Hurricanes are strong weather events that can cause severe damage to coastal areas and islands. Hurricanes occur when a tropical cyclone forms over warm water, which causes the air pressure in the center of the storm to drop. This causes winds to spin around the storm’s center, creating a hurricane.
The most common type of hurricane is called a “tropical cyclone” because it originates from the tropics. Tropical cyclones have wind speeds greater than 74 mph (119 km/h), but they are not as intense as hurricanes with wind speeds above 111 mph (178 km/h).
Hurricanes form yearly in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, and the Indian Ocean.
List of Countries that have the most hurricanes
- United States
Typhoons can hit China and then devastate the coast. They tend to hit hardest in coastal areas with elaborate dike networks and extensive evacuation practice in flood-prone areas.
Typhoon Nina struck China and Taiwan in 1975, killing 26,000 people. A string of smaller dams also collapsed due to heavy floods.
Typhoon Nina formed on July 30, 1975, and dissipated on August 6, 1975. It had winds of 250 km/h (155 mph) and low pressure of 900 mbar (hPa).
The winds of Nina weakened to 110 km/h (70 mph) before landfall in mainland China. Still, the storm’s remnants produced widespread torrential rainfall, causing the collapse of the Banqiao Dam.
In August 2005, torrential rains caused a flash flood in southern China, and in September 2005, a typhoon caused 124 deaths and destroyed 17,200 houses in Anhui Province.
Tropical cyclones can occur at any time of the year. However, August is the most active individual month, and May is the least active. About 20 tropical cyclones per year have the potential to cause damage.
At least 20,000 people were killed by Typhoon Haiphong, the deadliest tropical cyclone in Philippine history. There was a tropical cyclone in Baguio that dropped over 2,210 millimeters (87 in) of rain within a 3-day, 15-hour period in 1911.
The country’s strongest typhoon to make landfall was Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013, which killed 6,300 people.
In the past, typhoons killed hundreds of people in Japan, but flood prevention measures, improved planning and construction, and storm and flood warning have dramatically reduced the number of people killed in typhoons.
Japan can get typhoon-force wind from early winter storms caused by the low-pressure systems in the Pacific Ocean and typhoon-like downpours from summer rains, particularly from systems that stall over mountainous areas.
Typhoons killed more than 240 people in 2004 in Japan. Typhoons headed towards Japan rather than China because of warm water off the Philippines and high-pressure zones.
Mexico is a country home to vast geographical diversity and climate. Tropical storms and hurricanes are prevalent in the summer season when temperatures reach peak position in the northern hemisphere.
Hurricanes are cyclones with wind speeds over 74 mph that can cause considerable damage to residential or commercial property near the coastal area. The strongest hurricanes can cause extensive property damage, severely affect transportation systems, and disrupt communications and power systems.
Atlantic hurricanes form east of the U.S., and Northeast Pacific hurricanes form west of it.
On average, hurricanes in the Atlantic basin strike the U.S. mainland less than twice a year, while hurricanes in the northeast Pacific seldom do.
As of 2021, Florida has been hit by more hurricanes than any other state.
In the Australian region, tropical cyclones develop in warm sea surface temperatures and little vertical wind shear. They are characterized by 10-minute sustained wind speeds of more than 65 km/h (35 mph).
November to April is cyclone season. Australia gets 13 cyclones a year on average.
Taiwan gets a lot of typhoons. There are about 10 of them a year on average. Kaohsiung, Fukien, and Taiwan are the hardest hit.
Pacific typhoon season usually starts in April with less severe storms and ends in November. August and September are the worst months for typhoons.
Typhoon Morakot was the worst typhoon to hit Taiwan in recorded history. Taiwan was devastated by Morakot, the fourth typhoon of the 2009 Pacific typhoon season.
Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan on Friday, August 7, 2009, as a category 2 storm with winds of 85 knots (92 mph). Southern Taiwan received the worst storm effects where locally, as much as 80 inches of rain were reported.
Vietnam’s long coastline is battered by storms every year.
The Gulf of Tonkin, a body of water between Vietnam, the Chinese Island of Hainan, and Mainland China, is frequently hit by tropical storms, triggering flash floods and landslides.
Typhoons and storm surges cause flooding in lowland coastal areas, and the losses caused by floods and typhoons seem to increase over time, as in the rest of the world.
Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country and is bordered by the South China Sea. Tropical cyclones are common in this area, and most storms make landfall in the middle of the year.
In November 1997, Typhoon Linda hit Vietnam’s southern tip, killing 587 people and destroying crops. The storm caused unexpectedly huge losses, and the Government of Vietnam undertook every effort to warn populations in the areas at risk.
Madagascar’s cyclone season usually runs from November to March. Madagascar gets 1.5 cyclones yearly, with each strong cyclone affecting 700,000 people.
Madagascar, Africa’s largest island, is naturally prone to cyclones. The impact of these storms is devastating, as most of the population and economy rely on agriculture.
Coastal areas are the first areas to get hit by cyclones, and homes are mostly built using local, cheap materials. These building techniques can be considered a local adaptation strategy.
Usually, they happen twice a year. Hurricane season usually lasts from June to November.
The 1932 Cuba hurricane, a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, devastated an extensive portion of central and eastern Cuba and was considered the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.