VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Typhoon Hanna is NOT twice as strong as Super Typhoon Yolanda

Typhoon Hanna is twice as powerful as Super Typhoon Yolanda

FB page Deandre Mejia 08/30/2023 False

Typhoon Hanna’s strength is not double that of Super Typhoon Yolanda that devastated the Philippines in 2013, PAGASA Weather Specialist II Beni Estareja said.

Videos posted on Facebook (FB) and YouTube claimed in its title that typhoon Hanna (international name: Haikui) is twice as powerful as Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) which devastated the country in 2013. 

BAGYONG ‘HANNA’ DOBLE ANG LAKAS SA YOLANDA! NAKAKATAKOT (Typhoon Hanna twice as powerful as Yolanda! Scary),” the videos published on Aug. 30 claimed. 

Hindi naman. Oo, malayo po (It’s not. Yes, not even close),” Benison Jay “Beni” Estareja, weather specialist II at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), told VERA Files Fact Check in a Sept. 4 telephone call. 

Typhoon Hanna, now outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), had a maximum sustained wind speed of 155 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and a gustiness of up to 255 kph, Bernard Punzalan II, ISRO III of PAGASA’s Public Information Unit told VERA Files Fact Check in a Sept. 7 email.

On Nov. 8, 2013, at 7 a.m. PAGASA reported that Yolanda’s maximum sustained winds reached 235 kph with a gustiness of 275 kph. Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported that maximum sustained winds went up to 315 kph with a gustiness of 380 kph.

We encourage people na ‘wag basta-basta maniniwala sa mga pinapalabas na updates sa sources na very suspicious… Ang responsibility ay sa mga nanonood na sana hindi lang sila mag-rely sa isang source,” Estareja said. 

(We encourage people not to immediately believe updates from very suspicious sources… The responsibility of not relying on just one source falls under the viewers.)

Estareja advised people to look at official weather reports from PAGASA’s official social media accounts and news organizations. It regularly provides updates on Facebook and X.

The erroneous video appeared as Tropical Storm Hanna was about to enter the PAR. It got 125,464 interactions on FB page Deandre Mejia (created on June 15) and 202, 216 interactions on YouTube channel Balitang Pinas (created on Nov. 20, 2019).


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