Super Typhoon Koppu Slams Into Philippines Under ‘Worst Possible’ Conditions

Undersecretary Alexander Pama, head of the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, coordinates with the preparations on the approaching Typhoon Koppu Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 near Manila, Philippines.
Undersecretary Alexander Pama, head of the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, coordinates with the preparations on the approaching Typhoon Koppu Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 near Manila, Philippines.

Super Typhoon Koppu, known as Typhoon Lando in the Philippines, made landfall close to 1 a.m. local time on Sunday morning near the town of Casiguran in Luzon’s Aurora Province, as a powerful Category 4 or 5 storm.

The storm was on the cusp of being declared a Category 5 monster from one of the official storm monitoring agencies in Japan and the U.S. before it crossed over land, officially with winds of 150 miles per hour, just shy of Category 5 strength.

Super Typhoon Koppu underwent a nightmarish period of rapid intensification that may have caught many of the 15 to 20 million residents of Luzon off guard.

Just before people along the northeastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines — from Cabantuan City to the small towns along the coast, including Casiguran and Dipaulao — went to bed on Saturday evening, local time, Typhoon Koppu was a strong Category 2 storm.

It was powerful, worthy of respect, but not monstrously strong. The storm was not remotely near the scale of Super Typhoon Haiyan, for example, which struck well to the south of this area in 2013, leaving at least 7,300 dead or missing.

Fast forward about eight hours, to chaotic pre-dawn Sunday as Koppu made landfall as a ferocious Super Typhoon with winds of 150 miles per hour or higher. Such a storm is capable of wiping out entire towns from wind damage, and inflicting a grim toll along the coast from storm surge flooding.

The storm’s rapid intensification was hinted at in weather forecasts from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in the U.S. and the Japan Meteorological Authority, but JTWC forecasters had predicted it would peak at slightly lower intensity, with some forecasts showing the storm coming ashore as a Category 3 storm.

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SOURCE: Andrew Freedman
Mashable