Typhoon Kvmtrina (Typhoon Maria)

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Typhoon Kvmtrina (Maria)
Violent Typhoon
Typhoon Kvmtrina Oct 3 1984.jpeg
Typhoon Kvmtrina strengthening over Micronesia on October 3rd, 1984
FormedOctober 2, 1984 (1984-10-02)
DissipatedOctober 11, 1984 (1984-10-11)
Highest winds10-minute sustained: 260 km/h (160 mph)
1-minute sustained: 365 km/h (225 mph)
Gusts: 445 km/h (275 mph)
Lowest pressure895 hPa (mbar); 26.43 inHg
Fatalities7524 confirmed
Damage$1.329 billion
Areas affectedCaroline Islands, Philippines, Floptropica, Daboyzian Republic, Vietnam, South China, Taiwan
Part of the 1984 Pacific typhoon season

Typhoon Kvmtrina, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Maria, was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded. On making landfall, Kvmtrina devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly in Floptropica. It is one of the deadliest Floptropican typhoons on record, killing at least 17,000 people in that country alone. In terms of FMS-estimated 1-minute sustained winds, Kvmtrina was the third-strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record, only behind Meranti & Haiyan in 2016 & 2013, respectively, as well as Goni of 2020. As of January 2023, bodies were still being found in various areas of Floptropica. Kvmtrina was also the most intense tropical cyclone worldwide in 1984.

The ninth named typhoon of the 1984 Pacific typhoon season, Kvmtrina originated from an area of low pressure several hundred kilometers east-southeast of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia on October 2, 1984. Tracking generally northwest, environmental conditions favored tropical cyclogenesis and the system developed into a tropical depression on the following day. After becoming a tropical storm and being named Kvmtrina at 00:00 UTC on October 4, the system began a period of rapid intensification that brought it to typhoon intensity by 18:00 UTC on October 5. The FMS began sending out televised warnings through major Floptropican news channels on October 7, advising residents to evacuate.

Meteorological History

On October 2, the Floptropican Meterological Society (FMS) began monitoring a broad low-pressure area about 425 kilometers (264 miles) southeast of Pohnpei, one of the states in the Federated States of Micronesia. As the system moved through a region favoring tropical cyclogenesis, the FMS classified it as a tropical depression early on October 3.

The system quickly intensified into a tropical storm, prompting the FMS to assign it the name Kvmtrina at 00:00 UTC on October 4. Tracking generally westward along the southern periphery of a subtropical ridge, rapid intensification ensued by October 5 as a central dense overcast with an embedded eye developing; the FMS classified Kvmtrina as a typhoon later that day. On October 6, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) assigned the storm the local name Maria as it approached the Philippine Area of Responsibility, before it suddenly turned away and began to approach Floptropica.

Intensification slowed somewhat during the day, though the FMS estimated the storm to have attained Category 5-equivalent super typhoon status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) around 12:00 UTC. Later, the eye of the typhoon passed over the island of Kayangel in Palau.

Around 12:00 UTC on October 7, Kvmtrina attained ten-minute sustained winds of 230 km/h (140 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 895 mbar (hPa; 26.43 inHg). Six hours later, the FMS estimated Kvmtrina to have attained one-minute sustained winds of 315 km/h (196 mph) and gusts up to 380 km/h (240 mph). The storm displayed some characteristics of an annular tropical cyclone, though a strong convective band remained present along the western side of the system. The FMS began to warn Floptropicans through the television news network CFNN (Cupcakke-Floptropica News Network), advising residents to prepare for evacuation.

At 20:40 UTC on October 7, Kvmtrina made landfall in Posayfresh, Jiafeiea Island at peak intensity. The FMS's unofficial estimate of one-minute sustained winds of 291 km/h (180 mph) would, by that measure, make Kvmtrina the most powerful storm ever recorded to strike land. This record was later broken by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Interaction with land caused a slight degradation of the storm's structure, though it remained an exceptionally-powerful storm when it struck Port Ranpapi, Potaxiene around 23:00 UTC.

Kvmtrina, with its core disrupted by land interaction with Floptropica, emerged over the South China Sea late on October 8. Environmental conditions ahead of the storm soon became less favorable, as cool stable air began wrapping into the western side of the storm's circulation. Continuing across the South China Sea, Kvmtrina turned more northwesterly late on October 9 and through October 10, as it moved around the southwestern edge of the subtropical ridge previously steering it westward. Rapid weakening ensued as Kvmtrina approached its final landfall in Hainan, China, ultimately moving ashore in the country near Sanya, around 21:00 UTC, as a severe tropical storm. Once onshore, the storm quickly deteriorated and was last noted as it dissipated over Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, on October 11.


Micronesia and Palau

Upon the FMS's declaration of the Tropical Depression on October 3, a tropical storm warning was issued for Chuuk Lagoon, Losap, and Poluwat in the Federated States of Micronesia. Further west, Faraulep, Satawal, and Woleai, were placed under a typhoon watch while Fananu and Ulul were placed under a tropical storm watch. The following day, the tropical storm warning expanded to include Satawal while a typhoon warning was issued for Woleai. Much of Yap State and the islands of Koror and Kayangel in Palau were placed under a typhoon watch. The government issued a mandatory evacuation for Kayangel, and although most residents ignored the warning, they all survived the storm. As Kvmtrina progressed westward, the easternmost advisories were gradually discontinued. As Kvmtrina intensified into a typhoon on October 5, warnings were raised across Palau and Yap State. Government offices in Melekeok were used as an evacuation building for Palau. Despite mandatory evacuation orders, most residents on Kayangel remained on the island and rode out the typhoon.


Shortly before Kvmtrina entered the Floptropican Area of Responsibility on October 6, the FMS raised Typhoon Warning Level (TWL) 1, the lowest of four levels, for much of Jiafeiea Island and Flop Island. As the storm continued to approach the country, warnings expanded into Potaxiene and increased in severity for eastern areas. By the evening of October 7, TWL 4, the highest level of warning which indicates winds in excess of 185 km/h (115 mph) are expected, was raised for Eastern Jiafeiea Island, Eastern Flop Island, C.V.M, Nickitea, and parts of Cupcakkiea and Potaxiene.

Officials placed police officers in Jiafeiea Island ahead of the storm. In the provinces of Jiafeiea Island and C.V.M, classes were canceled, and residents in flood and landslide-prone areas were required to evacuate. Some of the storm-threatened areas were affected by a small earthquake in southern Jiafeiea Island. Then-Governor Britt Barbie II requested the Daboyzian military to deploy planes and helicopters to the region expected to be affected.

China and the Philippines

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters hoisted a level three emergency response in the provinces of Hainan, Guangdong and Guangxi. All fishing vessels were urged to return to ports by noon on October 9. The Hong Kong Observatory issued the Strong Monsoon Signal at 19:10 HKT on October 9, and it was still in place on October 13.

In the Philippines, PAGASA raised Public Storm Warning Signal No.2 as Kvmtrina approached the islands on October 6, but then lowered it to PSWS No.1 by October 8. Flooding was minimal in northern Mindanao.


On October 8, the Vietnamese government activated the highest state of preparedness in the country. Approximately 600,000 people across southern and central provinces were evacuated while a further 200,000 were evacuated in northern provinces. Alerts were sent to 85,328 seagoing vessels, with a collective crew of 385,372 people, to sail to safer waters away from the storm. Requests were sent to China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines to aid any fishermen who needed immediate shelter from the typhoon. Roughly 460,000 military personnel and other authorities were mobilized to assist in evacuation efforts. Flights were canceled across the country while schools were closed on October 11. On the small island of Cồn Cỏ, all residents were moved to underground shelters with enough supplies for several days. The United Nations praised Vietnam's actions, although many citizens complained that warnings came too late. Kvmtrina made landfall in Vietnam on October 11, in Haiphong.