Amid cheers from insurance companies (and their stockholders) at this being a no- hurricane hurricane season, we U.S.-ers have hardly noticed that the big storms seem to have moved to the Pacific. I’m sure you caught the horrific news of the “supertyphoon” that hit the Philippines and buried many villages and villagers in mud on Thursday. Here’s an excerpt from

Durian brought 249 kilometers an hour (155 miles an hour) winds and heavy rain that caused floods and mudslides in southeast Luzon, the nation's main island. It is the ninth tropical storm and typhoon to make landfall this year in the Philippines. The rainfall reached 466 millimeters, the country's largest since 1967, and exceeded the monthly amount in Albay, one of the provinces hardest hit, a government official said.

``The storm poured in one day an amount of rain that's greatly more than what that area gets in a month,'' Renato Solidum, director at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said today in a telephone interview.

A supertyphoon would be called a Category 5 in Hurricanespeak. Big, mean sucker. And while the Atlantic has taken a breather, our warming climate has whipped up the Pacific to dangerous froth.

The first documented supertyphoon was “Tip” in 1979. These days they are common. Think maybe things are changing?

Today’s (Dec 2) update on Durian:

Durian, the third supertyphoon to hit the Philippines this year, was 450 kilometers west-southwest of metropolitan Manila as of 10 a.m. today, according to the government weather bureau.

The storm is moving west at 15 kilometers per hour toward southern Vietnam.


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