Effects of Typhoons Urduja and Vinta in Biliran and Lanao del Norte

In December last year, two typhoons hit the Philippines: Urduja (international: Kai-Tak) and Vinta (international: Tembin). Both weren't particularly strong typhoons (at least from what we experience in the Philippines); Urduja peaked at Category 1 and Vinta as a Tropical Storm in the Saffir-Simpson Scale. What made the two typhoons deadly were the excessive rainfall... Continue Reading →

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A look back at the severe flooding in Central Luzon due to Typhoon Koppu (Lando) in October 2015

On October 17, 2015, Typhoon Koppu (local name: Lando) brought torrential rains in Luzon island, Philippines generating widespread flooding in numerous places across the island. It also caused landslides and debris flows in the province of Nueva Ecija. Extensive flooding in Central Luzon were reported, mainly affecting the province of Pampanga. Waters originated north of... Continue Reading →

What are debris flows?

Last time, I mentioned that what hit Mocoa, Colombia were not floods or mudflows, but debris flows. But what exactly is a "debris flow?" This term isn't very well-known, at least in popular usage. Indeed, numerous reports describe the Mocoa tragedy as caused by either a mudflow, mudslide, or a landslide (which is technically correct,... Continue Reading →

Mt. Pulag forest fire

A few weeks ago, a portion of Mt. Pulag National Park caught fire after a butane stove from one of the campers accidentally exploded. Hiking and camping in the park has since been suspended, and those responsible have been sued and threatened with an PhP18.4 million (US$ 350,000) fine plus possible jail time. Using Sentinel-2... Continue Reading →

Dangerous debris flows

A little over a month ago, heavy and sustained rainfall in Mocoa, Colombia triggered deadly landslides and debris flows, claiming more than 300 lives.¬†Post-event analysis by scientists from GFZ Potsdam¬†show that more than 600 landslides occurred within the watersheds next to town. The mixture of soil, rocks and debris from the landslides mixed with water... Continue Reading →

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