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Super Typhoon Joan (international designation: 7019, JTWC designation: 21W, PAGASA name: Super Typhoon Sening) was the first of two super typhoons to strike the Philippinesmarker within a week in October 1970, the second being Super Typhoon Kate. Super Typhoon Joan is the strongest typhoon and the ninth deadliest storm ever to affect the Philippinesmarker, as of 2002.

Meteorological history

A tropical disturbance was first detected on October 8 near Trukmarker and Ponapemarker. Due to the wind and sea conditions, the disturbance moved west quicker than expected at near 17 knots (31 km/h or 20 mph). A circulation developed on the morning of October 9, and it was a tropical storm by the time it passed Ulithi Atollmarker.

Joan continued to strengthen, and by October 11 had become a typhoon. However, it had slowed in forward speed due to it moving near an anticyclone that was located 300 miles (480 km) southeast of Okinawamarker. As Joan continued to strengthen, it reacted to the ridge line, and turned to the northwest, aiming the storm straight at Bicol Regionmarker and specifically Bicol Peninsula of Luzonmarker.

An aerial reconnaissance crew (similar to Hurricane Hunters) sent to investigate Joan on October 13 encountered severe turbulence and a g-force reading of 2.5 g as the storm was at its peak. The readings sent back put Joan with 150 knot (280 km/h or 175 mph) winds and a minimum central pressure of 901 mb.

The storm made landfall near noon the same day in the Lagonoymarker Gulf region of Luzon, but not before it had threatened and brushed the coast of Catanduanes Islandmarker. Bicol and Tagalog Provinces were affected as the storm continued to move across Luzon, losing strength. On October 14, the storm passed within 20 miles (32 km) of Manilamarker.

Joan then entered the South China Seamarker. However, its path over Luzon had caused it to lose organisation around the vertical structure of the central eye region of Joan. Over October 14 and 15, the area of gale-force (tropical storm-force) winds grew to a - (400 km) radius from its centre. Its eye diameter also grew to 80 miles (130 km) - double the average eye diamter. This area filled almost the whole northern South China Sea and made Joan the largest storm of the season in size.

A trough over central Chinamarker interacted with the ridge line and made Joan turned more northerly, and the storm took aim at the northeastern tip of Hainan Islandmarker on October 17. It made landfall on the Luichow Peninsulamarker as a minimal typhoon and dissipated over southern China on October 18.


A United States Coast Guard LORAN station on Catanduanesmarker, 30 miles (50 km) north of where the centre of the storm passed, recorded a windspeed of 90 knots (165 km/h or 105 mph) gusting to 110 knots (205 km/h or 130 mph). In Viracmarker, on the island, the Philippine Weather Bureau station recorded a minimum sea level pressure of 950.7 mb and winds of , but was heavily damaged.

Typhoon Joan made a direct hit on Naga Citymarker, where many people died from flying debris, collapsing homes, falling trees and floods. By doing so, the storm became the most intense storm ever of the Bicol Region.

Ninoy Aquino International Airportmarker reported a peak gust of 84 knots (156 km/h or 97 mph) and a minimum pressure reading of 976.9 mb, while a U.S. Coast Guard ship, the USCGC Blackhaw anchored in Manila Baymarker reported a gust.

The storm caused damage bad enough to rank high as some of the most destructive figures ever. Joan left over 80,000 people homeless, in addition to killing 575 people (193 people were unaccounted for, and have since been declared dead, bringing the total toll to 768) and injuring nearly 1600. US$74 million (1970 USD, $373 million 2005 USD) of damage was estimated, along with a 92% loss of agricultural crop in the regions affected. Later that same week, Super Typhoon Kate devastated the Philippines, making conditions worse.

In the South China Sea, shipping traffic was disrupted and a ship was reportedly in distress for almost 24 hours. However, there is a lack of information about damage and deaths in Chinamarker.

See also


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