No, Super Typhoon Haiyan was not the size of the continental United States. You could be forgiven for thinking so, however, based on an image suggesting as much released by the American Red Cross yesterday (Nov. 11) that went viral. The storm was much smaller — it would have only covered much of the U.S. Southeast, the New Republic reports.
The Red Cross was alerted to the error and posted an apology yesterday: "Earlier today, we posted a map of Typhoon Haiyan comparing the size of the storm to geography of the United States. In the process of making the rest of our maps for our operations in the Philippines, we made a mistake with this one and it was not to scale."
Haiyan packed sustained winds up to 190 mph (305 km/h) in the hours before it made landfall, according to some accounts. Local estimates put the death toll of Super Typhoon Haiyan at 10,000 in the Philippines. Its storm surge reached up to 20 feet (6 m) in parts of the central Philippines.