VIDEO: Palau Spared Bopha’s Full Fury; No Fatalities Reported, Power Outages, Flooding, Homes Damaged


Guam – The island of Palau is in recovery mode from Supertyphoon Bopha, but the good news is they were spared the brunt of the storm as it passed farther south than expected. There are no reported deaths or major injuries but they did receive some damage.

“Well they were very fortunate yesterday morning it was headed directly towards Koror with winds of Supertyphoon strength 150 miles per hour and around noon yesterday it veered a little bit to the left it turned a little bit south and maintained that course all through last night,” said National Weather Service Senior Forecaster Mike Middlebrook. The NWS forecaster says this kept Supertyphoon Bopha’s strongest winds south of the southern Palauan island of Anguar. However it did cause some damage.

Republic of Palau Consul General Jeff Kenty says that although there wasn’t much destruction in Koror there is some damage. “As of now they are still doing damage assessment throughout Koror and they haven’t gone to outer islands like Peliliu and Anguar so they don’t know the extent of damages down there, but in Koror there is no power yet because most lines are down so they’re trying to see how much of the damage was sustained by the power lines and all that stuff,” said Kenty adding, “most stores are still in tact and everything is okay in Koror.”

Kenty says there were no reports of fatalities or major injuries. The airport is still in tact and in good condition and should be ready for operation soon. Middlebrook says that Koror airport recorded a peak gust of about 70 miles an hour at around 11p.m. last night. He says sustained winds may have been anywhere between 20 and 40 miles per hour. “Further south reports on Peliliu island and Anguar they may have sustained more damage,” said Middlebrook adding, “Anguar I would estimate probably 90 to a 100 maybe 110 miles per hour briefly so I’m sure there’s been some damage down there.”

In fact Kenty says there were some reports of damage in some of the southern islands but mostly due to flooding. “Three states Peliliu, Ngiwal and Melekeok had water surge in land so they don’t know they still have yet to assess the damage that was caused by the surge of water,” explained Kenty.

Typhoons are very rare for Palau and this typhoon developed really close to the equator where typhoons usually don’t develop. “Well when you get down to the equator you don’t get the benefit of what they call the Coriolis force which is what causes winds to turn so that you form circulations and wind flow so it just tends to be more straight line flow down there so that’s very strange,” said Kenty.

The photos in this story were courtesy of Oceania TV in Palau. Bopha is heading to the Southern Phillipines but the storm is losing intensity down to 115 knots and getting weaker. It has already been downgraded from a Supertyphoon to a typhoon.