How big was Haiyan? Depends who you ask

Statesman staffNovember 12, 2013 

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You might have seen this tweet

"A storm the size of Typhoon #Haiyan would cover nearly the entire continental U.S.," the American Red Cross proclaimed Monday. It attached an image superimposing the deadly Pacific storm over the Lower 48.

Not quite right

The tweet was passed on hundreds of times before someone finally questioned the Red Cross map. Monday afternoon, the organization posted a short apology that the map "was not to scale."

So what should it look like?

More like the size of a couple of Western states, though no one could agree on specifics — sidetracking the discussion from the storm’s damage and deaths. Writers at the New Republic and The Atlantic challenged each other’s attempts at estimated cartography. On Twitter, a New York Magazine editor jokingly compared the typhoon’s size to a cow.

More serious matters

Thousands are feared dead after Haiyan hit the Philippines with a two-story-high storm surge and some of the highest winds ever measured in a tropical cyclone. Click here to follow the latest on the disaster.

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