Typhoon Mitag (2007)

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Typhoon Mitag (Mina)
Typhoon (JMA scale)
Category 2 (Saffir–Simpson scale)
Mitag 23 nov 0146Z.jpg
Typhoon Mitag at peak intensity on November 23
Formed November 20, 2007
Dissipated November 27, 2007
(Extratropical after November 27, 2007)
Highest winds 10-minute sustained: 150 km/h (90 mph)
1-minute sustained: 175 km/h (110 mph)
Lowest pressure 955 hPa (mbar); 28.2 inHg
Fatalities 67 direct, 4 indirect, 38 missing
Damage $19.79 million (2007 USD)
Areas affected Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Okinawa
Part of the 2007 Pacific typhoon season

Typhoon Mitag, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Mina, was a strong typhoon that caused deadly flooding in the Philippines in November 2007.

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

Typhoon Mitag was first identified by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on November 19, 2007 as an area of scattered convective activity situated roughly 410 km (255 mi) south-southwest of Guam. Located within a region of low wind shear and favoring good outflow, development of the system was anticipated over the following few days.[1] Later that day, a low-level circulation was discovered as the disturbance became increasingly organized.[2] Shortly thereafter, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) classified the system as a tropical depression.[3] Early on November 20, convective banding features developed along the periphery of the depression as it moved into an area of good divergence.[4] Around 1200 UTC, the JMA upgraded the depression to a tropical storm, assigning it the name Mitag.[3] This name was contributed by Micronesia and translates to "my eyes" and is also a name for a Yap woman.[5] Several hours later, the JTWC issued their first advisory on Mitag, designating it as Tropical Storm 24W.[6] Around the same time, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued their first advisory on the system as it entered their area of responsibility. They dubbed Mitag with the local Philippine name of Mina at this time.[7]

The storm strengthened significantly early on November 21 and became a severe tropical storm. Later that day, the JTWC upgraded Mitag to a typhoon, and the JMA also upgraded it late that evening. As Mitag remained stationary in the Philippine Sea for a day as a Category 2-equivalent typhoon, it changed its course and instead of hitting Catanduanes and the Bicol Region, it will make a landfall at the Aurora-Isabela area. Nonetheless, PAGASA announced that there is still a possibility of the typhoon to once again change its course. The storm turned northwest towards northern Luzon and made landfall late on November 25. It tracked across the island and was downgraded to a severe tropical storm before emerging back over water on November 26. It turned back to the east before reaching Taiwan, and became extratropical on November 27.[citation needed]

Preparations[edit]

On November 22, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) of the Philippines took full precautions in advance of Typhoon Mitag. Only a tropical storm at the time, the NDCC ordered the evacuation of nearly 3,000 people and opened at least ten evacuation centers. Immediate standby funds of PHP3.2 million (US$67,000) and relief goods worth PHP41.1 million (US$860,700) were placed in the National Resource Operations Center. Trucks supplied with a combined 4,000 packs of clothing and 100 tents were prepped for immediate distribution after the storm.[8] The Armed Forces of the Philippines placed five battalions, consisting of trucks, saws, boats, helicopters and naval ships to respond to reports of missing people and clear debris after the storm.[9]

An estimated 300,000 people evacuated ahead of the storm from six provinces in Luzon. Roughly 15,000 people were also evacuated from Palanan. Hospital staff were placed on 24-hour standby to readily assist people injured by the storm.[10] Typhoon Mitag became the most significant storm to threaten the country since Typhoon Durian one year prior. Thousands of residents were evacuated throughout 40 regions. The Government of the United States was on standby in Okinawa to immediately deploy assistance in fear of another major disaster.[11] Roughly 30,000 people evacuated the Bicol Peninsula ahead of the storm. In Isabela province, 54,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas prone to flooding. Trucks with relief items, such as food and medicine, were stocked and prepped for immediate deployment.[12]

Over 2,000 residents were evacuated from Albay Province by November 22.[13] Officials reported that nearly 654,000 people had to be evacuated from the province, especially those near the Mayon Volcano. In Legazpi City, Camalig, Daraga, and Guinobatan towns over 9,000 people were evacuated due to the threat of lahars. Over 6,000 families were evacuated from Polangui town. Officials stated that there were at least 180,000 people in Albay that were at risk of being impacted by storm surge from Typhoon Mitag. More than 200,000 families were evacuated from Camarines Sur Province. Already impacted by Typhoon Hagibis, disaster officials requested PHP67 million (US$1.4 million) in funds for both storms.[14] By November 23, officials urged over one million people to evacuate threatened areas as Typhoon Mitag was anticipated to become a very powerful typhoon.[15]

Impact[edit]

Philippines[edit]

Typhoon Mitag (right) and Tropical Storm Hagibis (left) on November 25 near the Philippines

Typhoon Mitag produced torrential rainfall over the Philippines, triggering numerous landslides. At least 19 people were killed in landslides and eight others were reported as missing.[16] These people were later confirmed to have died in landslides, seven of which occurred in Pinukpuk. Two people died of hypothermia and two others died from electrocution. Sixteen other fatalities resulted from drowning and one more from a flash flood.[17] One landslide cut a portion of a major highway connecting Cagayan and Ilocos Norte.[10]

A ship carrying 80 people capsized near the Nansha Islands on November 22. Fifty-five of the passengers were rescued; however, 25 remained missing. Hundreds of other fishermen were also presumed to be stranded on the islands during the storm.[18] Rough seas produced by the storm also capsized two ferries, resulting in the drownings of three people. Thirty of the passengers were rescued while six others were listed as missing.[16] A Philippine air force jet also went missing during their rescue mission near the capsized ships. The Coast Guard reported that there was no sign of either the ship or the plane during their search.[19] Rescue attempts for the pilots were called off and they have been presumed dead.[17]

Officials reported that 2,969 homes were destroyed and 17,950 others were damaged by the storm; a total of 779,930 people were affected.[17] Throughout the country, damages to highways amounted to PHP162 million (US$3.79 million).[16] Over 6,000 hectares of agricultural land was damaged or destroyed,[19] leaving PHP109.6 million (US$2.56 million) in losses and damages to schools amounted to PHP210 million (US$4.93 million).[16] Total damages from the storm amounted to PHP945 million (US$19.79 million).[17]

Elsewhere[edit]

On November 24, the outer bands of Mitag brought winds up to 50 km/h (30 mph) to parts of eastern Malaysia. The town of Tawau, was particularly hard-hit, with 85 homes sustaining damage, mainly to roofs. Trees and power lines were also downed by the high winds, but there were no reports of any injuries.[20] Off the coast of Taiwan, an Indonesian cargo ship with 27 crew members sank due to waves produced by Mitag. One of the men were rescued; however, the remaining 26 were not found.[21] Rescue attempts were later called off and the remaining crew were presumed dead.[17] The remnants of Mitag contributed to heavy rains in Okinawa which damaged 3 km (1.8 mi) of roads and triggered one landslide.[22] Winds on the island gusted up to 74 km/h (46 mph).[23]

Aftermath[edit]

Search and rescue teams were deployed immediately by the government to the hardest hit areas. A military contingent was deployed to three towns in northern Cagayan isolated by flood waters. The National Food Authority stocked roughly 600,000 bags of rice to assist victims of the storm.[10] The National Disaster Coordinating Council also provided 4,950 sacks of rice, worth PHP5 million (US$104,700) to the affected regions.[17] By November 23, the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes declared a state of calamity due to the severity of damage.[18] A week later, the Philippine Navy had already begun distributing food packs to the six regions affected by the typhoon. Military personnel were deployed throughout the country to reports of flash flooding, missing persons, evacuations and distribution of relief goods. Roughly PHP23.5 million (US$490,000) was provided by various agencies to assist victims of the storm.[17]

On December 26, the Government of the Philippines announced that the Habitat for Humanity foundation was beginning construction of 495 shelters throughout the country. The total cost of the project was PHP42 million (US$879,500).[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forecast Team Bravo (November 19, 2007). "Tropical Weather Outlook". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ Forecast Team Charlie (November 19, 2007). "Tropical Weather Outlook". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Japan Meteorological Agency (2008). "Japan Meteorological Agency Annual Tropical Cyclone Report for 2007" (PDF). World Meteorological Agency. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  4. ^ Forecast Team Charlie (November 20, 2007). "Tropical Weather Outlook". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  5. ^ Typhoon Committee (2009). "List of names for tropical cyclones". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2008). "JTWC Best Track for Typhoon 24W (Mitag)". United States Navy. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  7. ^ Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (2007). "Storm Log for Typhoon Mitag (Mina)". Typhoon 2000. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ National Disaster Coordinating Council (November 22, 2007). "Preparedness Activities Typhoon "Mina" (Mitag)" (PDF). ReliefWeb. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  9. ^ National Disaster Coordinating Council (November 23, 2007). "Sitrep No. 2 re Typhoon "Mina" (Mitag)" (PDF). ReliefWeb. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c Staff Writer (November 23, 2007). "Typhoon Mitag slams into Philippines: officials". Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  11. ^ Staff Writer (November 23, 2007). "Thousands Evacuate, Typhoon Mitag Gains Strength". KGMB9. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (November 25, 2007). "Typhoon Mitag changes course prompting mass evacuations". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  13. ^ Staff Writer (November 22, 2007). "Over 2,000 Albay folk evacuated; more remain in hazard areas". GMANews TV. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  14. ^ Joel Guinto; Jaymee T. Gamil & Ephraim Aguilar (November 22, 2007). "Albay villagers' evacuation in hazard areas underway". The Inquirer. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  15. ^ Associated Press (November 23, 2007). "Philippines races to evacuate one million as typhoon approaches". Channel News Asia. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c d Xinhua (November 28, 2007). "Typhoon Mitag death toll rises to 22 in Philippines". People's Daily Online. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g National Disaster Coordinating Council (November 30, 2007). "Sitrep No. 14 re Typhoon "Mina" (Mitag)" (PDF). ReliefWeb. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b Gilbert Felongco (November 23, 2007). "Typhoon Mitag unleashes its fury in Bicol region". Gulf News. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  19. ^ a b Associated Press (November 27, 2007). "Official death toll from Philippines typhoon rises to 12". Channel News Asia. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  20. ^ Staff Writer (November 24, 2007). "Typhoon Mitag damages 85 houses in Tawau". The Star. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  21. ^ DPA (November 29, 2007). "Taiwan continues search for 26 missing Indonesian cargo ship crew". Earth News. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  22. ^ Japan Meteorological Agency (2008). "41st Session Country Report: Japan" (PDF). World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  23. ^ Dave Ornauer (November 28, 2007). "'Wet, windy week' in store for Okinawa". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  24. ^ Government of the Philippines (December 26, 2007). "Philippines: DSWD, Habitat for Humanity to build houses". ReliefWeb. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 

External links[edit]