Monday, October 7, 2013

STH storm watch: Facts about FITOW and lessons for India

Typhoon FITOW has just made landfall in Fujian province of China, triggering mass evacuations. Here are some facts about the storm:-
  • It is named after a flower in Micronesia.
  • FITOW is the 23rd typhoon to hit China this year and comes at the end of the typhoon season. Whereas thus far in 2013, the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea brewed up just one (Cyclone Mahasen) which could have affected the Indian sub-continent.
  • The typhoon has caused sea levels to rise by 2m and waves upto 10m at places along the coast - China has issued a RED alert for this storm.
  • It has affected half a million people and required the evacuation of more than 250,000 people along the affected areas.
  • It comes just weeks after another powerful storm (Typhoon USAGI - the 'Rabbit')  ploughed  through almost the same area.
  • Though the economic losses from these storms has been enormous, what is really amazing is that loss of life has been minimal.
    Casualty figures vary but they certainly do not exceed 200 during "monster-storm" USAGI; which talks volumes of the way China has learnt to handle these mega storms.
  • Compare this to the more than 5000 missing or dead during the Uttarakhand cloudburst in Jun2013 in India.
    Hello India, shouldn't we be learning something?

    Praful Rao
    Dist Darjeeling

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