By Cris Larano
WSJ.COM 11/14/13--MANILA—When supertyphoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, made landfall last Friday on Guiuan, a coastal town on the central Philippine island of Samar around 410 miles south of Manila, it was described by some as the strongest storm to make landfall in the world this year, maybe ever.
So is it?
Data from the national weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, or PAGASA, showed that Typhoon Haiyan’s intensity – measured by the wind strength at its center and the speed of gusts at landfall – Haiyan ranks at number 7 among the strongest storms ever to have hit the Philippines.
It could eventually prove to be the deadliest, with the death toll currently at more than 2,300 and mounting. But among the so-called supertyphoons— those with center winds in excess of 134 miles an hour — the title goes to Joan.
Known locally as Sening, that storm made landfall in Virac, Catanduanes province, north of the current devastation and around 236 miles south of Manila. When it hit, Joan had center winds of 171 miles per hour and gusts of 193 miles per hour, compared to Haiyan’s 147 mph.
Are Typhoon Disasters Getting More Common? No