Storm surge risks increase as typhoons grow stronger, sea levels rise
BEFORE super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck land on Nov. 8, 2013, Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Noah) said 68 areas in the Philippines could be hit by a storm surge.
A storm surge is a sudden rise in the sea level above the normal high tide on the coast driven by the winds of a storm.
In Cebu, Tuburan and Carmen towns could expect surges of 3.2 meters and two meters high, respectively, the Department of Science and Technology project to undertake disaster science research said.
But after the storm, both Tuburan municipal administrator Roy Palaugon and Carmen Councilor and action officer Hermogenes Maningo told Sun.Star Cebu that no surge had hit their towns.
“Tuburan has never tried a storm surge,” said Palaugon. “I don’t know why they included it in the forecast of surge areas. Tuburan is surrounded by islands and is across Negros.”
Maningo, however, said that while Carmen was spared this time, he had heard stories that in the past, a storm surge had reached the chapel, about 150 meters from the coastline.
Project Noah executive director Dr. Mahar Lagmay said his group will complete this year a study that will better determine the country’s surge- and flood-prone areas.