Successive Tropical Cyclones Cause Devastation in Southeast Asia, Central America

    Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 18 November 2020 10:25 WIB
    Successive Tropical Cyclones Cause Devastation in Southeast Asia, Central America
    Illustration (Photo:Medcom.id)
    Jakarta: Back-to-back tropical cyclones have caused massive destruction and impacted millions of people in Central America and parts of Southeast Asia.

    The recent tropical cylones have underlined once again the threats posed by tropical cyclones to life and property and socio-economic well-being and the need for the global level coordination and cooperation.

    On Tuesday, Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua as a powerful category 4 on the Saffir Simpson scale. 

    "It is the strongest Atlantic hurricane of the year and hit exactly the same area which is still reeling from category 4 Eta which hit less than two weeks ago and caused hundreds of casualties," said the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in a media release on Tuesday.

    Iota is the record-breaking 30th named storm of the season. For the first time on record, the Atlantic has had two major hurricane formations in November at a time of year when the season is normally winding down. There have been four major hurricanes (Category 3+) since October: Delta, Epsilon, Eta and Iota – all taken from the Greek alphabet because the regular list of storm names has been exhausted.

    The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) warned of potentially catastrophic consequences from such unprecedented hurricanes in rapid succession.  

    International appeals for assistance were already launched for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua following Eta.

    Meanwhile, tn the Western North Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, there have been 22 named storms so far this season, including 10 typhoons. 

    This includes three at category 3 equivalent intensity, three at category 4 and 1 category 5 (Goni), according to RSMC Tokyo (the Tokyo Typhoon Centre).

    Goni (known as Rolly in the Philippines) made landfall in the Philippines on November 1 as the most powerful landfalling typhoon in 2020 and one of the most powerful landfalling tropical cyclones on record (closely tying with Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013.

    An unprecedented five tropical storms have made landfall in the Philippines in a short period of three weeks, beginning October 25 with Typhoon Molave (local name: Quinta) and continuing this week with severe tropical storm Vamco (Ulysses). Vamco was the 21st tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines this year.

    Within a month, from October 11 to November 15, eight tropical systems impacted Viet Nam which bore the brunt of torrential rainfall, flooding and landslides, causing huge loss and damages

    Since early October, the series of tropical cyclones has affected In total, 32.5 million people, with more than 2.7 million people in Philippines, Viet Nam, and Cambodia in urgent need of assistance, according to OCHA. 

    Houses have been damaged or destroyed by floods, storm surges, high velocity winds, landslides, and volcanic mudflows, forcing the evacuation of millions of people, according to OCHA. 

    Health facilities, water and sanitation systems, and schools have been damaged. Crops, livestock, fishing boats, and other sources of livelihood have been swept away.

    (WAH)

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