Super Typhoon Haiyan | Bangkok Post: learning


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Typhoon aftermath: "Like a tsunami"

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(Latest: Haiyan downgraded to a tropical storm, dumping rain on northern Vietnam and southern China.) The international media reports the Tacloban City area looks like a tsunami hit the area. Estimates of the dead now exceed 10,000.

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Note to English learners: If you have been following our coverage over that past few days, you now should know much of the basic vocabulary used to describe a disaster like this one. Try to read some of the original news reporting about the typhoon. You might be surprised at how well you understand it.

Monday updates

This aerial photo shows the devastation on Victory Island off of the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar province, central Philippines on November 11, 2013, four days after devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit the country. AFP

Hungry residents loot water damaged sacks of rice from a rice warehouse in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban in the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 11, 2013. AFP


I'm closing this coverage of Taiphoon Haiyan. From everything we have seen here, it is obvious that the residents of the Philippines need a massive amount of aid and they need it quickly. You can help. Check out this link for organisations that can make a difference:


Finally, Haiyan is no longer a typhoon, having been downgraded to a tropical storm. It is presently dumping heavy rain over northern Vietnam and southern China – more than 150mm in some places.

This handout photograph taken on November 10, 2013 and released by the Malacanang Photo Bureau (MPB) shows Philippine President Benigno Aquino (L) checking the condition of the families displaced following Super Typhoon Haiyan, in Leyte. AFP

Meanwhile, what's ahead for the Philippines? Another storm. A tropical storm has formed and is expected to dump heavy rain, mainly south of the areas ravaged by the typhoon, but Tacloban City could receive another 60mm of rain. The people there don't need it.


Vietnamese authorities have taking no chances. Seeing the high death toll caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, they have evacuated more than 600,000 people, forcibly in some cases.

People must bring enough food and necessities for three days ... Those who do not move voluntarily will be forced," an official report by Vietnam's flood and storm control department said Sunday.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, Reuters reports that President Benigno Aquino has deployed to soldiers to to the devastated city of Tacloban to quell looting.

Part of the problem, there and else where is the slow pace of the relief effort, hampered by impassable roads, damaged bridges, and poor communications.  The United Nations said some survivors had no food, water or medicine.

Sunday updates


A much weakened Haiyan has left the Philippines and is now entering northern Vietnam. It won't be so destructive this time, but rainfall could be extreme and heavy flooding is a possibility. As you can see, Thailand has escaped this time. Satellite image from the Japan Meteorological Deparment's MSAT2.


The Washington Post is reporting that the death toll of 10,000 may be for just one city alone, the city of Tacloban City where corpses have even been found hanging from trees.


Here is an aerial video from Philippine's TV channel ABS CBN taken above Bantayan Island, Cebu, about 200km from Tacloban City.:

CNN has been showing video shot in Tacloban City today and the damage along the coast is unbelievable. A mass of twisted debris, largely wood from homes. Andrew Stevens, the CNN correspondent who filed the report stressed this is only one city and there are many, many more that haven't been heard from. A priority now is to clear the roads, so significant relief supplies can come in. The is a desperate shortage of food, water and medicine. The local hospital is almost helpless in what it can provide.

A man looks at debris of destroyed houses in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte this morning, November 10, 2013. Such damage stretches for kilometres along the coast. AFP/Noel Celis.


Aid workers in the affected area say the death toll in the Philippines is likely to be much higher than the Red Cross estimate of 1,200. One local official told Reuters that 10,000 was a possibility.

From this video, a high death toll seems very likely. (Credit: Earth Uncut TV)


Typhoon Haiyan, now a category 3 storm, down for the category 5 it was when it hit the Philillipines, appears to be tracking a bit farther north than expected earlier, which should reduce somewhat the rainfall in Laos and northeastern Thailand.

Meteorologist Jeff Masters of Weather Underground says Vietnam, however, will see "prodigious" rain, 8 inches or more (200-plus milimetres), making it an "extremely dangerous" storm form the country. Landfall is expected Monday morning. Hanoi, with a population of 6.5 million people is in the path of the storm:

Meanwhile, the extent of the catastrophe in the Philippines is only beginning to be understood. Here is an excerpt of a report by the AFP's Noel Celis from Tacloban City in Leyte.

 "Imagine a strip one kilometre deep inland from the shore, and all the shanties, everything, destroyed,"
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said after visiting coastal towns in Leyte, one of the worst-hit provinces in the east of the archipelago.

"They were just like matchsticks flung inland. All the houses were destroyed."

The official government death toll on Saturday night was 138.

But with rescue workers yet to reach or communicate with many ravaged communities across a 600-kilometre stretch of islands, authorities said they were unable to give a proper assessment of how many people had been killed.

Philippine Red Cross secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said her organisation estimated 1,200 people had died, while a UN official who visited Leyte described apocalyptic scenes.

AFP photo

"This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris," said Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, the head of a UN disaster assessment coordination team.

"The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami," he said, referring to the 2004 disaster that claimed about 220,000 lives.

Saturday updates

What's next? The latest track for Taiphoon Haiyan has the storm itself missing Thailand, but rain could stretch much farther inland.


As expected, estimates of the death toll has begun to soar. The latest estimate from the Red Cross is that at least 1000 have died in Tacloban City on the island of Leyte and 200 elsewhere. But that is before many areas have been reached by authorities.

An aerial shot shows devastation of the coastal communities on the central Philippines in Iloilo on November AFP

A seconf aerial shot shows a flooded area in the aftermath of Supper Typhoon Haiyan that smashed into coastal communities on the central Philippines in Iloilo. AFP

Women walk past fallen trees and destroyed houses in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban. AFP

Houses destroyed by the strong winds caused by Typhoon Haiyan at Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 9, 2013. AFP

A resident walks past high waves pounding the sea wall amidst strong winds as Typhoon Haiyan hit the city of Legaspi, Albay province, south of Manila on Nov. 8, 2013. AFP


Residents wait for relief goods at a damaged airport in Tacloban city, central Philippines. REUTERS

As the sun goes down in Tacloban City in Leyte, CNN's Andrew Stevens reports that the situation is increasingly desperate there. There is massive damage, food, water and medicine are in short supply, roads are impassable and little aid has been able to get through. Only helicopters are bringing in supplies. Looting, too, has become a problem and there are unconfirmed reports of shooting, Stevens says.

15:30  And now Vietnam:

Vietnam begins mass evacuation as super typhoon looms

Soldiers and workers reinforce a sea dyke in the central province of Phu Yen on November 9, 2013. Vietnam has started evacuating over 100,000 people from the path of Super Typhoon Haiyan, state media said. AFP

Villagers build a shelter in preparation for the arrival of the Super Typhoon Haiyan at a coastal village in the central province of Quang Nam on November 9, 2013. AFP

HANOI - Vietnam has started evacuating over 100,000 people from the path of Super Typhoon Haiyan, state media said Saturday, after the storm tore across the Philippines leaving scores dead and devastating communities.

Haiyan, one of the most intense typhoons on record, slammed into the Philippines Friday with maximum sustained winds of about 315 kilometers (195 miles) an hour. It is expected to make landfall in central Vietnam early Sunday.

Authorities have begun mass evacuations in central Danang and Quang Ngai provinces, the Tuoi Tre newspaper said, as the country goes on high alert in the face of the massive storm.

Many schools in the affected area have closed and people from vulnerable low-lying coastal villages are moving to temporary typhoon shelters set up in public buildings on high ground, state media said.


People look at a damaged village hall in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Iloilo. AFP

UN relief workers in worst-hit areas describe coastal scenes similar to those in tsunami-hit Bandar, Ache after the 2004 tsunami. The storm surge was just as bad as feared earlier.

The latest reports put the death toll at 125, but the will surely rise.

The damage is expected to be "catastrophic," says the Manila Times


A mother weeps beside the dead body of her son at a chapel in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 9, 2013. AFP

CNN corespondent Paula Hancocks has reached Tacloban City in Leyte and reports that it looks like worse than storm damage. It's more like a tsuanmi went through. Virtually all the trees have been toppled or stripped of their leaves and buildings have been badly damaged. The 100 dead are from this area and she says only a small portion of the area has been reached by outsiders.

"Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few houses are left standing, but with partial damages," Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency said.

"Our disaster officials can't give a number on casualties yet, the communication lines are down," Major Balido said.


The Philippine Inquirer News is reporting more than 100 dead from Taiphoon Haiyan. That figure is likely to rise as communications are restored and the full extent of the storm casualties can be assessed.

Hopes were high that speed at which the storm moved in and out of the country (40km/hr) would keep deaths and injuries low.

This news report from CNN earlier this morning gives you a good idea of just how bad the storm was/is.


Communications are down throughout most of the storm-affected areas of the Philippines this morning as officials struggle to get help to the victims. Damage is expected to be massive. Meteorologists say few, if any, typhoons or hurricanes has ever packed such strong winds before. The winds were like a giant tornado.

Typhoon Haiyan weakened as it left the Philippines, but it is expected to regain strength over the South China Sea before hitting Vietnam. Landfall is expected in the Da Nang area. From there it will weaken as it moves inland, grazing northeastern Thailand before it turns away.

More later...

Friday stories

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms in history, has just made landfall in the Phillipines and will continue on over the South China Sea to Vietnam. From there..... Weather photo from MTSAT, Japan Meteorological Agency

Evening update

How big is this storm? Well, Thailand is about 1,648 kilometers from north to south. CNN just reported Typhoon Haiyan covers a distance of 1760 kilometers and, for much of the area, the storm is still intense, with winds in excess of 200km/hour and rain so heavy you can hardly see. It is still too early for the casualty toll and damage estimates. Philippine president Benigno Aquino calls it a calamity and you will also see it described as a catastrophe and a disaster.

Typhoon Haiyan would cover virtually the whole country of Thailand.

Noon update

A remarkable satellite image with Haiyan's eye clearly visible on the right. NASA/NOAA

Reports from areas of the the Philippines hit by the typhoon are still sketchy because communications are largely down. 5-6 meter (15-19 ft) waves were reported as the storm hit the islands of Leyte and Samar. Reuters reports the storm was headed toward densely populated central and southern Philippines, including the resort island of Boracay and other holiday destinations.

You can see the intensity of the storm in these short videos, the first from the island of Leyte:

If you need real-time information about the typhoon as it moves through the Philippines, twitter is obviously one of the best sources. Here is a start:

Super Typhoon Haiyan

We have been focused on Thailand's political troubles, but at the same time Mother Nature has been working overtime to build one of the strongest storms ever recorded – and Thailand may feel its effects.

Super Typhoon Haiyan has made landfall in the Philippines in the eastern province of Samar in the  Visayas region which is already reeling from a devastating earthquake last month.

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii shortly before landfall said Typhoon Haiyan’s maximum sustained winds were 314 kilometers per hour, with gusts up to 379 kilometers per hour, faster than an F1 racing car.

While they will certainly weaken somewhat over land, few buildings are capable of withstanding such a force, says Jeff Masters, the chief meteorologist of Weather Underground.

The brunt of the fast-moving storm is expected to stay south of Manila and race into the South China Sea towards northern Vietnam. As is typically the case, it should then move into Laos, dumping large amounts of rain along the way.

This time of year, prevailing winds should prevent the storm from crossing Thailand, but border areas could see significant rainfall. Graphic from severe weather section of

Fortunately, this time of year, winds from the north should keep the storm from crossing Thailand, but it cause significant rain in areas bordering Laos and possibly, the Preah Viharn area, just in time for the International Court of Justice's decision on who this area of land belongs to.

Adapted from agency stories

Learn from listening

Click "play" to listen to Typhoon aftermath: "Like a tsunami" and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.


aerial (adj): (of a photograph or video) from a plane or helicopter - ภาพถ่ายทางอากาศ

aftermath : the effects and results of something bad or important - ผลที่ตามมา

alert : prepared to deal with something dangerous - ตื่นตัว ระวัง

apocalyptic (adj): showing or describing the total destruction and end of the world, or extremely bad future events - เกี่ยวกับการสิ้นสุดของโลก

archipelago : a group of small islands or an area of sea in which there are many small islands - ทะเลบริเวณที่มีหมู่เกาะ

assess (verb): to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment - ประเมิณ, ประเมิณสถานการณ์

assessment : a judgment or opinion - การประเมิน

authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

bordering : very near, next to, or touching - ติดกัน

brunt (noun): the main force of something unpleasant ส่วนหนักที่สุดที่ได้รับหรือกระทบ, ผลกระทบที่รุนแรง - ส่วนหนักที่สุดที่ได้รับหรือกระทบ, ผลกระทบที่รุนแรง

calamity : a bad event or serious accident causing damage or suffering - เหตุการณ์ที่เลวร้าย

capable : able to do something; very good at a job - มีความสามารถ

casualty (noun): victim; someone/ something that has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a bad event such as a disaster or crime (casualties: the number of dead or injured) - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย; จำนวนคนตายหรือได้รับบาดเจ็บ

casualty toll : the number of deaths and/or injuries - จำนวนผู้บาดเจ็บล้มตาย

catastrophe : an extremely damaging event - เหตุร้ายกาจม ความหายนะ

catastrophic : extremely damaging - เหตุร้ายกาจม ความหายนะม ให้ผลหายนะอย่างใหญ่หลวง

category : a group of people or things that have similar qualities - หมวดหมู่ ประเภท

claim lives (verb): to kill people - ทำให้ตาย

coastal : of an area of land beside the sea - แนวชายฝั่งทะเล

community : the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน

condition : the physical state of a person or animal, especially how healthy they are - อาการ, สุขภาพ

coordination : the act of making all the people involved in a plan or activity work together in an organised way - การประสานกัน

corpse : a dead body - ศพ

death toll : the number of people killed - ยอดผู้เสียชีวิต

debris : broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed - เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย

densely populated : having large numbers of people living there -

deploy : (of police, soldiers, government officials or equipment) to put in place ready for action - ส่ง ประจำการ.

desperate : extremely serious or dangerous - เต็มไปด้วยอันตราย

destination : the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง

destruction : when something is destroyed - การทำลาย, ภาวะที่ถูกทำลาย

devastating : damaging badly or destroying - ทำลายล้าง

disaster : an unexpected event, such as a very bad accident, a flood or a fire, that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage - ภัยพิบัติ ความหายนะ

displaced : (of people or animals) forced to leave their home, especially because of war or a natural disaster - ซึ่งออกจากที่อยู่ไป, ซึ่งย้ายที่

downgrade : to reduce someone or something to a lower rank or position, to reduce the strength of something - ลดความสำคัญ, ลดความรุนแรง

earthquake : a sudden shaking movement of the ground - แผ่นดินไหว

estimate : an amount that you guess or calculate using the information available - ประมาณการ

evacuate : to leave a place because it is not safe - อพยพออกจากพื้นที่

excerpt : a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. - บทคัดย่อ

excess : an amount by which something is larger than something else - ส่วนเกิน

extent : the degree to which something happens or is likely to happen - ขอบเขต

figure : a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information - ตัวเลข, จำนวนเลข

fling (verb): (past "flung") to throw somebody/something somewhere with force - ขว้าง, ปา, เหวี่ยง

focus : to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ

forcibly (adv): in a way that involves the use of physical force - อย่างที่เกี่ยวข้องกับการใช้แรงหรือกำลัง

fortunately : used for emphasizing that something good has happened, especially because of good luck - อย่างโชคดี, อย่างเคราะห์ดี

graze : to touch something slightly when passing it - เฉียงๆ

gust : a sudden strong increase in the amount and speed of wind that is blowing - ลมพัดแรงทันที

hamper : to stop someone or something from making progress or developing; to hinder - ขัดขวาง, เป็นอุปสรรค

hurricane : a violent storm with very strong winds, especially in the western Atlantic Ocean - พายุเฮอริเคน

impassable : of a road or path that cannot be travelled on because it is blocked or because of bad weather conditions - ซึ่งผ่านไปไม่ได้

intense : very strong - แรง, เข้มข้น

intensity (noun): strength - ความเข้มข้น

joint : done together; belonging to or shared between two or more people - ที่ร่วมกัน, ความร่วมมือกัน

landfall : the place where a storm coming from the sea first hits land - การเข้าหาแผ่นดิน

local : in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

loot : to steal things from buildings, houses or shops, especially during a war or after a disaster   - ปล้นสะดม

looting : stealing things from buildings, houses or shops, especially during a war or after a disaster   - การปล้นสะดม

massive : very large in size, amount or number - ใหญ่โต

matchstick : a single wooden match for lighting fires - ไม้ขีดไฟ

maximum : the most possible - ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด

meanwhile : at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน

media : newspapers, television, radio, etc. - สื่อ

meteorologist : a scientist who studies the weather and makes predictions - นักอุตุนิยมวิทยา

necessity (noun): a thing that you must have and cannot manage without, e.g., good, clothing - สิ่งจำเป็น

obvious : clear; easy to see, recognise or understand - ชัดเจน

pace (noun): speed -

portion : a part of something - ส่วน

pound : to hit something hard many times, especially in a way that makes a lot of noise - ตำ

prevail : to be the strongest influence or element in a situation - เป็นจริง, มีอำนาจเหนือกว่า

priority : something important that must be done first or which needs more attention than something else - การมาก่อน

prodigious : very great or impressive - มหาศาล,อย่างยิ่ง

quell (verb): to cause a violent situation to end; to stop something bad from continuing - ยุติความรุนแรง; ระงับ

ravaged : destroyed; damaged very badly - ถูกทำลาย, เสียหาย, ถูกล้างผลาญ

real-time : actual time; dealing with information as soon as it is received - ตามเวลาจริง

record (verb): to make a written account of something that is kept so that it can be looked at and used in the future - บันทึก, รายงาน

reduce : to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - ลดลง

reel : to feel very shocked, upset or confused - ตกตะลึง 

regain : to get back something that was lost or taken away - ได้กลับมา

relief : help; assistance - การช่วยให้พ้นภัย

resident : a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้ที่อาศัยในท้องที่

restore : to bring back to good condition - ฟื้นฟูสภาพ

scale : the size or extent of something, especially when compared with something else - ขนาด, ระดับ

scene : a view that you can see in a picture or from the place where you are - วิว,,ภาพ, ทิวทัศน์,ทัศนียภาพ

scores : large numbers of - จำนวนมาก

severe : very serious and worrying - ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง

shanty (noun): a small house, built of pieces of wood, metal and cardboard, where very poor people live, especially on the edge of a big city - กระท่อมที่สร้างหยาบๆ

shelter : a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay - ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว

shore : the land along the edge of the sea or ocean, a lake or another large area of water - ชายฝั่ง

significant : important - สำคัญ

sketchy : not complete or detailed and therefore not very useful - คร่าวๆ, ไม่สมบูรณ์,ไม่ครบ

slammed into : hit with great force - ชนเข้าอย่างแรง

soar : to rise very quickly to a high level - มีความหวังสูง,พุ่งพรวดขึ้น

somewhat (adjective): partly but not completely - บ้าง, บางส่วน

source : a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่ง

state : government - รัฐบาล

stress : to emphasise something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain why something is important - เน้น

stretch (noun): a continuous area of land or water - บริเวณที่แผ่ขยายไป, บริเวณวงกว้าง

strewn : covered with things, especially in a disordered way - อีฉุยอีแฉก, กระจัดกระจาย

strip : to remove, pull or tear the covering or outer layer from something - กวาด, ลอก,ปอก

strip (noun): a long narrow area of land, sea, etc - พื้นที่แคบยาว

struggle (verb): to try hard to do something that you find very difficult - พยายาม; ต่อสู้

surge : a sudden increase in something, in this case, the height of waves in the sea - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว ในที่นี้คือน้ำทะเลหนุน

survivor : someone who still exists after an event that could have killed or destroyed them - ผู้รอดชีวิต

sustained : continuing at the same level - ต่อเนื่อง

temporary : done or used for only a limited period of time, i.e., not permanent - ชั่วคราว

topple : to cause to fall - คว่ำลงมา

tornado : a violent storm with very strong winds which move in a circle. There is often also a long cloud which is narrower at the bottom than the top - พายุทอร์นาโด, พายุหมุน

track (verb): to move in a particular direction or along a particular route (often used for storms) - เคลื่อน

tropical storm (noun): the first level of dangerous storm: "A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds between 34 knots (39 mph) and 64 knots (74 mph). (Source: Wikipedia) - พายุโซนร้อน, พายุดีเปรสชันที่มีกำลังแรงขึ้น เกิดขึ้นในเขตร้อน ความเร็วลมบริเวณใกล้ศูนย์กลางประมาณ 70-120 กิโลเมตรต่อชั่วโมง [พจนานุกรมศัพท์ สสวท.]

tumbleweed (noun): a plant that grows like a bush in the desert areas of N America and Australia. In the autumn/fall, it breaks off just above the ground and is blown around like a ball by the wind. - วัชพืชชนิดหนึ่ง

twisted : bent into a shape that is not normal - บิดเบี้ยว ผิดรูปผิดร่าง

typhoon : a tropical storm with strong winds that move in circles - พายุไต้ฝุ่น

typically : usually; normally - อย่างเป็นแบบฉบับ

victim : someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย

virtually identical : almost exactly the same - เกือบเหมือนกัน, คล้ายกันมาก

visible : able to be seen - ที่มองเห็นได้

voluntarily : done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ

vulnerable : easily damaged or harmed - ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย

warning : an action or statement telling someone of a possible problem or danger - การเตือน

weep : to cry because you feel unhappy or have some other strong emotion - ร้องไห้

withstand : to be strong enough not to be hurt or damaged by extreme conditions, the use of force, etc. - ทนต่อ, ต้านทานต่อ


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