President Benigno Aquino III INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

(INQUIRER) By Maila Ager- Opposition Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Tuesday urged President Benigno Aquino III to declare a national day of mourning for the people who perished from supetyphoon “Yolanda.”

Ejercito, in a statement, also urged Aquino to order all government agencies and schools in the country to fly the Philippine flag at half-staff “to signify sympathy and respect to the families and victims of the super typhoon.”

The senator made the proposals as he lauded the President for declaring a state of national calamity.

Aquino’s move, he said, came just hours after he filed a resolution Monday, calling for the declaration of a state of national calamity.

Ejercito said there was indeed a need to declare a state of national calamity to expedite the relief, rescue and rehabilitation efforts by the government and private sector, including international humanitarian assistance.

“This will also ensure to put a price freeze on the basic commodities, thus, will prevent the profiteering and hoarding of prime goods, medicines and petroleum products needed by the victims,” he said.

“This move is just one of the steps to help the survivors of the super typhoon in rebuilding their lives and putting back normalcy in the affected regions,” the senator added.


Not a walkout, just a break — PNoy aide By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan | Nov. 12, 2013 at 12:00am 2

President Benigno Aquino III’s aides have come to his defense on his alleged “walkout’ during the disaster relief briefing in Tacloban City the other day.

In a statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office assistant secretary Renato Marfil, who was with Mr. Aquino during the briefing, said the President did not stage a walkout but just took a “bathroom break”.

PCOO sent the one-line statement on Sunday night after news broke out that Mr. Aquino left his own briefing in Tacloban after being egged on by a local businessman to declare martial law in light of the looting in Tacloban city.

Reports further said that Mr. Aquino also expressed dismay at National Disaster Risk reduction and Management COuncil undersecretary Eduardo del Rosario’s allegedly exaggerated figures and unpreparedness.

Based on a radio report, del Rosario was making a presentation when one local businessman told the President that he and his fellow businessmen were being “slaughtered” by lawless elements in their desperate moves to steal and set fire to buildings there.

Mr. Aquino lost his temper and stormed out of the meeting to cool off at the nearby Tacloban city police station; he retured ten minutes later, the radio report said.


‘Yolanda’ to go down in history by Ellalyn De Vera November 8, 2013

Mega-typhoon. Monster storm. Super typhoon. It has been called a lot of names because Yolanda, internationally called Haiyan, will definitely go down in history books.

News reports say Yolanda could possibly be the strongest typhoon in world history.

Blue wet umbrella for keeping you dry

Haiyan is Chinese for “petrel,” a kind of long-winged seabird that fly far from land.

As if living up to its name, the typhoon had a wide cloud cover spanning 600 kilometers, capable of blanketing the entire Visayas region and parts of Luzon and Mindanao.

Formed in a very favorable condition over the Pacific Ocean last Monday, Yolanda reached massive maximum sustained winds of 235 kilometers per hour (kph) and fierce gustiness of up to 275 kph before its landfall.

At least 48 hours before its projected landfall, it already grew into a super typhoon upon reaching 215 kph of peak wind intensity.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Yolanda could have reached its peak strength Thursday morning but it continued to grow into a very powerful typhoon before it hit land.

Yolanda also generated storm surge up to seven meters high along the coastlines of the country.

According to Weather Channel, only three Atlantic storms had sustained winds close to Yolanda’s magnitude, namely Hurricane Camille in 1969, super typhoon Tip in 1979, and Hurricane Allen in 1980. It added that there is no Atlantic Ocean-born storm that has ever been stronger than Yolanda.

It falls under Category 5, the highest Hurricane classification in the scale.

In the Western Pacific Ocean, Yolanda would be the strongest tropical cyclone to have formed in this region in 2013, surpassing the winds of super typhoon Lekima last October of 215 kilometers per hour (kph), which was previously the strongest Pacific storm, based on Accuweather’s report.

But if compared with the official data from the PAGASA, of the 14 typhoons given the highest storm warning Signal No. 4 since 1991, three super typhoons surpassed the peak wind intensity of Yolanda — Rosing (1995) with 255 kph, Loleng (1998) with 250 kph, and Iliang (1998) with 240 kph.

Dr. Flaviana Hilario, PAGASA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development said the weather bureau included public storm warning signal (PSWS) No. 4 only in 1991. Since then, PAGASA has issued Signal No. 4 for 15 typhoons, including Yolanda.

These super typhoons are Trining (1991), Goring (1993), Rosing (1995), Iliang (1998), Loleng (1998), Harurot (2003), Igme (2004), Yoyong (2004), Paeng (2006), Queenie (2006), Reming (2010), Juan (2010), Mina (2011), Odette (2013), and Yolanda (2013).

PAGASA also documents the most destructive tropical cyclones that hit the country based on the amount of damage and number of casualties.

From 1970 to 2012, PAGASA data provided the most disastrous tropical cyclones in terms of damage to property, infrastructure, and agriculture. It also documented the most destructive tropical cyclones in terms of deaths since the 1950s.

With regard to damage to property, infrastructure, and agriculture, the most disastrous tropical cyclone in Philippine history is typhoon “Pablo” (international name “Bopha”) with a total damage worth P36.9 billion.

It ranked third in the most number of casualties with 1,067 persons. This particular typhoon, which left massive damage and deaths in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, occurred on December 2 to 9, 2012.

However, Signal No. 3 was the highest storm warning issued in the directly hit areas in Mindanao. It reached 175 kph of maximum sustained winds and gustiness of 210 kph.

Also notable destructive tropical cyclones are typhoon “Pepeng” (international name “Parma,” September 24 to 28, 2011), which incurred total damage of P27.3 billion,

followed by typhoon “Pedring” (international name “Nesat,” June 18 to 23, 2008) with P15.55 billion worth of damage;

typhoon “Frank” (international name “Fengshen,” June 18 to 23, 2008), P13.5 billion;

typhoon “Juan” (international name “Megi,” October 16 to 21, 2010), P11.5 billion;

tropical storm “Ondoy” (international name “Ketsana,” September 24 to 27, 2009), P10.95 billion;

and typhoon “Ruping” (international name “Mike,” November 8 to 14, 1990), P10.85 billion.

As regards the highest number of deaths, these tropical cyclones are on record, tropical storm “Uring” with 5,101 (1991), tropical storm “Sendong” with 1,268 (2011), typhoon “Pablo” with 1,067 (2012), typhoon “Nitang” with 1,029 (1984), typhoon “Trix” with 995 (1952), typhoon “Amy” with 991 (1951), and typhoon “Rosing” with 936 (1995).

In addition, typhoons with the highest recorded amount of rainfall are Feria (2001) with 1,085.8 millimeters (mm); Iliang (1998), 994.6 mm; Trining (1967), 979.4 mm; Susang (1974), 781.4 mm; Trining (1991), 760 mm; and Ditang (1980), 730.3 mm. The data on highest rainfall were recorded in Baguio.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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