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#265093 - 11/14/13 10:36 PM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7307
Loc: southern Cal
What strikes me about this disaster, and it is true of others as well, is the crucial positive role a disciplined, well commanded (key words!) militry can play in supplying goods and services to victims. With Veterans Day just past, it is worth thinking of what good humanitarian work our military, and others, are doing. Not many aid groups have goodies like aircraft carriers to park offshore....
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#265107 - 11/15/13 05:40 AM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: TeacherRO]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
perhaps someone can explain something to me. i didnt get a chance to follow the details of this disaster. did the Philippines evacuate all of those people from the low-lying coastal zones ... ahead of the typhoon? because if an evacuation didnt take place, then I have no idea how people survived the flooding and the huge ocean waves created by that storm.

Pete2


Edited by Pete (11/15/13 05:42 AM)

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#265118 - 11/15/13 03:54 PM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: Pete]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Pete
did the Philippines evacuate all of those people from the low-lying coastal zones..

I don't have a good answer to your question about how many people may have evacuated inland, but I caught one comment the other day. I forget if it was from TV or a news article.

A person was saying that the government had warned them of a dangerous "storm surge," which is not a particularly familiar term for them. The same person was saying if the government warnings had mentioned the word "tsunami" then everyone would have understood the magnitude of the danger involved. These people ride out typhoons all the time, so I don't think the extreme danger of Typhoon Haiyan was effectively communicated to the people.

Pacific typhoons generally are not as strong as Atlantic hurricanes so a high, sustained storm surge is less of a concern there than here in the US, which is probably why the term is not so familiar there.

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#265121 - 11/15/13 07:36 PM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: Pete]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1186
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Pete
..... did the Philippines evacuate all of those people from the low-lying coastal zones ... ahead of the typhoon? because if an evacuation didnt take place, then I have no idea how people survived the flooding and the huge ocean waves created by that storm.
A great many of them didn't survive the flooding. There have been numerous stories from survivors who managed to cling to something but watched loved ones washed away.

I believe the government did warn people to evacuate. However, this is a third world country, and many people probably didn't have the means to evacuate easily. And many others probably feared that what little they had would be looted if they left, and so stayed behind to guard their property. Also, one must ask, evacuate to where? While the upland areas were not flooded, they were still very hard hit from the winds.

A recent article At a Philippine Hospital, Survivors Face Quiet Despair gives some idea of the intensity of the storm, as seen from two miles inland in an area not flooded:
Quote:
Mr. Pulga stayed behind to guard their small, wood house. He tried to hide from the wind by hunching down behind the back of the house, only to find the wind and rain swirling in from every direction. A large coconut, accelerated to extraordinary speed by gusts that may have exceeded 200 miles per hour, rocketed through the dark and struck his leg, breaking it.

As he lay alone and injured, the wind tore the house into little pieces and flung them into the night. He was hit by a chunk of wood that bloodied his eye and cut the right side of his face. His 16-year-old nephew, at the home of one of Mr. Pulga’s sisters, went outside to take a quick look at the storm and was struck by a piece of wood so heavy and sharp and moving so fast that it severed his leg, eventually killing him, Mr. Pulga said.
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#265124 - 11/15/13 09:59 PM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1186
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
What strikes me about this disaster, and it is true of others as well, is the crucial positive role a disciplined, well commanded (key words!) militry can play in supplying goods and services to victims. With Veterans Day just past, it is worth thinking of what good humanitarian work our military, and others, are doing. Not many aid groups have goodies like aircraft carriers to park offshore....
More US Military aid is arriving. See More Marines flood typhoon-ravaged Philippines
Quote:
The Pentagon is ordering 900 additional Marines to assist with humanitarian aid efforts in the central Philippines, bringing the total number of U.S. forces in the country to more than 1,000, according to the Pentagon.

The Marine units attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will join the more than 100 troops already on the ground in the Visayas region of the country, which was hammered over the weekend by Typhoon Haiyan.

Along with the additional manpower, eight Marine Corps V-22 Osprey aircraft attached to the 31st MEU will also head over to support airlift operations associated with the U.S. and Philippine-led disaster response mission.
It is worth noting that every USMC Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) does training and exercises in humanitarian assistance as part of their work up before embarking on a "float" (a cruise on amphibious ships). Humanitarian Assistance is one of the standard missions that an MEU trains for. Generally there are always a couple of MEUs cruising around, typically one in the Western Pacific or Indian Ocean, and in the Atlantic or Mediterranean. The other services also train for these kinds of missions, I just happen to be most familiar with the USMC.

EDIT: The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) mentioned above did a training mission in Humanitarian Assistance just this last August, in Austraila. Here is a link: Marines demonstrate humanitarian aid capabilities Note the following quote from the article:
Quote:
"It is the most likely mission the 31st MEU will face because we are in the Asia-Pacific region where typhoons are known to cause problems."


Edited by AKSAR (11/15/13 10:40 PM)
Edit Reason: add more info
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#265127 - 11/16/13 05:13 AM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: TeacherRO]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
well it looks like there was a definite failre by the Philippines Gov't to properly wanr their citizens about that storm. They have meteorologists over there, and they must have been advised by people from the US. Something went badly wrong with Gov't communications - very badly wrong.

Pete2

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#265129 - 11/16/13 05:33 AM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: Pete]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1409
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: Pete
well it looks like there was a definite failre by the Philippines Gov't to properly wanr their citizens about that storm. They have meteorologists over there, and they must have been advised by people from the US. Something went badly wrong with Gov't communications - very badly wrong.Pete2


Not sure where you are getting your information sources from. The government did their best and helped evacuate 1000's of people before the typhoon came ashore.

Over 700,000 evacuated as Typhoon Haiyan hits Philippines

Mass evacuations in Philippines ahead of super typhoon

Mass evacuations as Philippines braces for powerful Typhoon Haiyan

Thousands of villagers evacuate as Typhoon nears Philippines

Also keep in mind, media and other communication infrastructure is not up the same standards and capabilities such as the USA, Canada and many European countries. As such, many people in the Philippines do not have tv, radio or internet access that we take for granted.

Furthermore, many people live in areas of the Philippines that we would view as 3rd world. These people do not have the luxury nor means of bugging out with a car or truck loaded down with food, water and other necessities to sustain life for days on end.
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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

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#265134 - 11/16/13 02:28 PM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: Teslinhiker]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7307
Loc: southern Cal
When you consider the difficulties New Orleans and Houston encountered in undertaking mass evacuations with a smaller storm, a much more developed infrastructure,a clear path to safety, and a more mobile population, it would seem that the current situation is just about insurmountable.
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#265150 - 11/16/13 07:05 PM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: TeacherRO]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
Indeed - mass evacuation is insurmountable if they did not have good roads, and there was no convenient high ground where they could go. Even if some sort of hill did exist, how exactly would 250,000 people take shelter there, without buildings or solid walls?

there is a real problem here. Typhoon Haiyan is not the last large hurricane that we are going to see. What exactly are we going to do to provide shelter for all the people in coastal regions of the third world - if these storms get bigger in magnitude in the future? I dont see an obvious answer to that question.

Pete2


Edited by Pete (11/16/13 07:06 PM)

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#265154 - 11/16/13 09:45 PM Re: Strongest typhoon of the year [Re: TeacherRO]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Here's an article about the importance and scarcity of water for the survivors.

One danger I normally don't think about which is mentioned over and over in this disaster is salt water intrusion, whether into the municipal supply or even local well water. It makes stored water all the more precious, however, in this case, anything someone might have stored at home was swept away or crushed under a collapsed house. Was that ever an issue after Katrina or Sandy? I can't recall ever seeing that mentioned.

I realize that for millions of people, a three-hour round trip to gather water a day is routine (and primiarly a woman's job), for the people in the article who are forced to do it to get water, that's a heavy burden on top of all the other things they have to deal with now.

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