Remembering Fengshen: 13 Years Later

It’s been 13 years since Typhoon Frank (Int’l name Fengshen) brought catastrophic damage and a tragedy of M/V Princess of the Stars. It peaked as a 195 kph (120 mph) typhoon with minimum central pressure of 960 millibars. It caused torrential rain that caused widespread flooding forcing people onto their rooptops and to seek shelter in public shelters.

Track of Fengsheng as it crossed Philippine region.

Fengshen formed east of Mindanao on June 18th and was designated as Tropical Depression 07W and received the local name “Frank.” It slowly moved northwest and intensified as Tropical Storm “Fengshen” in the 19th. It then moved West-Northwest and intensified into a Typhoon before making landfall in LLorente, Eastern Samar and continued to intensify after landfalls over Biliran. Moving into the Visayan and Capiz Seas, Frank peaked as a Category 3-equivalent Typhoon. It then moved North-Northwest and made landfall over Romblon and made its last landfall in the Philippines over the Quezon Province. It weakened to a Tropical Storm as it emerged into the South China Sea, made landfall near Hong Kong, and became a remnant low and then dissipated by June 27th.

It caused ₱13.525 billion ($327 billion) in damages with 557 people dead, 87 missing, and 826 injured in the wake of the storm (excluding the fatalities on M/V Princess of the Stars). It affected about 4.8 million people and caused 326,321 partially/totally damaged homes. The name “Frank” was retired and was replaced by Ferdie. The WMO Typhoon Committee didn’t retire Fengshen.

M/V Princess of the Stars

MV Princess of the Stars before Typhoon Fengsheng. Image credit WilliamsQ5 through Wikimedia.

The ferry M/V Princess of the Stars Port of Manila by June 20th, even though Frank already made landfall over the Samar Island. It was permitted to sail because “it was large enough to stay afloat in typhoon’s periphery.” With the unexpected movement of the storm, the ferry sailed into the eye of the storm. By 12:55PM PHT, the ship sent a distress signal, then the ship lost radio contact. A total of 814 people dead and missing and only 56 known survivors. A months long body recovery operation took place, where only 312 bodies have been recovered.

 

 

 

A full report of Typhoon Fengsheng can be found here: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/AF08756A504E59A48525749700629D7A-Full_Report.pdf

 

Feature image courtesy of JMA MTSAT-1R satellite acquired from Wikimedia.

Article written by Justine, formated by Preston Schenk

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