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Double Cyclones Strike Philippines

Double Cyclones Strike Philippines

Typhoons Mitag (right) and Hagibis (left) flank the Philippines in this image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on November 25, 2007. At that time, Mitag was about to strike the Philippine island Luzon with winds of 150 kilometers per hour (90 miles per hour or 80 knots), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The storm is a dense cluster of clouds packed so tightly together that not even the signature swirling bands of the tropical cyclone are distinguishable. Mitag’s strong winds and heavy rain uprooted trees and caused landslides and floods when the storm struck northern Luzon on November 25, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. Eight people died in floods brought on by Mitag’s rains in southern Luzon, said ABC News.

Hagibis, meanwhile, had just completed an about-face and was heading back towards Luzon. The storm crossed westward across the Philippines on November 19 and had been tracking across the South China Sea towards Vietnam before boomeranging back towards the Philippines on November 24. In this image, Hagibis is a loose swirl of clouds. At this time, the storm’s winds had slowed to 65 km/hr (40 mph or 35 knots), barely qualifying it to be a tropical storm. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast that the storm would continue to degrade into a tropical depression before crossing southern Luzon on November 27. Hagibis killed 13 people the first time it struck the Philippines, said ABC News.

NASA image by Jesse Allen, based on data from the NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.