batuan, Sagbayan

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States National Weather Service
SitRep No. 34 re Effects of Magnitude 7.2 Sagbayan, Bohol Earthquake". National Disaster Risk Reduction
and Management Council

and Carmen
(Figure 9). These cities and towns, highlighted in red, should be monitored closely for
flooding, landslides and other hazards. The strong winds and associated rains may adversely and
severely affect these places that may have been affected by the earthquake as well.

Figure 9. Landslide prone cities and towns in Cebu and Bohol that may be affected by TY Yolanda. Image
courtesy of the Manila Observatory with GADM, MGB (through Phil. Daily Inquirer) and JTWC data.

C. Other Disasters in Eastern Visayas
Eastern Visayas has been affected by some of the countrys most devastating disasters in
living memory. Tropical storm Thelma (Uring) affected Ormoc City in November 1991 and the
February 2006 Mudslides in Guinsaugon collectively claimed the lives of over 6300 people.
geological and topographic setting of the provinces along the eastern seaboard of the country
contributes to the heightened hazards in the area. The islands of Leyte and Samar are characterized
to be mountainous with a narrow coastal plain where most of the population is concentrated.
Landforms on the island of Leyte are characterized to be highly sheered, fractured and unstable.


The Philippine Fault Zone, the main tectonic feature of the region is accountable for most of
the seismic hazards as well as contributes to the potential risks to the population. Volcanism is the
dominant geological action in terrain formation. The top layer of soil in the island forms a blanket of
pyroclastic materials, mainly of lahar in origin. This soil is known to be granular and non-cohesive-
highly susceptible to erosion and transport.
In the 2006 St. Bernard Guinsaugon landslide, two
weeks of torrential rainfall loosened this weak top layer of soil which caused an entire mountainside
to slide down and buried a vast swath of the area. It was noted that the slope of the mountain was
at 45.

V. Conclusions and Recommendations

According to the analysis of data and information as well as socioeconomic data (population
and poverty), typhoon Yolanda could cause catastrophic damages especially in provinces in Visayas
and islands in Southern Luzon, as well as parts of Northern Mindanao. Should Yolanda follow the
path and patterns of 1990s Ruping, the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros and Iloilo may be at high
risk to disaster. Cebu and Iloilo have the highest population density and thus the highest number of
exposed people and assets.

The tropical cyclone system is very large in terms of diameter and has high sustained wind
speeds. Satellite images indicate low cloud top temperatures, meaning that the typhoon could also
bring a lot of rainfall that could potentially cause flash floods, high river levels, and inundated low-
lying areas, along with other associated hazards especially along coastal areas (storm surges, swells).
Sloping areas are advised of the risk of landslides and other debris flows. Communities in Cebu and
Bohol recovering from the earthquake may be particularly vulnerable.

The general public have been advised by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management Council (NDRRMC) and their respective Local DRRMCs to take necessary precautions
and be prepared. Some local government units have already suspended classes at all levels and
advised pre-emptive evacuation in vulnerable areas. All are advised to stay updated with weather


You can monitor rainfall levels and satellite images at Manila Observatorys Panahon
(Weather Watch Initiative) webpage and Facebook page at and

Many thanks to Center for Environmental Geomatics of the Manila Observatory for the population
density and poverty incidence information and the RS-GIS information on Typhoon Pablo.