The Philippines is reeling from disastrous flooding after Typhoon Molave hit the country with winds of 80 km / h and heavy rains.
More than 25,000 villagers have been evacuated from their homes and at least 13 have been missing since the storm, locally known as Typhoon Quinta, made landfall on the southern island of Luzon on Sunday before heading west across the country.
Nearly 3,000 families from four regions receive the government assistance, according to the National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, the agency responsible for disaster relief in the country. The council says it has not received any reports of deaths but that rescue operations are still underway by the Philippine Coast Guard.
The Philippines is no stranger to typhoons, with over 20 in a typical season – indeed Typhoon Molave is the 17th to hit the Philippines this year. But that doesn’t make it easier for its citizens to adapt, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The island nation is also recovering from the impact of Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, one of the strongest in recorded history with winds of 150 mph. Haiyan left over 6,000 dead and 1,800 missing with his destructive storm surges.
Typhoons and hurricanes are essentially the same thing: both are tropical cyclones – rapidly rotating storms that form over warm waters and feature high winds, rain, and low pressure centers called “eye “. The difference is that tropical cyclones that occur in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean are called hurricanes, while tropical cyclones that occur in the western Pacific Ocean are called typhoons.
Recent research from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal, suggests that climate change has had an impact on the location of tropical cyclones, with more storms occurring in the North Atlantic and Central Pacific since 1980 and fewer in the Western Pacific. Using climate models, the researchers predict fewer tropical cyclones overall by 2100.
However, another study by Scientific advances, an open access journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, found that due to warming waters, typhoons in the Pacific Northwest are expected to become 14% more intense over the same period.
Molave is still heading west and is expected to arrive on the already battered central coast of Vietnam on Wednesday with sustained winds of over 80 mph. Record flooding has already left at least 114 dead and dozens more missing this month.
“This is a very powerful typhoon that will impact a large area,” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said, while authorizing the deployment of a full force to help save lives.
Vietnam stands ready to mobilize troops, helicopters, tanks and any other means of transport available to aid in disaster response efforts. The Vietnamese Red Cross is already on the ground responding to historic flooding, distributing essential supplies and helping evacuate people to safe places before the next storm.
Help keep Vox free for everyone
Millions of people turn to Vox every month to understand what’s going on in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial calculation to what is, quite possibly, the most significant presidential election of our lives. Our mission has never been as vital as it is right now: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism requires resources. Even as the economy and the advertising market recover, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, consider helping everyone figure out an increasingly chaotic world: Contribute today from just $ 3.