Typhoon Sudal was the strongest typhoon to strike the island of Yap in about 50 years. The entire island experienced typhoon force winds, and 90% of the structures were damaged or destroyed. Sudal also brushed the United States islands of Guam and Rota with high waves and light rainfall, and later moved very close to the uninhabited Japanese island of Iwo Jima. It is the only typhoon of the 2004 Pacific typhoon season to make landfall in the Philippines.
About Typhoon Sudal in brief
Typhoon Sudal was the strongest typhoon to strike the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia in about 50 years. The entire island, only 17 km in length, experienced typhoon force winds, and 90% of the structures were damaged or destroyed. Damage was most severe in southeastern Yap, where the eyewall struck and winds exceeded 185 kmh, but the center of the typhoon passed south of the island. Sudal also brushed the United States islands of Guam and Rota with high waves and light rainfall, and later moved very close to the uninhabited Japanese island of Iwo Jima. Overall damage was USD 14 million, most of which was on Yap. Due to the heavy damage, the name was retired and replaced with \”Mirinae\”. The name \”Sudal\” was contributed by South Korea for the Pacific tropical cyclone list and is the Korean name for the otter. The origins of Typhoon Sudal were from a persistent area of convection, or thunderstorms, southeast of Pohnpei in the FSM toward the end of March 2004. It was later classified with the international designation of 0401, meaning it was the first tropicalcyclone of 2004. On April 5, the JMA named the system Sudal, after assessing its maximum sustained winds at 65 kmh. On April 10, JTWC estimated that Sudal attained a super typhoon peak of 240kmh, making the cyclone a Category 4 hurricane on the S–Simpson hurricane scale.
It then moved to the northwest and eventually to the northeast, becoming an extratropical cyclone on April 16 and dissipating two days later. It is the only typhoon of the 2004 Pacific typhoon season to make landfall in the Philippines. It also caused some minor crop damage in Chuuk, where some minor crops damage occurred. The typhoon was the third tropical storm tracked by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on April 2, 2004, and the first one to be classified as Tropical Depression 03W. It moved slowly westward, with brief northerly and southwesterly turns, until it became a typhoon on April 5. On the same day, it was upgraded to typhoon strength about 540 km southeast of Guam, a small island under possession of the U.S. It passed about 45 km south of Yap, which was its closest approach to the island at 0000 UTC on April 9, and shortly thereafter its peak winds were estimated at 240 km h. It then turned to the west-southwest toward the island as the typhoons intensified. It later weakened slightly as its forward motion slowed, making it a Category 2 typhoon by the time it made landfall in Yap on April 10. It eventually dissipated on April 11, after passing south of Poluwat.