- Education and Science
How BAGYO originated; interesting facts about Philippine typhoons
Typhoon Pepeng kills 492 Filipinos and P27.195 B worth of crops and properties
how typhoons came to be known as BAGYOClick thumbnail to view full-size
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Inportant facts about Philippine typhoons
THIS morning October 4, 2010 something very important caught my fancy while TV ABS-CBN channel was on. The TV man made mention of the word BAGUIO which- according to him- originated after a typhoon of a very strong intensity hit Baguio City and its environs in the year 1911. He elaborated that from that time on typhoons that hit the Philippine area of responsibility are called Baguio. How true!
I jotted down the facts lest I forgot them. After doing minor chores and a light breakfast, I began the challenging task of delving into the subject matter. All through my 72 years of existence I have used the term Baguio for any weather disturbance without any thought of how the word came to be. My family, neighbors, townmates and I’m pretty sure the entire country is using it in the same vein as what my idea and concept of the word is.
My parents who were born 4 years before the 1911 super typhoon, failed to inform us children why typhoons are called Baguio. Perhaps info dissemination during their times were slow as turtles.
Here are my findings:
The term bagyo, a Tagalog word meaning typhoon arose after a 1911 storm where a record rainfall of 46 inches occurred in the city of Baguio in one 24 hour period. Further, the term refers to any tropical cyclone in the Philippine Islands. Six to 7 tropical cyclones visit the Philippines every year.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (or PAGASA) a Filipino word which means HOPE and created on December 8, 1972 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 78, a government agency which is tasked to provide flood and typhoon warnings, public weather forecasts and advisories, categorized BAGYO according to its wind speed into 4 types:
1) Tropical Depressions
2) Tropical Storms
4) Super Typhoons
Tropical Depressions have sustained winds of between 55 to 64 kilometers per hour near its center. Tropical Storms, 65 to 119 kilometers per hour near its center; Typhoons, 120 to 185 kilometers per hour and Super Typhoons have maximum winds exceeding 185 kilometers per hour.
Tropical Storm THELMA or Uring in Nov. 2-7, 1991 was considered the most destructive or deadliest for killing 5,101 to 8,000 Filipinos who drowned in its floods. Majority of its drowning victims were residents from Ormoc City. The wettest- meaning there were much rain water- was the July 1911 cyclone as rank No. 1 which dropped over 1,168 millimeters or 46.0 inches of rainfall within a 24 hour period at Baguio City. Ketsana or Ondoy that hit the country on Sept. 23-29, 2009 is ranked No. 3 in the category Costliest with 11 billion-peso damages or 244 million US$. Parma or Pepeng immediately followed suit from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14, 2009. It was ranked No.1 under Category Costliest, leaving in its wake 11 billion-peso or US$ 244 million damages.