VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Tropical Storm Hanna falsely depicted as a Super Typhoon

A three-day old Facebook (FB) page posted a fake typhoon advisory Aug. 3, misleading netizens into thinking that Tropical Storm Hanna is a Category 5 Super Typhoon.

FB page Spotted uploaded a satellite image of a tropical cyclone, and warned residents in Luzon to brace for a “category 5 typhoon, similar to 2013’s Super Typhoon Yolanda,” which it said was going to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Aug. 5.

The second part of its caption read:

“Ayon sa datos ng U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center, nasa category 5 na ang bagyo na katumbas ng isang super typhoon o kasing lakas ng Bagyong Yolanda. Papasok sa Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) ang bagyo sa araw ng Lunes pero simula sa Linggo ay palalakasin na nito ang Habagat na posibleng magresulta ng pagbaha o pagguho ng lupa

(According to the data of U.S Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the typhoon is already in category 5 which is equivalent to a super typhoon or as strong as the typhoon Yolanda. The typhoon will enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday but beginning Sunday, it will be intensified by the Southwest monsoon which may result to flooding or landslides).”

Spotted’s advisory is fake.

The United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies Hanna, (International Lekima), as a Tropical Storm, not a Category 5 Super Typhoon.

More, the satellite image used by Spotted was that of Super Typhoon Yutu, the international name of Typhoon Rosita, which entered the PAR in October 2018. Yutu was dubbed by several news reports as the “strongest storm of 2018” in the United States, after it hit islands in the U.S. Pacific Territories.

In the Philippines, Rosita weakened just before making landfall in Isabela province. It eventually exited the country as a Tropical Depression, the first of five classifications of a tropical cyclone by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). Still, it caused death and destruction in Northern and Central Luzon.

Spotted’s fabricated post was created a few hours after a Low Pressure Area found east of Virac, Catanduanes developed into a Tropical Depression, and was named “Hanna.”

As of 11:00 a.m., Aug. 5, Hanna was expected to intensify into a Severe Tropical Storm within 24 hours. A Severe Tropical Storm is the third classification by PAGASA, and two notches lower than a Super Typhoon.

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