Typhoon Mangkhut

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Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong)
Typhoon (JMA scale)
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Mangkhut 2018-09-12 0505Z.jpg
Typhoon Mangkhut at peak intensity on September 12
FormedSeptember 6, 2018
DissipatedSeptember 17, 2018
Highest winds10-minute sustained: 205 km/h (125 mph)
1-minute sustained: 285 km/h (180 mph)
Lowest pressure905 hPa (mbar); 26.72 inHg
Fatalities134 total
Damage$3.77 billion (2018 USD)
Areas affectedGuam, Northern Mariana Islands, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, South China, Vietnam
Part of the 2018 Pacific typhoon season

Typhoon Mangkhut,[nb 1] known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ompong, was an extremely powerful tropical cyclone that caused widespread damage in Guam, the Philippines and South China in mid September. It was the strongest typhoon to strike Luzon since Megi in 2010, and the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines since Haiyan in November 2013.[2] Additionally, Mangkhut was also the strongest typhoon to affect Hong Kong since Ellen in 1983.[3]

The thirty-second tropical depression, twenty-second tropical storm, ninth typhoon, and fourth super typhoon of the 2018 Pacific typhoon season, Mangkhut made landfall in the Philippine province of Cagayan late on September 14, as a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon, and subsequently impacted Hong Kong and southern China.[4] Mangkhut was also the third-strongest tropical cyclone worldwide in 2018.

As of September 23, at least 134 fatalities have been attributed to Mangkhut, including 127 in the Philippines,[5][6] 6 in mainland China,[7] and 1 in Taiwan.[8]

Meteorological history[edit]

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

On September 5, 2018, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) began monitoring a tropical disturbance near the International Date Line.[9] Steady development ensued over the following days, and the system organized into a tropical depression on September 6, though operationally, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) did not classify the system as a tropical depression until September 7.[10] The depression soon intensified into a tropical storm, upon which it received the name Mangkhut.[11][10] Throughout the next two days, the system underwent rapid intensification. Tight banding features wrapped around a developing eye feature. Favorable environmental conditions hastened Mangkhut's development, including low wind shear, ample outflow aloft, high sea surface temperatures, and high ocean heat content.[12] Mangkhut achieved typhoon strength on September 9.[13][10] A well-defined 18 km (11 mi) eye became evident on satellite imagery as the typhoon approached the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. The JTWC analyzed Mangkhut as a Category 2-equivalent typhoon with one-minute sustained winds of 165 km/h (105 mph) as it tracked near Rota, around 12:00 UTC on September 10.[14] The JMA assessed the storm's ten-minute sustained winds to be 155 km/h (100 mph) at this time.[15][10]

Typhoon Mangkhut approaching Luzon, Philippines on September 14

Substantial intensification ensued on September 11, as Mangkhut traversed the Philippine Sea. A second bout of rapid intensification took place as the storm consolidated significantly; a well-defined 39 km (24 mi) eye became established during this time.[16] The JTWC analyzed Mangkhut to have reached Category 5-equivalent intensity by 12:00 UTC, an intensity it would maintain for nearly four days.[17] The JMA assessed that the typhoon's central pressure bottomed out at 18:00 UTC, with 10-minute sustained winds of 205 km/h (125 mph) and a central minimum pressure of 905 hPa (mbar; 26.73 inHg).[18][10] The JTWC noted additional strengthening on September 12, and assessed Mangkhut to have reached its peak intensity at 18:00 UTC, with one-minute sustained winds of 285 km/h (180 mph).[19] The typhoon made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan at 2:00 a.m. PST on September 15 (18:00 UTC on September 14), as a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon, with 10-minute sustained winds of 205 km/h (125 mph) and 1-minute sustained winds of 270 km/h (165 mph).[2] This made Mangkhut the strongest storm to strike the island of Luzon since Typhoon Megi in 2010, and the strongest nationwide since Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.[20]

Traversing the mountains of Luzon weakened Mangkhut before it emerged over the South China Sea on September 15. The typhoon subsequently made landfall again on the Taishan coast of Jiangmen, Guangdong, China, at 5 p.m. Beijing Time (09:00 UTC) on September 16, with 2-minute sustained winds of 45 m/s (160 km/h).[21][22][23][24]

Following landfall, Mangkhut quickly weakened while moving westward. Late on September 17, Mangkhut dissipated over Guangxi, China.[citation needed]

Preparations[edit]

Philippines[edit]

A map of the highest Public Storm Warning Signals raised throughout the Philippines in relation to Mangkhut's passage

Tropical cyclone warning signals were hoisted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration as early as September 13. Preemptive and forced evacuations were implemented, especially in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera administrative regions, the three regions widely expected to be severely affected by Mangkhut (Ompong). School class suspensions were announced as early as September 12 in preparation for the approaching typhoon.[25][26][27][28][29] Medical and emergency response teams were placed on standby, and 1,700,000,000 worth of relief goods were prepared by 13 September.[1]


Highest Public Storm Warning Signal[edit]

PSWS# LUZON VISAYAS MINDANAO
PSWS #4 Ilocos Norte, Babuyan Group of Islands, Abra, Apayao, Kalinga NONE NONE
PSWS #3 Cagayan, Batanes, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mt. Province, Benguet, Ifugao, northern part of Isabela NONE NONE
PSWS #2 southern part of Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Zambales, Quirino, Pampanga, Bulacan, northern part of Quezon incl. Polillo Island NONE NONE
PSWS #1 Bataan, Rizal, Batangas, Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, southern part of Quezon, Lubang Island NONE NONE

Hong Kong[edit]

On September 14, the Hong Kong Government held a rare cross-department press conference over the preparation for Super Typhoon Mangkhut, to remind Hong Kong citizens to "prepare for the worst".

On September 16, the Hong Kong Observatory issued the Hurricane Signal No. 10, which is the highest level of tropical cyclone warning signals in Hong Kong, for 10 hours. This marked only the third time that this warning has been issued for the region since 1999, with the others being with Typhoon Hato in 2017 and Typhoon Vicente in 2012.[30] The Hong Kong Government convened an inter-departmental meeting on 12 September to discuss possible responses to the storm.[31]

Mainland China[edit]

On September 15, the meteorological bureaus of most cities in Guangdong issued red alerts for Typhoon Mangkhut, which is the highest level of alerts in Guangdong.[32][33] The Guangxi Meteorological Bureau also issued a red alert for the typhoon at 17:00 Beijing Time.[34] On the next day, the Meteorological Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality issued a red alert for rainstorm, which is the highest level of alerts in Shenzhen.[35][36] Guangdong's capital city Guangzhou shut down the business services market of the whole city for the first time since 1978.[37][38]

The Fujian Meteorological Bureau issued an orange alert for the typhoon, the second highest alert level, on September 15.[39]

On September 16, National Meteorological Center of CMA renewed a red alert for Typhoon Mangkhut, which is the highest level of alerts in China.[40] On the same day, the Hainan Meteorological Bureau issued an orange alert for the typhoon.[41] In Guangzhou, schools and public transportation markets were closed.

Impact[edit]

Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

Sailors remove debris in Guam following Typhoon Mangkhut

After the center of Mangkhut passed near Guam, about 80% of the island lost electricity.[42] Infrastructural damage in Guam were about US$4.3 million.[43]

Philippines[edit]

Mangkhut making landfall over Luzon on September 14

A tornado was reported in Marikina, eastern Metro Manila, on the night around 5:30pm [Philippine Standard Time] of September 14 (Friday), injuring two people.[44] Over 105,000 families evacuated from their homes,[45] and several airports in northern Luzon closed and airlines cancelled their flights until September 16.[46]

On September 22, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council confirmed that at least 127 people had been killed by the typhoon,[5][6] 80 of whom died in a small mine that collapsed in the town of Itogon, Benguet, where dozens of landslides buried homes.[47] Philippine police also stated that another 111 people remained missing, as of September 22.[5]

Costliest Philippine typhoons
Rank Storm Season Damage Ref.
PHP USD
1 Haiyan (Yolanda) 2013 ₱95.5 billion $2.2 billion [48]
2 Bopha (Pablo) 2012 ₱43.2 billion $1.06 billion [49]
3 Rammasun (Glenda) 2014 ₱38.6 billion $885 million [50]
4 Mangkhut (Ompong) 2018 ₱33.9 billion $627 million [51]
5 Parma (Pepeng) 2009 ₱27.3 billion $581 million [52]
6 Nesat (Pedring) 2011 ₱15.6 billion $356 million [49]
7 Koppu (Lando) 2015 ₱14.4 billion $313 million [53]
8 Fengshen (Frank) 2008 ₱13.5 billion $304 million [54]
9 Megi (Juan) 2010 ₱12 billion $278 million [49]
10 Ketsana (Ondoy) 2009 ₱11 billion $233 million [52]

Francis Tolentino, a political adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte, announced that an estimated 5.7 million people nationwide had been affected by the storm.[55] Luzon suffered extensive losses which more than doubled the expected worst-case scenario outlined by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

As of October 5, the NDRRMC estimated that Mangkhut caused PHP33.9 billion (US$626.8 million) in damages in the Philippines, with assessments continuing.[56]


Taiwan[edit]

A 30-year-old female teacher visiting Fenniaolin Beach in Yilan County was swept out to sea by a wave. Her body was recovered two days later.[57][58]

Hong Kong[edit]

Shattered windows at Two Harbourfront in Hung Hom, Hong Kong

Mangkhut was the most intense typhoon to strike Hong Kong since records began in 1946, with the highest typhoon warning signal No. 10 remaining in place for 10 hours.[3][59] Mangkhut caused flooding, especially in low-lying and coastal areas, and over 47,000 trees were knocked over, blocking several major roads. An hourly mean wind of 81 km/h and gust of 169 km/h were recorded at the Hong Kong Observatory in Tsim Sha Tsui, while at Cheung Chau island these figures reached 157 and 212 km/h. The strongest winds in Hong Kong were recorded on the mountain peak of Tate's Cairn, with 10 minute sustained winds of 189 km/h gusting up to 256 km/h.[59] These winds were enough to cause the territory's many skyscrapers to sway and to shatter glass windows, and notably the curtain walls of the Harbour Grand Kowloon were blown out by the winds. A construction elevator shaft on a high-rise under construction in Tai Kok Tsui collapsed onto an adjacent building, which had to be evacuated by police.[60] Many roads were blocked by fallen trees and other debris, including major arteries such as Lockhart Road in Wan Chai and Kam Sheung Road, and service on the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) was halted on all above-ground sections of track.[61][62]

People climb over trees to go to work the morning after Typhoon Mangkhut near Immigration Tower in Wan Chai

Serious flooding was reported in many seaside residential areas, including Heng Fa Chuen, Tseung Kwan O South, Shek O, Lei Yue Mun, villages in Tuen Mun, and the fishing village of Tai O,[63] after storm surges of up to 3.38 metres (11.1 ft) (Tai Po Kau) were recorded.[3] About 1,219 people sought refuge in emergency shelters opened by the Home Affairs Department.[64] Hong Kong International Airport cancelled and delayed a total of 889 international flights. More than 200 people were injured, but no fatalities were reported.[65][66] Due to the substantial damage and disruption caused by the typhoon, the Education Bureau announced that all schools would be closed on September 17 and 18.[61] Insurance claims in Hong Kong amounted to HK$7.3 billion (US$930 million).[67]

The day after the storm had passed, massive crowds filled the territory's MTR system, which operated at a reduced level of service on some lines, due to blocked sections of track.[68] Most of the city's 600 bus routes were also out of service due to roads blocked by debris.[69]

Macau[edit]

The ceiling of the Oriental Pearl Terminal Station waiting area was blown away by strong winds.

Storm surges reached a height of 1.9 metres (6 ft 3 in). About 21,000 homes lost power and 7,000 homes lost internet access,[70] and 40 people were injured. For the first time in history, all casinos in Macau were closed.[71] 191 flights on Saturday and Sunday (15 and 16 September) were cancelled to and from Macau International Airport.[70] Total damages in Macau are counted to be 1.74 billion patacas (US$215.3 million).[72]

Mainland China[edit]

Typhoon Mangkhut caused over 2.45 million people to be evacuated.[23][24] In Shenzhen, the storm caused power failures in 13 locations, flooded the Seafood Street, and caused 248 tree falls.[73] Transport was shut down in Southern China,[74][75] and at least four people in Guangdong were killed in the typhoon.[76][77] In Guangzhou, markets, schools and public transport were closed or limited in the wake of the storm on Monday, September 17, and residents were requested to minimize non-essential travel. Ferry services from Zhuhai's Jiuzhougang Port to Shenzhen and Hong Kong were suspended indefinitely. Civil Air Defense Office of Guangzhou Municipality (Municipal Civil Air Defense Office) announced that Typhoon Mangkhut caused the cancellation of the annual air-raid drills scheduled for September 15.[78]Schools in Beihai, Qinzhou, Fangchenggang, and Nanning were closed on September 17.[79][80] The trains to Guangxi were also closed on September 17.[81]

6 people were killed, while total damages in Mainland China were counted to be CN¥13.68 billion (US$1.99 billion).[82]

Retirement[edit]

The PAGASA has announced that the name Ompong had been taken off from their naming lists after causing more than ₱1 billion worth of damages. The name Obet was chosen to replace it.

Due to the damage and high death toll in Luzon, the name Mangkhut was officially retired during the 51st annual session of the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee in February 2019. A replacement name will be chosen in early 2020.[83]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Mangkhut" (Thai pronunciation: [māŋ.kʰút]) is the Thai name for the mangosteen.[1]

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