Typhoon Rammasun heads to China after Manila is spared the worst


Filipino residents try to escape from strong winds brought by typhoon Typhoon Rammasun after it struck a fishing village in Las Pinas city, south of Manila, Philippines, 16 July 2014. (EPA/FRANCIS R. MALASIG)

Typhoon Rammasun is exiting the Philippines today, leaving at least seven people dead. 370,000 people were evacuated from their homes as the powerful typhoon approached, though the worst fears for the city of Manila were not realized. The storm’s eye wall collapsed as it neared the city, and the typhoon took a jog to the south, which decreased the potential destruction.

On its closest approach, Rammasun passed about 40 miles to the south of the Manila. Packing sustained winds of 105 mph at the time, it ranks among the strongest on record to pass the city in such proximity according to Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters:

[A]ccording to NOAA’s historical hurricane web page, the strongest typhoon ever to make a direct hit on Manila was Typhoon Angela of 1995, which was a strong Cat 1 or weak Cat 2 when it passed over the city (sustained winds of 90 – 105 mph, according to JTWC’s annual report).

Wind gusts in Manila reached 64 mph on Wednesday, and a personal weather station in the Loyola Heights neighborhood of Quezon City reported sustained winds of 54 mph. As the storm approached Manila, it was packing sustained winds of 125 mph, but weakened just before passing south of the city.

Rammasun, which is a Siamese word for “thunder of god,” has sustained winds of 90 mph on Wednesday morning, a category 1 on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale, as it moves west away from the Philippines. Despite the typhoon’s ragged appearance on satellite this morning, Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects the typhoon to gain back some of its strength as it passes over the warm water of the South China Sea.

Landfall on the island of Hainan in southeast China is still expected very early on Friday morning as a category 3, with winds of 115 mph. A “yellow warning” as been issued by the China Meteorological Center, and they are warning the public to “take necessary measures.”


Angela Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and The Post's deputy weather editor.
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