Journal article

The December 2012 Mayo River debris flow triggered by Super Typhoon Bopha in Mindanao, Philippines: Lessons learned and questions raised

Rodolfo K, Lagmay A, Eco R, Herrero T, Mendoza J, Minimo L, Santiago J ...see all

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, vol. 16, issue 12 (2016) pp. 2683-2695 Published by Copernicus GmbH

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Category 5 Super Typhoon Bopha, the world's worst storm of 2012, formed abnormally close to the Equator, and its landfall on Mindanao set the record proximity to the Equator for its category. Its torrential rains generated an enormous debris flow in the Mayo River watershed that swept away much of Andap village in New Bataan municipality, burying areas under rubble as thick as 9 meters and killing 566 people. Established in 1968, New Bataan had never experienced super typhoons and debris flows. This unfamiliarity compounded the death and damage. We describe Bopha's history, debris flows and the Mayo River disaster, then discuss how population growth contributed to the catastrophe, and the possibility that climate change may render other near-Equatorial areas vulnerable to hazards brought by similar typhoons. Finally, we recommend measures to minimize the loss of life and damage to property from similar, future events.

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  • Tatum Miko HerreroGEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research

  • Kelvin S. Rodolfo

  • A. Mahar F. Lagmay

  • Rodrigo C. Eco

  • Jerico E. Mendoza

  • Likha G. Minimo

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