From Weather.com: (emphasis added)
Typhoon Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines early Tuesday, local time, packing maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.
According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Bopha’s powerful, but rather small hurricane wind field … roared ashore in Mindanao Island early Tuesday morning, local time, as the equivalent of a category-five hurricane.
According to ABC News, forty people are reported dead or missing.
Typhoon Bopha has weakened to a category-two equivalent storm, and is expected to remain south of Manila.will continue west-northwestward through the central Philippines.
The Weather.com report includes an explanation of why Bopha is “unusual”:
What makes Bopha unique is its southern track and intensity. This was the strongest typhoon to track through the southern Philippines in 22 years, the last of which to do so was Super Typhoon Mike (Philippine name “˜Ruping’) in Nov. 1990.
Dating to 1945, there have been only 4 other typhoons that have tracked within 200 nautical miles of Davao, Philippines (on Mindanao Island) with an intensity of at least a category-four storm … .
Those were in 1964 (Ining), 1970 (Titang), 1984 (Nitang) and 1990 (Ruping).
Only “˜Ruping’ and “˜Ining’ were the equivalent of category-five storms.
… Bopha first became a typhoon at a mere 3.8 degrees north latitude early on November 30 (U.S.), becoming the most southerly typhoon on record in the western North Pacific basin (or, closest to the equator). The old record was Typhoon Kate in October 1970.
Bopha just missed being the closest-to-equator category-five equivalent typhoon on record in the western North Pacific Basin (or any other basin, for that matter), reaching that intensity at 7.4 degrees north latitude Monday morning (U.S. time). Only Typhoon Louise in 1964, becoming a category-five equivalent typhoon at 7.3 degrees north latitude, was closer to the equator.
(Typhoon Bopha Satellite Image via Weather.comFB)