Typhoon Ike

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This article deals with the 1984 Typhoon. For other storms of the same name, see Tropical Storm Ike.
Typhoon Ike (Nitang)
Typhoon (JMA)
Category 4 typhoon (SSHWS)
Typhoon Ike 4 Sept 1984 0753z.png
Typhoon Ike on September 4
Formed August 26, 1984
Dissipated September 6, 1984
Highest winds 10-minute sustained:
165 km/h (105 mph)
1-minute sustained:
230 km/h (145 mph)
Lowest pressure 950 mbar (hPa); 28.05 inHg
Fatalities 1,422 total
Damage $1 billion (1984 USD)
Areas affected Guam, Philippines and China
Part of the 1984 Pacific typhoon season

Typhoon Ike (international designation: 8411, JTWC designation: 13W, PAGASA name: Nitang) was the deadliest typhoon of the 1984 Pacific typhoon season and crossed the Philippines in September. This tropical cyclone formed on August 27 in the Philippine Sea, and strengthened as it moved westward into the southern Philippines, becoming a typhoon on August 31. Typhoon Ike caused extreme wind and flooding damage when it crossed the Philippines, resulting in 1492 fatalities,[1] one of the Philippines' worst natural disaster in modern times, and its worst typhoon since Amy struck the archipelago in 1951. A total of 200,000 to 480,000 were left homeless. Emerging from the Philippines as a strong tropical storm, Ike restrengthened as it tracked northwest through the South China Sea across northeast Hainan Island. Weakening back into a tropical storm, Ike moved inland into mainland China. In Hong Kong, winds gusted to 49 knots (91 km/h) at Tate's Cairn. Extensive crop damage was experienced in southern China, with Ike becoming the most significant tropical cyclone to strike Guangxi since 1954. Total damage was reportedly US$111 million (1984 dollars).[2] The name Ike was retired after this season. Typhoon Ike was recorded with a 220 km/h gust and an estimated 185 km/h msw in Surigao on September 2 and is one of the intense tropical cyclones and devastating and deadliest to hit the RP.

Meteorological history[edit]

Map showing the sequential path of the storm; the colored points indicate the storm's position and intensity at six-hour intervals.

The eastern periphery of the monsoon trough developed a tropical disturbance on August 21 southeast of Guam. An anticyclone aloft caused shear, preventing the disturbance or a tropical depression to its north from developing much. The shear died down on the 25th, leading to a rapid increase in the convection of the system over the low level center. The increased organization continued, and it was classified as Tropical Depression 13W on August 26 south of Guam.

The depression, with generally favorable conditions, became Tropical Storm Ike on the morning of August 26. Due to its motion, the Condition of Readiness III, the equivalent of a hurricane warning, was put on Guam, the highest since Typhoon Pamela in 1976. Ike passed 60 nautical miles (110 km) south of Guam on the 27th, but because it was a compact cyclone, the island experienced only minor wind and little damage. Ike continued to strengthen, and reached typhoon strength on August 29.

The building of the ridge to Ike's north forced it west-southwestward, where increased shear weakened the typhoon back to a tropical storm. The shear was only temporary, and the storm again attained typhoon status on August 30. Upper level outflow became more pronounced as it neared the Philippines, and on September 1, Ike rapidly intensified to a peak of 145 mph (233 km/h) typhoon. The typhoon struck the island of Siargao in eastern Philippines on the 1st at that intensity, and crossed the archipelago.

While crossing the islands, Ike weakened to a 70 mph (110 km/h) tropical storm, but over the South China Sea, conditions favored strengthening. The storm turned to the northwest, where it quickly intensified, becoming a typhoon on September 3 and again reaching Category 4 strength on the 4th. Land interaction cut off its inflow, weakening Ike to a 90 mph (140 km/h) typhoon just before hitting eastern Hainan Island on the 5th. It continued to the northwest, steadily weakening over China until dissipation on September 6.


When Ike began to turn towards the northwest on September 3, typhoon warnings were issued for areas between Hong Kong and Beihai. Hundreds of cargo ships left port to escape the typhoon. In Zhanjiang, sandbagging operations took place throughout the day in an effort to construct a barrier against Ike's storm surge. Hundreds of thousands of residents evacuated from coastal areas.[3]


Typhoon Ike nearing the Philippines


Although the center of Ike passed about 385 km (240 mi) south of Guam, it produced gale-force winds and torrential rains throughout the island.[3]


Ike was one of the deadliest typhoons in Philippine history. Its heavy rainfall and winds killed 1,492 people.[1] Between 200,000 and 480,000 people were left homeless in the wake of the storm. In Surigao del Norte, at least 27 towns were completely destroyed by the typhoon, leaving at least 304 dead. Some towns were washed away after Lake Mainit overflowed its banks, killing hundreds of people caught in the floodwaters.[4] Nearly 100,000 people were left homeless in Cebu and only one of the islands 21 radio stations was able to broadcast several days after the storm.[5] About 70 percent of Surigao City was destroyed by Ike.[6]

In all, roughly 1.6 million people were affected in the country and 1,856 were injured. A total of 108,219 homes were destroyed and 142,653 others were damaged.[7] However, President Ferdinand Marcos declared a state of calamity after Nitang's onslaught. Six years later, Supertyphoon Ruping wreaked havoc in the Visayas in November 1990.


Upon striking southern China, Ike was a large typhoon with gale-force winds extending out 315 km (195 mi) from the center. The storm brought 76–127 mm (3–4 in) to most of the affected areas, with locally higher amounts. Thirteen fishermen were overcome by the 7.6–9.1 m (25–30 ft) swells off the coast of Weizhou Island. Numerous trees and power lines were downed by the storms' high winds and an estimated 13,000 structures were damaged or destroyed. An additional 46 people were killed by the remnants of Ike in central China.[9] An estimated 29,651 acres (119.99 km2) of sugar cane were destroyed and about 2.9 million pounds of vegetables were lost.[10]

Total damages in the Philippines and China amounted to $1 billion (1984 USD).[9]


Immediately following Ike, the Government of the Philippines dispatched a C-130 aircraft carrying relief supplies to the affected areas.[4] The large loss of life resulted in morgues running out of coffins, leading to bodies being immediately buried to prevent the spread of disease. Imelda Marcos, the wife of president Ferdinand Marcos, flew to Surigao to personally hand out relief supplies.[5] The president set aside $4 million for relief work but refused any international aid.[11] Starting on September 11, a massive relief item airlift was planned to assist the region. Striking the Philippines not long after Tropical Storm June, 19 provinces had already been placed under a state of emergency. Following Ike, three other provinces were placed under a state of emergency.[6]


Due to the destruction in the Philippines, the name Ike was retired and was replaced by Ian. Its PAGASA name, Nitang, was also retired, and was replaced by Ningning.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. Most Destructive Tropical Cyclones for the Month of August (1948-2000). Retrieved on 2007-02-04.
  2. ^ Hong Kong Royal Observatory (1985). Meteorological Results: 1984. Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  3. ^ a b Longshore, pg. 185
  4. ^ a b Staff Writer (September 4, 1984). "438 Killed by Typhoon Ike". Mohave Dailey Miner. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Ruben G. Alabastro (September 5, 1984). "At least 476 die, thousands injured, in raging Philippines storm". Associated Press. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b United Press International (September 4, 1984). "Typhoon Ike Batters Philippines". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 
  7. ^ Staff Writer (November 9, 2004). "Destructive Typhoons: 1970-2003". National Disaster Coordinating Council. Archived from the original on November 9, 2004. Retrieved December 6, 2009. 
  8. ^ Pedro Ribera, Ricardo Garcia-Herrera and Luis Gimeno (July 2008). "Historical deadly typhoons in the Philippines". Weather (Royal Meteorological Society) 63 (7): 196. 
  9. ^ a b Longshore, pg. 186
  10. ^ United Press International (September 11, 1984). "Typhoon Ike Hits China". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 
  11. ^ Staff Writer (September 3, 1984). "On This Day: September 3". BBC. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Longshore, David (2008). Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones New Edition. Checkmark Books. ISBN 978-0-8160-7409-9. 

External links[edit]