The Philippines last week topped international headlines as a typhoon ripped through the island nation, claiming dozens of lives and leaving a swath of destruction. The story has a ring of familiarity. Typhoon Hagupit (locally referred to as Ruby) followed a path dangerously similar to that taken last year by the infamous Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, which struck the Philippines with record 195 mph winds.
Haiyan was unlike anything residents, or anyone else, had ever experienced. The storm was classified as Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, which is the strongest rating the system allows, but still not sufficient to describe the ensuing destruction.