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Death toll still climbing, as Koppu’s remnants move away from the Philippines


Number of victims from the passage of the violent Typhoon "Koppu" continues to rise in the Philippines. As of October 22, 2015, 54 people were reported dead and over 1 million residents were affected by extreme weather conditions resulting from the fierce storm.  Aurora province and the coastal town of Casiguran were hit the hardest and have suffered significant damage by the storm surge and strong winds.

Typhoon "Koppu" made landfall in northern Luzon, Philippines on October 17, and has been battering the area with heavy rainfalls and strong winds since. Torrential downpours brought by the system, locally known as Lando, have caused severe flooding and mudslides across the northern Philippines.

Typhoon "Koppu's" remnants moving away from the Philippines, October 22, 2015. Image credit: NASA/Aqua MODIS

Large parts of central Luzon have reported between 700 and 800 mm (27.6 and 31.5 inches) of accumulated rainfall, and Baguio, a place well-known for its history of flooding, measured about 1 025 mm (40.4 inches) of rainfall in a period of only a few days, WestPacWx reports.

87 mm (3.42 inches) of precipitation was observed in Basco Radar, in Batanes province and 86 mm (3.38 inches) in Laoag in the province of Ilocos Norte in a period between October 20 and 21.

A NASA rainfall analysis using data from the GPM satellite indicates that most of the island of Luzon received over 300 mm (11.8 inches). Some areas near the typhoons path were shown to be saturated with over 760 mm (about 30 inches) of rainfall (see animation). Image credit: NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

According to media reports, 54 people died in extreme weather related incidents, as of October 22. Death toll might still rise over the next couple of days though, as complete damage assessment progresses.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council have reported 41 deaths, 78 injuries, 5 missing people, over 18 000 damaged homes and a total of 1 million people affected by the storm.

Over the next 24 h light to moderate rain and isolated thunderstorms could affect the provinces of Ilocos, Apayao, Batanes and Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan group of islands.

Koppu weakened into a tropical depression by October 21, and is now slowly moving away from the northern Philippines. On October 22, 15:00 UTC, Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported the system was located 1379.7 km (857.3 miles) northwest of Wake Island while packing maximum sustained wind speeds of 46.3 km/h (28.8 mph) and wind gusts of 64.8 km/h (40.3 mph).

YouTube video

Video credit: CBN News

According to meteorologist Robert Speta, the storm, although weakened will still have a major effect on weather patterns in Taiwan, Japan and Russia. Koppu's remnants will slowly travel toward Taiwan and the Ryuku islands of Southern Japan by the end of the week and bring scattered rainfall and strong winds across the affected areas. 

High waves and winds of tropical strength are possible in the northern coastlines of southern Japanese islands due to system's interaction with the North East Monsoon.

After it travels further away from Japan, Koppu's moist remnants will feed the upper level trough out of North East China, and cause cold air to move south. Snowfall will be possible across Hokkaido and Honshu due to this occurrence and the resulting air mass might be the one of the coldest to settle over North East China and Far East Russia.

Featured image: Residents rebuilding their homes after disastrous Typhoon "Koppu" battered the area. Image credit: CBN News

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