Palau’s "One In A Million" Typhoon Pounds Its Neighbor, Killing 27

By Kassi Berg

Typhoon Bopha tracked across Micronesia during the week of November 26, advice 2012 all the while targeting the tiny island nation of Palau.  Palau is notorious for evading typhoons and remarkably, order just before Bopha’s approach, thumb on the evening of December 2, 2012, Bopha’s direction veered from its north-northwest course due west, ultimately driving the typhoon south of its intended destination of Palau.  Palau suffered, but it did not endure a direct hit.

While Palau avoided the full impact of Bopha, its neighbor, the Phillipines was not as favored.  In fact, as Bopha left the purview of Palau, at one point it actually became the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane (in the Atlantic Ocean) according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Ultimately, Bopha pummeled the Philippines with a rain band 373 miles wide.  It brought huge waves, storm surges and ferocious winds of nearly 110 miles per hour and gusts even higher.  And unlike Palau, it arrived in the Phillipines with torrential rain, inducing flash floods and landslides.

With the damage still being assessed, 27 have already lost their lives to the typhoon and more than 56,000 people are in evacuation centers.