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  • New names for tropical cyclones in 2019

  • Wednesday, 12th June 2019

Three new names, Yamaneko, Yun-yeung and Koinu, have been introduced to the list of tropical cyclone names in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in 2019 to replace the old names Hato, Kai-tak and Tembin respectively.

The new names were endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific/World Meteorological Organization Typhoon Committee at its 51st session held in Guangzhou. The meanings of these three new names and the contributing countries/regions are as follows:

Name Meaning Contributing country/region
Yamaneko Lynx; cat that lives in mountains and forests Japan
Yun-yeung A species of duck (Aix galericulata), also the vernacular name of a popular drink in Hong Kong prepared by mixing tea with coffee Hong Kong, China
Koinu Canis Minor; puppy Japan

According to convention, the Typhoon Committee would consider retiring the name of a tropical cyclone which has caused serious casualties and economic losses. In August 2017, Hato momentarily attained super typhoon intensity over the sea area south of Hong Kong and brought damaging winds and severe storm surge to the coast of the Pearl River estuary. While 129 people were injured in Hong Kong, there were at least 10 deaths and more than 240 injuries in Macao. The direct economic loss in Macao exceeded MOP 9 billion. In Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Guizhou and Yunnan, there were at least 15 deaths and one missing during the passage of Hato. Around 740 000 people were affected and over 6 500 houses collapsed. The direct economic loss exceeded RMB 28.2 billion. Tropical storm Kai-tak and typhoon Tembin hit the Philippines in succession within a week in December 2017, triggering severe flooding and landslides. At least 294 people were killed and more than 204 people were missing in total. Over 70 000 people were made homeless.

The updated list of tropical cyclone names and their corresponding meanings is available at the Hong Kong Observatory website “Tropical Cyclone Names in the Western North Pacific and South China Sea”.

Tracks of Hato, Kai-tak and Tembin in 2017