Typhoons: Storm-surge models helped for Hagupit

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
519,
Page:
414
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/519414b
Published online

The Philippine government learned from shortcomings in the preparations for Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 (see R. Lejano et al. Nature 518, 35; 2015, and A. M. F. Lagmay et al. Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 11, 112; 2015) and was able to limit the damage that last December's Typhoon Hagupit might otherwise have caused.

For example, storm surges during Haiyan extended inland by an unanticipated 2 kilometres. Specific warnings of surges of up to 5.5 metres were issued two days before Haiyan's landfall, and were broadcast on prime-time television by the country's president. Despite this, the warnings proved inadequate because the variability of coastal landscapes makes it impossible to judge inundation extent on the basis of storm-surge heights alone.

Following the 2013 disaster, Project NOAH (run by the Philippine government's Department of Science and Technology) prepared storm-surge inundation maps for all its coastal provinces, modelled using high-resolution topography. These detailed maps, along with advance warning, helped to mitigate the loss of life when Hagupit's storm surges destroyed at least 1,800 homes at the end of 2014.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, the Philippines.

    • Alfredo Mahar Lagmay
  2. University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands.

    • Norman Kerle

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