Typhoon Mirinae made landfall as a borderline Category 1-to-Category 2 typhoon in the Philippine province of Quezon at around 18:00 UTC on October 30, 2009 (02:00 on October 31 local time) with sustained winds of around 93 mph (150 kmph), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The typhoon brought powerful winds and heavy rain to areas in southern and central Luzon, killing at least 16 people in six provinces (Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon). The JTWC said Mirinae rapidly weakened as it tracked west across Luzon. The storm passed to the south of Manila (population of around 12 million people), and the capital was subjected to heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds. Although Mirinae triggered floods as it moved across Luzon, officials said the storm’s rapid progress, coupled with the emergency measures implemented by the Philippine authorities, meant the country was spared the devastation witnessed after Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Parma made landfall in September and October, respectively.
More than 115,000 people in nine Luzon provinces were evacuated before Mirinae made landfall, and the heavy rain associated with the storm worsened the flooding caused by Ketsana and Parma. The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported that at least 15 villages and districts in Metro Manila were submerged, some in waist-deep floodwaters, and four bridges collapsed in areas south of Manila. The storm’s strong winds also caused disruption as electricity was cut in parts of Manila and power lines and trees were toppled in surrounding areas. Around 180 international and local flights to and from Manila were cancelled and ferry services were badly disrupted.
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Flooding was also reported in Laguna Province, where residents are still struggling to recover from the flooding brought by Ketsana. Towns and villages in the province were again forced onto their rooftops to escape more flooding after Mirinae dumped up to 6 inches (150 millimeters) of rainfall. Six people were reportedly killed in Laguna. Flooding was also reported in the Bicol region further to the south, reportedly killing seven people. In Rizal Province, meanwhile, 400 temporary housing units were destroyed and 60 homes in the towns of Cavite and Ternate were damaged. In total, the NDCC said more than 55,000 people in the Philippines were affected by Mirinae and 19,000 people were forced to move into temporary accommodation. AIR Worldwide said Mirinae’s impact on the Philippines is likely to result in minimal insured property losses because of low insurance penetration for the affected region.
After Mirinae exited the Philippines on October 31, it moved into the South China Sea as a tropical storm. It subsequently strengthened into a category 1 typhoon and the storm came ashore in Vietnam’s coastal provinces of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen earlier today, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. No deaths have been immediately reported, but Vietnam’s weather centre warned of possible flash floods and landslides in mountainous districts. Prior to Mirinae making landfall, authorities in Vietnam ordered 80,000 residents in five coastal provinces to evacuate their homes.
In-depth scientific research into tropical cyclones across the Asia-Pacific region is provided by the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, a joint initiative between Guy Carpenter and the City University of Hong Kong. The centre was established in June 2008 to integrate academic and industry research and advance the understanding of climate-related perils and catastrophic risks across the Asia-Pacific region.
Sources: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, WSI, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Reuters News, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, BusinessWorld, The Philippine Star
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