Tropical Storm Wutip Hits S.E. Asia

The search continues for survivors after Tropical Storm Wutip destroyed three fishing vessels in the South China Sea on Sunday. At least 33 are missing on land and sea following Wutip’s deadly punch.

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Wutip, which means butterfly in Cantonese, was nothing like its graceful, delicate namesake — slamming central Vietnam yesterday as a typhoon with sustained winds of nearly 75 mph and up to a foot of rain. Officials reported Wutip as the most powerful typhoon to hit Vietnam since 2006.

Credit: fox_kiyo via Flickr

Credit: fox_kiyo via Flickr

The storm was the latest weather tragedy to strike Southeast Asia. Severe flooding throughout Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia that began in mid-September continues to destroy lives and livelihoods. Since mid-September, floods have claimed 23 lives in Thailand and 30 in Cambodia, according to government reports.

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

The Flood’s Toll

- Throughout the region, floods have impacted 2.8 million people and 15,254 had been evacuated.

- In 2011, Thailand experienced its most severe flooding in decades. Floods killed over 800 and ruined about 15 million acres of farmland, business regions and residential areas.

- In Vietnam, 29,000 households were evacuated and about 250,000 homes were damaged or completely destroyed.

-In Thailand, nearly half of the country’s 77 provinces have been flooded since September.

- In Cambodia, more than 9,000 families evacuated, while 67,000 houses were damaged or underwater.

While it’s been a relatively calm tropical storm season in the Atlantic, the Pacific has been active. Super Typhoon Usagi carried sustained winds over 135 miles per hour and gusts reaching over 155 miles per hour at its peak. That’s equal to Category 4 and 5 storms in the Atlantic Ocean.

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