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NOVA: Killer Typhoon

Airs Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Debris lines the streets of Tacloban, Leyte island on November 14, 2013, nearly a week after the storm struck. This region was the worst affected by the Typhoon Haiyan, causing widespread damage and loss of life.

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, whipping the islands with 200-mile-per-hour winds and sending a two-story-high storm surge flooding into homes, schools and hospitals, leaving thousands dead and millions homeless. What made Haiyan so destructive? Meteorologists take viewers inside the anatomy of the typhoon, tracking its progress and revealing why the Pacific is such fertile ground for cyclones.

Courtesy of Trocaire from Ireland/ Wikimedia Commons

A destroyed house on the outskirts of Tacloban on Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by Typhoon Haiyan, causing widespread damage and loss of life.

But that’s just part of the story. With crews on the ground within days of the storm, NOVA reveals how conditions deteriorated in the storm’s aftermath, as impassable roads and shuttered gas stations paralyzed the relief effort, leaving food, water and medicine to pile up at the airport.

Disaster preparedness experts and relief workers scramble to understand why the Philippines was so vulnerable. As climate change and sea level rise threaten stronger, and perhaps more frequent, storms, how can we prepare for the next monster typhoon?

Past episodes of NOVA are available for online viewing. NOVA is on Facebook, follow @novapbs on Twitter.

Video

NOVA: Killer Typhoon Preview

Above: On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, whipping the islands with 200-mile-per-hour winds and sending a two-story-high storm surge flooding into homes, schools and hospitals, leaving thousands dead and millions homeless. With crews on the ground within days of the storm, NOVA reveals how conditions deteriorated in the storm’s aftermath, as impassable roads and shuttered gas stations paralyzed the relief effort, leaving food, water and medicine to pile up at the airport.