Top 5 facts: typhoons


1. By any other name
Typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes are all essentially the same thing – a rotating tropical storm system that starts at sea. What it’s called just depends where in the world it forms.

2. Eye on the size
The eye of a typhoon or hurricane can be anywhere between 3.2km (2mi) across right up to 320km (200mi) in diameter.

3. Record breaker
To date Typhoon Tip in 1979 has been recorded as the largest ever typhoon, but once all the data has been examined Typhoon Haiyan might take its place.

4. Supersized storm
A typhoon only becomes a super-typhoon once surface winds of over 240km/h (150mph) have been sustained for more than a minute.

5. In the line of fire
Due to its location in the tropics, the Philippines is one of the most prone countries to typhoons, as well as other natural disasters like earthquakes because it is also in a tectonic danger zone – the Ring of Fire.