Cyclone Guba

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Guba
Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (Aus scale)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Guba 2007-11-16 Aqua.jpg
Cyclone Guba near Papua New Guinea on 16 November
Formed12 November 2007
Dissipated20 November 2007
Highest winds10-minute sustained: 140 km/h (85 mph)
1-minute sustained: 140 km/h (85 mph)
Gusts: 175 km/h (110 mph)
Lowest pressure970 hPa (mbar); 28.64 inHg
Fatalities149 total[1]
Damage$71.4 million (2007 USD)
Areas affectedPapua New Guinea
Part of the 2007–08 Australian region cyclone season

Severe Tropical Cyclone Guba was the most recent tropical cyclone to form in the Port Moresby area of responsibility. The storm resulted in 149 fatalities and severe damage across southeastern Papua New Guinea in November 2007. The firstly-named cyclone of the 2007–08 Australian region cyclone season, Guba formed on 13 November 2007 close to the island of New Guinea, and reached tropical cyclone intensity the next day by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre (TCWC) in Brisbane, with the TCWC in Port Moresby assigning the name Guba. It meandered in the northern Coral Sea for the next week, strengthening to a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone on 16 November. It posed a threat to the Australian Cape York Peninsula, but remained offshore, and finally dissipated on 20 November.

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

On 12 November, a weak tropical low developed within the Solomon Sea, near the Papua New Guinean island of New Britain.[2][3] During that day, the system's low level circulation centre drifted south-westwards, within an area favourable for further development, with low vertical wind shear and a good outflow.[3][4] However, the disturbance could not significantly develop further at this time, as it was interacting with New Guinea.[4] The system subsequently either passed near or over the south-eastern tip of New Guinea and moved into the north-western Coral Sea, where it quickly developed further with the aid of a south-easterly wind surge.[4][5] As a result, the United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center initiated advisories on the system and designated it as Tropical Cyclone 02P during 13 October.[6]

TCWC Brisbane initiated tropical cyclone advices on the tropical low early on 14 November, with a cyclone watch declared for the northern coastal and island communities in the Cape York Peninsula. Shortly after, TCWC Brisbane upgraded the system to Tropical Cyclone Guba, a name assigned by the TCWC in Port Moresby.[7] The name Guba is a masculine name in Papua New Guinea meaning 'a rain squall on the sea'.[8] Guba drifted erratically off the Queensland coast for the next two days, and cyclone warnings were cancelled when TCWC Brisbane expected the cyclone to remain slow-moving. Guba began drifting southwards and intensified on 16 November, becoming a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone. Guba was a small, but intense system, forming a well-defined eye. Guba began weakening on 17 November and was downgraded to a Category 2. After downgraded to a Category 1 cyclone on 18 November, it started to accelerate to the west towards the Queensland coast. Cyclone watches and warnings were declared again on 19 November as the cyclone was expected to move closer to the coast and intensify. This did not materialise, however, as Guba then turned northwards later that day, avoiding the Australian mainland, then northeast while it continued to weaken. TCWC Brisbane downgraded Guba below tropical cyclone strength, and issued its last advisory early on 20 November.

Impact[edit]

As a tropical low, the precursor to Guba brought torrential rains to portions of Papua New Guinea, leading to widespread landslides and flooding. The most severe damage took place in Oro Province where 149 people were confirmed to have been killed by the storm.[1] Damage from the storm was believed to have exceeded 500 million kina (US$177 million).[9]

Flooding in Papua New Guinea led to at least 200 deaths.[10][11] About 2,000 people were evacuated in the Oro Province as a result of the flooding.[12] Roads, bridges and 40 houses were washed away, as tides in the area reached two metres high.[13] In the provincial capital, Popondetta, the water supply and electrical infrastructure was damaged, and road access was blocked.[14] Papua New Guinea's national airline, Air Niugini, suspended flights to Popondetta's main airport. The Rabaraba district in Milne Bay Province was also hit by flooding, with 30 houses and food gardens washed away, and forcing the evacuation of about 100 people.[12] The government in Papua New Guinea reported that an estimated 145,000 people were affected by the flooding in Oro Province.[14] Six days of torrential rain led to a damage total of K200 million (US$71.4 million).[13] The torrential rain was the worst seen in the region in 30 years, according to the local people.[15]

Aftermath[edit]

The Papua New Guinea government declared a state of emergency in Oro Province and gave K50 million to help the province's communities. The Papua New Guinea Defence Force and local United Nations officials will assist in the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.[13] Australia donated A$1 million in humanitarian relief to the affected regions. Five Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, three Australian Army helicopters a Royal Australian Navy landing craft and other Australian Defence Force personnel were sent to Papua New Guinea to assist in the relief; along with supplies which include water purification tablets, water containers, emergency shelters, blankets and generators. The AusAID organised a mission to assess the damage to infrastructure and to report priority relief needs.[16]

Four bridges were constructed at a cost of more than K139 million to replace the bridges washed out by the cyclone. The project was finished in 2016.[17][18] Canstruct was contracted to build the bridges.[19]

Naming[edit]

Severe Tropical Cyclone Guba, with a minimum pressure of 970 hPa (mbar), was the second weakest cyclone within the South Pacific, that either the Tropical Cyclone Warning Center in Brisbane, Australia or the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in Nadi, Fiji had monitored in the south Pacific that season.

This was the first time that a cyclone had been called Guba anywhere in the world. The name Guba was retired by the World Meteorological Organization, and was replaced with the name Maila.[20] Tropical cyclones rarely form in TCWC Port Moresby's Area of Responsibility. When a cyclone does form, it automatically gets its name retired.[21] Guba was the first tropical cyclone to be assigned a name from Port Moresby's name lists since Tropical Cyclone Epi in 2003. It is the first tropical cyclone to occur in the Queensland region in the month of November since 1977.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Papua New Guinea: Cyclone Guba Final Report" (PDF). International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Tropical Cyclone Guba". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 26 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Padgett, Gary (15 January 2008). "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Tracks: November 2007". Australian Severe Weather. Archived from the original on 26 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c "Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert 13 November 2007 02z". United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Darwin Tropical Diagnostic Statement: November 2007" (PDF). p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Tropical Cyclone 02P Warning Number 1 13 November 2007 15z". United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Gale Warning for North Eastern Area: Tropical Cyclone Guba. Bureau of Meteorology (14 November 2007). Retrieved on 15 November 2007.
  8. ^ Johnson, Leonie. "First cyclone named", Townsville Bulletin, 14 November 2007. Retrieved on 14 November 2007.
  9. ^ Emma O'Brien (20 November 2007). "Papua New Guinea Calls State of Emergency as 70 Die in Floods". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "RA V Twelfth Session report"
  11. ^ Australian Associated Press (24 November 2007). "Aid due to reach PNG flood victims soon". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 26 November 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ a b Australian Associated Press (2007). "Guba kills three in Papua New Guinea". Retrieved 16 November 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b c "At least 71 dead in PNG floods say officials[permanent dead link]", Agence France-Presse, 19 November 2007. Retrieved on 19 November 2007.
  14. ^ a b Most recent disaster declaration: Papua New Guinea cyclone. United States Agency for International Development. ReliefWeb. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
  15. ^ Australian aid worker arrives in PNG to assist the humanitarian relief effort following Cyclone Guba. Oxfam. ReliefWeb. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
  16. ^ Humanitarian relief for Papua New Guinea. Australian Agency for International Development. ReliefWeb. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
  17. ^ "MP optimistic over tourism boost after bridge project - The National". The National. Port Moresby. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "New bridges a boost for Oro economy". Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea. Retrieved 17 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Oro Bridges Opened". EMTV. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Tropical Cyclone names". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 4 September 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "Tropical Cyclone Operational Plan for the South Pacific and South-East Indian Ocean" (PDF). WMO. 2006. Retrieved 15 August 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Cyclone Guba stews under southery drift", Brisbane Times, 15 November 2007. Retrieved on 16 November 2007.

External links[edit]