20111106-wiki C typhoon  Pacific_Typhoons.jpg
Three Pacific typhoons
at the same time
A typhoon is defined as a tropical cyclone in the western Pacific. Typhoons generally track in a westward or northern direction, and occur most frequently in a region of the western Pacific and east Asia that includes the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, southern China, South Korea, southern Japan, Guam, the Marianas Islands and parts of Micronesia. They generally do not occur south of the Philippines and blow themselves out if they travel west of Vietnam or into the interior of China.

A typhoon is essentially the same thing as a hurricane, which is defined as a strong tropical storm with winds over 75 miles per hour, occurring in the west Atlantic and the eastern Pacific, particularly in southeastern North Americas and the Caribbean. Similar storms in the Indian Ocean are called tropical cyclones. Ones that strike Australia are called willie willies. Cyclone is also a catch all phrase which describes all low pressure systems over tropical waters and includes typhoons and hurricanes. All these storms feature super heavy rain as well as high winds.

The word “typhoon” comes from the Cantonese word "tai feng." The approach of a typhoon is heralded by large waves, a storm surge, and falling barometric pressure. As it gets nearer mountains of cumulus clouds appear and wind squalls intensify, climaxing with a sweeping wall of dense clouds with furious winds and torrential rain. Describing a South China Sea storm in 1935, one American captain wrote: "A terrible crash was heard! The vessel trembled like an aspen-leaf...with the sea pouring in over the bow, and the topsails shivering like so many rags." Joseph Conrad described the storms in his novels “Lord Jim” and “Typhoon”.

The typhoon season lasts from the early summer to early autumn, often coinciding with the monsoon season in Southeast Asia and the wet season in eastern Japan. The main typhoon and hurricane season is from June to November. Sometimes they appear as early as May and as late as December. Storms can be particularly fierce in years of the El Niño. Usually more damage is caused by the heavy rain than by the winds.

Deadliest Tropical Cyclones Rank Name/Year Region Fatalities: 1) Bhola 1970 Bangladesh 500,000; 2) India 1839 India 300,000; 3) Haiphong 1881 Vietnam 300,000; 4) Nina 1975 China 229,000; (See Below) 5) Bangladesh 1991 Bangladesh 138,000; 6) Nargis 2008 Myanmar 138,000. [Sources: NOAA, ReliefWeb]

Typhoons in China

20111106-wiki C typhoon USS_Pigeon_(ARS-6 1939.jpg
from a typhoon in 1939
Devastating typhoons strike southern and eastern provinces such as Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang, south of Shanghai, with some regularity, uprooting trees, knocking down power lines, destroying houses, producing flash floods. It is not uncommon for typhoons to hit Taiwan and then devastate the Fujian coat of China. Most typhoons track east and north and first strike places like Guam, Saipan, Taiwan and Okinawa and then either move northward into Japan or Korea or move westward into the Philippines, Vietnam, or China. Damage and death are more often the result of heavy rains than high winds. Typhoons tend to hit hardest in coastal areas that have elaborate dike networks and extensive practice in evacuating flood-prone areas.

Arthur Henderson Smith wrote in “Chinese Characteristics”, published in 1894: ““The world "typhoon" (Chinese la-fung, "great wind") is employed to designate a species of violent storms which are experienced along the coasts of Tongking and of China, as well as on the south-eastern coast of Japan. They differ from similar storms in other parts of the world, in their violence. There is a sudden depression of the barometer, which sometimes falls two or three inches in an hour. At the centre of the storm, the barometer may drop to 28 or even to 27. The destructive character of the typhoon is due to the enormous difference of atmospheric pressure between neighbouring places, and the consequent rapidity of the fluctuation. As the sea level is highest at the centre, a high wave is frequently found to accompany the typhoon, carrying ruin with it, and not infrequently stranding ships at a considerable distance from the sea. Those who have witnessed the destructive energy of one of these convulsions of the elements, can never lose the impression of the tremendous power of the forces which are so suddenly called into action. It sometimes happens, that when all the barometrical indications point to the probability of a typhoon, that some sudden and unanticipated change takes place in the direction of the forces, and the danger passes as quickly as it came. The natural history of the typhoon of the China coast, in its rise, development, destructive energy, and frequent dissipation, is analogous to a social phenomenon found among the Chinese people.” [Source:“Chinese Characteristics” by Arthur Henderson Smith, 1894]

In August 1956, a typhoon with winds up to 243 kph killed 4,900 people in Zhejiang Province. In 1997 Typhoon Winnie, a very powerful typhoon, struck the east coast of China, killing 250 people and causing $2.2 billion worth of damage, in July 2001, a powerful typhoon called Utor killed 121 people in the Philippines and 46 in China.

Typhoon Nina and the Collapse of the Banqiao Dam in 1975 Kills 229,000

20111106-wiki C typhoon Megi_2010_JTWC_forecast_Oct_19.gif
Typhoon Megi in October 2010
Typhoon Nina, which struck China and Taiwan in August 1975, was the fourth-deadliest tropical cyclone on record. Approximately 229,000 people died after the Banqiao Dam collapsed and devastated areas downstream. The collapse of the dam due to heavy floods also caused a string of smaller dams to collapse, adding more damage by the typhoon. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Typhoon Nina was a Category 4 super typhoon. It formed on July 30, 1975and dissipated on August 6, 1975 The highest recorded winds were 1-minute sustained busst of 250 km/h (155 mph) . The Lowest pressure was 900 mbar (hPa); 26.58 inHg Damage was estimated at $1.2 billion (1975 USD). It affected Taiwan as well as China. Nina underwent explosive development on the late hours of August 1. Aircraft reconnaissance reported a 65 hPa drop of pressure on the same day as well as August 2 with wind speeds increasing from a mere 75 mph (120 km/h) to 150 mph (240 km/h) during that period and it attained its peak intensity of 155 mph (250 km/h) later that day. The typhoon began to weaken as it approached Taiwan, making landfall near the coastal city of Hualien as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph (185 km/h) winds. +

The storm began to weaken as it battered across the island's central mountain range, sparing the most populated areas from the eyewall. It entered the Formosa Straits as a weak typhoon and the storm came ashore near Jinjiang, Fujian, China. After moving toward the northwest and crossing Jiangxi, it turned north on the night of August 5 near Changde, Hunan. A day later, the storm moved over Xinyang, Henan, and later was blocked by a cold front near Zhumadian, Henan for three days. The stationary thunderstorm system brought heavy rainfall, causing the infamous collapse of the Banqiao Dam. The storm moved southwest on August 8, and dissipated soon afterwards. +

Due to the interaction with the mountains of Taiwan, Nina weakened to a tropical storm before making landfall in mainland China. The storm crossed the coastline with winds of 110 km/h (70 mph); however, little damage resulted near where the system struck land. Further inland, the remnants of the storm produced widespread torrential rainfall, with more than 400 mm (16 in) falling across an area of 19,410 km2 (7,500 mi2). The heaviest rainfall was recorded along the Banqiao Dam where 1,631 mm (64.2 in) of rain fell, 830 mm (33 in) of which fell in a six hour span. These rains led to the collapse of the Banqiao Dam, which received 1-in-2000-year flood conditions. In all, 62 dams failed during the disaster, causing large temporary lakes and $1.2 billion (1975 USD) in damage. +

Typhoons in China in the Mid 2000s

In August 2004, Typhoon Rananim (Typhoon No. 13), the most powerful typhoon to hit China in seven years, devastated Zhejiang Province, killing 164 people, injuring more than 1,800, destroying 42,000 homes and damaging tens of thousands more. At its height winds were more than 160 kilometers per hour. More than 400,000 people were evacuated. Damage was estimated at $2.1 billion. Rananim means “hello” in Chuukeve language spoken in Micronesia. Also in August 2004, a half million people were evacuated from the east coast of China before Typhoon Aere struck.

In 2005, eight typhoons made landfall in China. In May 2005, typhoon Chanchu struck Fujian and Guangdong Provinces in eastern, coastal China, causing the deaths of at least 11 people and prompting the evacuation of 1 million residents. It made landfall between the cities of Shanto and Xiamen with 170kph winds. It was the strongest typhoon on record to enter the South China Sea in May. In July 2005, typhoon No. 5 (Typhoon Kaemi) struck Fujian Province in eastern, coastal China, causing the deaths of at least 25 people and prompting the evacuation of 643,000 residents. To alert people officials sent text-message warning to six million cell phone users in the region. Also in July, a million people were evacuated from of Zhejian and Fujian before Typhoon Haitang struck. Trees were toppled, houses were destroyed and roads were blocked by that storm.

In August 2005, a half million people were evacuated from the southeastern coast south of Shanghai of China before Typhoon Matsa struck. The storm caused 13 deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in southern and eastern China and even forced evacuations in the Beijing area where landslides might occur. Also in August 2005, a typhoon hit Zhejiang Province, killing at least four people. More than 1 million people were evacuated. In Shanghai the storm toppled trees and severely damaged a construction site in the middle of the city.

20111106-wiki C typhoon -Saomaitrmm.jpg
Typhoon Saomi
In September 2005, Typhoon Damrey, the strongest typhoon in 30 years, struck Hainan island, forcing more than 170,000 people from their homes and damaging crops and causing casualties. Also in September 2005, Typhoon Longwang struck southern China. Eighty-six Chinese military students were was washed away after torrential rains produced a flash flood that swept down a hill. The students had evacuated a building in the city of Fuzhou that collapsed from the pressure of flood water. In September 2005, at least 124 people were killed in floods and landslides caused by Typhoon Talim in eastern China. More than 600,000 were evacuated before it made landfall in Fujian Province with 117 kph winds and 10 meter waves. Many deaths occured and 17,200 houses were destroyed inland in Anhui Province.

China experienced an unusually destructive typhoon season in 2006 too. Some meteorologist attributed the trend to unusually warm Pacific currents and weather patterns over Tibet that helped create bigger storms and draw them inland. In July 2006, Tropical Storm Bilis killed 600 people, swept away homes and forced the evacuation of three million people. It triggered flooding and landslides as far inland as Hunan Province, hundreds of kilometers from the coast. Many of the dead were in mountain villages and other inland areas in Hunan that rarely experience the effects of a typhoon. About 450 people were killed in Hunan, 100 died in Guangdong and 35 were killed Guangxi Province. In August 2006, Typhoon Prapiroon struck the Chinese southern coast, packing 118 kph winds when it came ashore. It killed at least 80 people, destroyed 46,000 houses and produced floods and landslides in Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces. The damage was estimated to be $300 million. The dead included people buried under landslides, struck by lightning, crushed by collapsed walls and hit by a billboard knocked down by the high winds. More than 400,000 people had been evacuated.

Typhoon Saomi Kills 436 People in China in 2006

In August 2006, China was hit by the strongest typhoon in more than 50 years. Typhoon No 8 (Typhoon Saomai) killed at least 436 people, flooded hectares of rice fields, knocked down power lines, blacked out entire cities and destroyed 50,000 dwellings in Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi Provinces with torrential rains and winds that reached speed of 216 kilometers per hour. More than 1.3 million people were evacuated and 20,000 soldiers and paramilitary police were mobilized. Damage was estimated at around $1.5 billion. Saomi is the Vietnamese name for Venus.

Many were killed in the cities of Wenzhou and Lishui in Zhejiang Province, where the typhoon made landfall and more than 29,000 houses collapsed as a result of torrential rains and strong winds. Some died in buildings that collapsed after they sought shelter in them. Wenzhou suffered $560 million in damage. In one area, 43 bodies, including eight children, were found in the debris of collapsed houses. A landslide in Lishui left six people dead. Many of the places that were hit were still recovering from Tropical Storm Billis.

Most of the 241 dead in Fujian were fishermen whose boats were sunk by waves and wind. More than 1,000 boats were sunk. Bodies of sailors washed up on the shores. Most were killed when the moorings broke on ships that had sought refuge in the harbor. The government didn’t issue adequate warnings and many fishermen were caught by surprise.

Typhoons in China in the Late 2000s

In August 2007, at least 14 people were killed and 900,000 were forced to relocate when Typhoon Sepat struck southern and eastern China. Many of the deaths were attributed to a tornado that ripped through an area near Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province. Most of those relocated were in Fujian Province. Winds reached 119kph, rippingoff roofs and knocking down trees. Heavy rains dropped up to 300 millimeters of rain in 24 hour period caused extensive flooding.

In September 2007, powerful typhoon Wipha struck southeastern China. The storm killed nine people, including five that were killed in a landside and two who were electrocuted. Flooded streets and rail lines caused widespread transportation disruptions. Authorities in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Fujian Provinces ordered the evacuation of two million people. In Shanghai schools, ferries and other transport links were closed. The storm caused an estimated $880 million in damage.

In October 2008, Typhoon Hagupit struck a densely populated area of southern China, causing the evacuation of 100,000 people. The storm reached category strength when it as over the sea and was downgraded to 3 after it made landfall,

20111106-wiki C typhoon WiphaRain_TRM_2007263.jpg
Rain from Typhoon Wipha
Typhoon Morokat devastated Taiwan in August 2009, and also did serious damage in eastern China, where it left 10 people dead and destroyed 6,000 houses . A massive landslide triggered by torrential rains topped seven houses in a Pengxi, Zhejiang Province . An eyewitness told AFP, “At about 10 o’clock at night I head a very loud noise. I thought it was an earthquake, but I saw through the window that the old buildings has fallen down. My house stands on the opposite of the road 10 meters from them.”

More than 1 million people were evacuated before the storm made landfall with 119 kilometer per hour winds. Trees were uprooted; houses were flooded and farmers used buckets to catch fish washed from flooded fish farm ponds. Villages officials road around on bicycles distributing water and instant noodles.

Typhoons in China in the Early 2010s

In July 2010, Typhoon Chanthu struck Guangdong Province with winds up to 126 kph. Three people were killed and heavy flooding was reported. A few days earlier Typhoon Conson skirted the southern coast of China, killing at least two people, and ripping up trees and tearing down electricity pylons on Hainan island.

In August 2012, at least five Chinese fishermen were killed and 10 others were missing after their boats capsized as Typhoon Bolaven hit South Korea. The BBC reported: The two boats were just off Jeju island when they capsized. The South Korean coast guard rescued 12 crew members, while six others swam to shore. A total of 33 people were on board the two ships when they were hit by high waves and winds, the coast guard said. Several crew members were hauled to safety by rescue personnel using ropes. [Source: BBC, August 28, 2012]

In July 2013, three people died when Typhoon Soulik hit China's southern Guangdong province. The BBC reported: “The storm, which had already killed two others in Taiwan, forced a further 20,000 people to flee their homes. Some 300,000 people have already been evacuated from eastern China amid warnings of floods and landslides. Forecasters say the typhoon weakened as it moved inland but heavy rain and strong winds persist. Winds of 119 km/hour (74 mph) had earlier lashed the coastal Fujian Province, said China's National Meteorological Centre. Emergency response plans were being implemented, said Xinhua, after recent torrential rain reportedly left 200 people dead or missing. Thousands of soldiers were deployed to carry out relief work. [Source: BBC, July 14, 2013]

Typhoon Soulik, the seventh typhoon to hit the Chinese mainland in 2013 as of July, first hit Fujian province. Waves as high as 10 meters (32 feet) hit Yuhuan County in Zhejiang Province It moved to Jiangxi province and torrential rains toppled more than 1,000 houses in Guangdong, Xinhua said. In Fujian and Zhejiang, another Chinese coastal province, flights and train services were cancelled and fishing boats called back to shore. Authorities warned residents to stay away from the dangerous coastline.The strong winds and heavy rain have caused electricity disruptions, a run on food and essential supplies in supermarkets, and uprooted trees and signs in some areas.

20111106-wiki C typhoon Durian_03_dec_2006_0530Z.jpg
Typhoon Durian in
December 2006
In October 2013, powerful Typhoon Fitow pummeled eastern China and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people. With winds up to 151km/h (93mph), the storm landed in Fujian province early, bringing heavy rains and causing widespread power cuts. At least five people were killed. One victim was on his way to rescue a fisherman when he was blown off a hill by strong winds. Some homes collapsed in neighbouring Zhejiang province and two port workers are missing. The BBC reported: Typhoon Fitow - named after a flower - made landfall in the city of Fuding, The typhoon had affected over three million people in Zhejiang and caused economic damage of over 2 billion yuan ($330 million), Xinhua said, citing the provincial flood control office. Parts of China have been hit by up to 200mm (8 inches) of rain, AFP news agency reported. Over the weekend the authorities drafted in the army to help strengthen flood defences,. [Source: BBC Xinhua, October 7, 2013]

Al-Jazeera reported: Typhoon Fitow hit China just two weeks after Typhoon Usagi wreaked havoc in the region, destroying houses and farmlands and closing ports and airports. Cities in southeastern China were submerged in floodwaters after the powerful storm slammed ashore with high winds and heavy rain and caused disruption to transport services Torrential rain prompted the Fujian provincial government to initiate the highest emergency response for flood control.The provincial government said 177,000 people had been moved to safety and nearly 30,000 fishing boats called back. The flood relief agency in Zhejiang, which neighbours Fujian, said 574,000 people had been evacuated by Sunday evening and 35,800 vessels returned to shore. In Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province, the storm destroyed over 1,700 houses and 46,800 hectares of crop land, the report said. Economic losses in the two provinces were estimated at about $2 billion, [Source: Al-Jazeera, October 8, 2013]

In September 2013, Seventy-four Chinese fishermen were missing after Typhoon Wutip sunk three fishing boats in the South China Sea. The ships were hit as they navigated through water the Paracel Islands, about 330 kilometers from China's island province of Hainan, state news agency Xinhua said. Rescuers had rescued 14 survivors, the sources said. The boats were sailing from the southern province of Guangdong. Wutip means butterfly in Cantonese. [Source: Reuters, September 30, 2013]

Typhoon Usagi Kills 25 People in 2013

In September 2013, Typhoon Usagi, the strongest storm to hit the western Pacific in 2013, struck Hong Kong and the southern China coast, blowing cars off roads, crippling power lines, causing flooding and killing at least 25 people in China (33 in China and the Philippines). Al-Jazeera and Associated Press reported; More than 370 flights were canceled, and financial markets closed for at least part of the morning. Shipping and train lines were also shut down before Usagi weakened to a tropical depression over the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. China's National Meteorological Center issued its highest alert, with more than 80,000 people moved to safety in Fujian province and authorities deploying at least 50,000 disaster-relief workers, state news agency Xinhua reported. [Source: Al-Jazeera, Associated Press, September 23, 2013]

China said 25 deaths occurred in Guangdong, where the typhoon made landfall near Shanwei with sustained winds of 109 miles per hour, a city record. The victims included people hit by debris and others who had drowned. One man was killed by a falling window pane. Winds toppled trees and cranes and blew cars off roads in some areas and brought down three major power lines in coastal Fujian, cutting electricity to about 170,000 households, Xinhua said. "It is the strongest typhoon I have ever encountered," Luo Hailing, a gas-station attendant in Shanwei, told Xinhua. "So terrible. Lucky we made preparations.”

The storm shut down shipping and put a nuclear power plant on alert after hammering parts of the Philippines and Taiwan with heavy rains and fierce winds.Associated Press reported: Typhoon Usagi veered away from Hong Kong at the last minute and made landfall north-east of the former British colony. Forecasters had warned earlier that it posed a "severe threat" to the southern Chinese city. Usagi – Japanese for rabbit – was classified as a severe typhoon, with sustained winds of 109mph (175km/h) and gusts of up to 132mph. It was downgraded from a super typhoon – with its sustained winds falling below 150mph – as it passed through the Luzon strait separating the Philippines and Taiwan, probably sparing residents in both places from the most destructive winds near its eye. [Source: Associated Press, September 22, 2013]

The typhoon landed near the city of Shanwei in the Chinese province of Guangdong, about 87 miles (140km) north-east of Hong Kong, and was moving west-north-west at 140 mph, the Hong Kong Observatory said. It was expected to skirt about 60 miles north of Hong Kong. Ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau and outlying islands were suspended as the observatory raised the No 8 storm warning signal, the third highest on a five-point scale. It reported winds as strong as 42mph and warned that a storm surge and heavy rains could cause flooding in low-lying areas.

Police in Shanwei ordered more than 8,000 fishing boats to return to port and more than 1,200 residents were taken to temporary shelters, China's official Xinhua news agency reported. The typhoon wreaked havoc on airport schedules in Hong Kong, nearby Macau and mainland China, upsetting travel plans for many passengers who were returning home at the end of the three-day mid-autumn festival long weekend. Fujian province suspended shipping between mainland China and Taiwan, the news agency said. Authorities in Guangdong initiated an emergency response plan for the Daya Bay nuclear power station north-east of Hong Kong as Usagi approached, ordering four of six reactors to operate at a reduced load, Xinhua said.

20111106-wiki C typhoon Shanghai_Wipha_Flood.jpg
flooding in Shanghai from Typhoon Wipha

Typhoons in the Mid 2010s in China

In July 2014, Typhoon Rammasun the strongest typhoon to hit southern China in 41 years, killed 18 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. The storm killed nine people and left five missing after hitting Hainan island off China's southern coast. Nine others died later in the Guangxi region as the storm plowed into the mainland on its way north to Vietnam. At least 94 died earlier from the storm in the Philippines. “The storm destroyed 37,000 homes and ravaged 468,500 hectares (1.2 million acres) of crops in Hainan and Guangdong provinces and Guangxi, causing $4.3 billion in damage, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Wind speeds reached 216 kilometers (130 miles) per hour, with the storm knocking down power lines and damaging buildings, Xinhua said. Authorities in southern China ordered the highest level of alert and suspended hundreds of buses, trains and flights across the region. [Source: Associated Press, July 20, 2014]

In October 2015, Typhoon Mujigae has killed at least 11 people and injured more than 200 in southern China. “The typhoon landed in Guangdong province and then moved to neighbouring Guanxi. Deaths and injuries were reported in both areas. The BBC reported: “Officials said the typhoon, as well as the tornadoes that came with it, were to blame for widespread power outages. The typhoon, whose name means "rainbow" in Korean, had prompted the evacuations of thousands of people in southern China prior to its arrival. It landed in Zhanjiang on Sunday afternoon with winds of 180 km/h (112 mph) at its centre and rain. It caused widespread blackouts and a cut-off in water supply in some areas in Zhanjiang, according to Xinhua, and grounded flights and prompted suspensions of rail service in some cities along China's southern coast, including places popular with tourists such as Hainan and Sanya. [Source: BBC, October 6, 2015]

In July 2015, Typhoon Chan-hom struck mainland China between the coastal cities of Ruian and Zhoushan, south of Shanghai, in Zhejiang province, packing winds of up to 200 kmph.. There were reports it might have been the most powerful to hit China since 1949. About 960,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas of Zhejiang province and 28,764 ships were ordered back to port. Al Jazeera reported: “The country's railway service said more than 100 trains between the region's cities were cancelled.All flights into and out of Zhoushan were cancelled and bus services and speedboat ferry services halted. Elsewhere in Zhejiang, at least 388 flights were cancelled in Hangzhou, 34 in Ningbo and 37 in Wenzhou, according to the provincial government. “The typhoon was s the second storm to hit China in two days after severe tropical storm Linfa made landfall on the coast of southern Guangdong province. Earlier in the week, Typhoon Linfa displaced 56,000 people in southern China's Guangdong province. [Source: Al Jazeera, 11 July, 2015]

In September 2016, Typhoon Meranti killed at least 28 people. It was the strongest storm to hit China that year. It battered a wide swath of the country's coastal areas, including Shanghai, with heavy rain and winds up to 175 miles per hour. It also struck Xiamen City, in Fujian province. USA TODAY reported: “Fujian flood control authorities said 18 people died and 11 others were missing. Ten died and four were missing in neighboring Zhejiang province, Xinhua reported. More than 900 houses collapsed in Zhejiang alone, as high winds and heavy rain slammed the area. The news agency said Meranti paralyzed several cities in southern Fujian province, including Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou. China's National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center warned ships to stay clear of coastal regions in Fujian, Guangdong and Shanghai. China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also activated an emergency response to cope with Malakas. [Source: Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, September 17, 2016]

20080317-typhoon_big saomi national geographic.jpg
Damage from Typhoon Saomi in August 2006

Typhoon Lekima Kills 44 People and Forces 1 Million to Evacuate in 2019

On August 10, 2019, China was struck by Typhoon Lekima, the third-largest typhoon in its history, resulting in at least 44 deaths (and 16 others missing), widespread blackouts and some damaged property. Ahead of its arrival, 1 million people were evacuated from their homes and hundreds of flights were canceled across major airports in China. The typhoon also triggered landslides and flooding across several provinces as it moved up China's east coast. More than 6.5 million people were impacted by the storm, according to state media. [Source: Aria Bendix, Business Insider, August 12, 2019]

Landslides and collapsed buildings occurred in Zhejiang province near Shanghai. There was also widespread destruction in Shandong province and the coast south of Shanghai, China’s financial capital and home to more than 20 million people.. After just days the storm had caused an estimated $2.55 billion in damages, Reuters, said.

Typhoon Lekima started out as a tropical depression on August 2, then quickly picked up speed as it headed northwest. The tropical depression originated in the Philippine Sea. Five days later, on August 7, it morphed into a super typhoon, with a wind speed of at least 150 miles per hour. Before making its way to China, the storm passed through the Philippines, where it caused flooding. Lekima made landfall in Eastern China on the morning of August 10. By that time, it had weakened to the equivalent of a Category 3 storm, with wind speeds of 116 miles per hour. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration classifies Category 3 storms as capable of causing "devastating damage." After striking the Shanghai area the storm headed north along the east coast and brought torrential rains and heavy winds to the Shandong Province,

China uses a color-coded system to inform citizens about weather conditions. Before the storm made landfall, China's weather bureau issued a "red alert" — the most severe type of warning. Evacuees included more than 250,000 residents in Shanghai and 800,000 residents in China's Zhejiang province. The storm's arrival triggered a landslide in the port city of Wenzhou, where a natural dam collapsed under pressure from heavy rain. An estimated 200 homes in the Zhejiang province also collapsed due the storm. Around 2.7 million of the province's households endured blackouts as the storm ravaged electricity lines.

Image Sources: National Geographic, NASA, Wiki Commons

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated June 2022

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from factsanddetails.com, please contact me.