nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

‘Super typhoon’ Typhoon Mangkhut dwarfs Hurricane Florence – trashes its way to Philippines, coast of China

‘Super typhoon’ far more powerful than Florence hurtling towards millions https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/super-typhoon-far-more-powerful-than-florence-hurtling-towards-millions/news-story/48529ee24228b6257c73bcddd0c07802

A SUPER typhoon that has already dwarfed Hurricane Florence is set to break records as it tears towards its target with up to 43 million people in the firing line. Megan Palin@megan_palin,  SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

AN “extremely dangerous” super typhoon predicted to be the one of the strongest systems on record is howling towards Hong Kong and the Philippines with up to 43 million people in the firing line.

Typhoon Mangkhut is the equivalent of a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone, boasting maximum sustained winds of 205kph and gusts up to 285kph. Bureau of Meteorology Australia tropical climatologist Greg Browning told news.com.au that Mangkhut was “significantly stronger” than Hurricane Florence which is simultaneously hurtling towards the US as North Carolina locals evacuate the region to avoid the onslaught.

“(Mangkhut is) relatively rare (because it’s) at the top of the severe scale,” Mr Browning said. It’s extremely dangerous as it’s a very large system with very strong winds and a potential storm surge over a large distance.

“There will be very heavy rainfall associated with it which has potential to cause widespread damage.”

Mr Browning said Mangkhut was the most powerful storm system to have developed on Earth this year but that it wasn’t the strongest since records began in 1946, as has been reported internationally. Typhoon Haiyan – which killed more than 6,000 people when it lashed the Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 230kph and gusts of 325kph in 2013 – holds that record.

On Friday, Mangkhut was in the Pacific, about 450km from the Philippines with the 125km-wide eye expected to make landfall on the country’s largest island, Luzon, on Saturday.

The Global Disaster Alert and co-ordination System (GDACS) said it expected a “high humanitarian impact based on the storm strength and the affected population in the past and forecasted path” of destruction. As many as 43 million people could be exposed to Mangkhut’s cyclonic winds, according to the GDACS. More than four million Filippinos are reportedly at risk of the storm which could drench areas as far south as the country’s island capital, Manila. Mr Browning said the super typhoon was then likely to continue tracking west to Hong Kong and southern China, jeopardising millions more lives, on Sunday and Monday.

‘THE BIGGEST KILLER OF ALL’

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii has categorised the system as a “super typhoon“ which Mr Browning said equates to “very destructive winds” and heavy rainfall that’s likely to cause infrastructure damage anywhere it hits.

“But the biggest killer of all with a system like this is typically the storm surge,” he said.

“The region close to the typhoon’s crossing can expect (to bare the brunt).”

With a 900km wide rain band – which is 50 per cent bigger than Haiyan’s – combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon could also set off landslides, according to forecasters.

Countries across east and southeast Asia are issuing emergency alerts and ordering evacuations as both Mangkhut and a second storm, Typhoon Barijat taunt the region.

Mangkhut is forecast to hit the northeastern Cagayan province of the Philippines, early on Saturday local time.

Office of Civil Defense chief Ricardo Jalad told an emergency meeting led by the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that about 4.2 million people in Cagayan, nearby Isabela province and outlying regions were vulnerable to the most destructive effects near the typhoon’s 125km-wide eye. Nearly 48,000 houses in those high-risk areas are made of light materials and vulnerable to Mangkhut’s ferocious winds.

Storm warnings have been raised in 25 provinces across the Philippines restricting air and sea travel. Schools have been closed and bulldozers are on standby in the event of landslides.

The military and police in Luzon have been placed on red alert — barring all troops from going on leave — so they can respond to emergencies in communities expected to bear the brunt of the typhoon.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba told local media that this typhoon was “very different, this is more complicated because of possible storm surges”.

MEGACITIES IN PATH OF DESTRUCTION

The Hong Kong observatory’s tracking system shows a 70 per cent probability that Mangkhut could deviate within a 500km radius from its predicted position, causing uncertainty over the next few days. The observatory warned of rough seas and frequent heavy squalls, urging residents of the densely populated financial hub to “take suitable precautions and pay close attention to the latest information” on the storm.

Australian expat Alexis Galloway, who lives in Hong Kong, told news.com.au the government this morning “announced on the radio they are opening 47 emergency shelters once the T3 is raised”.

“This is the first time I’m actually quite nervous (about a typhoon) … we live right on the water too and 15 minutes from Shenzhen! Right in the thick (of it),” she said.

The system is already stronger than any of the 15 past severe or super typhoons that warranted the highest “No 10” warning sign, the South China Morning Post reports.

On the Chinese mainland, the three southern provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan are co-ordinating preparations, including suspending transport and moving people to shelter inland, the national meteorological agency reported. The area is home to a string of megacities and more than 100 million people. Guangdong, China’s manufacturing hub, has set up 3777 shelters, while more than 100,000 residents and tourists have been moved to safety or sent home. The province has recalled more than 36,000 fishing boats to port, while train services between the cities of Zhanjiang and Maoming have been suspended and all ferry services between the Guangdong and Hainan have been put on hold.

megan.palin@news.com.au | @Megan_Palin

Advertisements

September 14, 2018 - Posted by | ASIA, climate change

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: