Typhoon Nesat and Haitang: Highlighting another storm that we cannot weather

My friends detail to me the way the typhoon has hit Taiwan – sudden, fast, and vicious.

I remember experiencing super Typhoon Meranti barreling into Taiwan last year, bringing destruction and torrential rains with it. The winds shook our apartment building, the numerous glass windows creaking under the vicious hand of the wind. Towels were placed under leaking windows to soak up the rainwater. I pressed my face up against the vibrating windows only to witness the destruction of plants and trees in our garden, and the fall of trees lining the street outside our house. It was a flurry of green, all the way down the road. Water and electricity was knocked out in many homes, but thankfully ours wasn’t one of them. I remember seeing my friends make a trip to American China Club after the storm had passed, thankful to be able to shower.

The details of typhoon Nesat:

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Taiwan’s typhoon Nesat, the first of the year, has left 131 people injured and flooding in nearly 280 locations last Monday. More than 667,000 homes have lost their power, but thankfully more than half was restored the next couple days. Scooters and some cars have been toppled over, with people being hit by shards of flying glass. One person was blown down, another was struck by a heavy flying object, and one was unlucky enough to be standing next to a flying utility truck. Streets have been flooded knee-deep in muddy water after being hit with 24 inches of rain. 145 international flights have been cancelled, affecting nearly 10,000 to-be passengers.

Thankfully, more than 70,000 people were evacuated before the typhoon with still 1,612 in shelters on Sunday, but still there are dozens trapped in their homes and injuries all around.

With winds averaging at 137 kph and gusts of up to 173 kph, the typhoon has caused damage throughout the whole island. Then, following closely on its heels was typhoon Haitang, which landed on Taiwan’s coast on Saturday. It’s the first time Taiwan has issued alerts for two storms at the same time in 50 years, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Climate Change – Rising Temperatures.

It is very likely that typhoons have everything to do with climate change. Hurricanes and typhoons have become stronger and longer-lasting over the past three decades, and this swing correlates with a rise in sea surface temperatures, according to a study in the journal Nature. In fact, typhoons have become 10% more damaging since the 1970s, and even stronger storms in the future is only to be expected. Typhoons are likely to become more intense with winds as the temperature continues to rise.

Climate Change – Sea Levels.

As many already know, sea levels worldwide are constantly on the rise, and this increases the chance for higher storm surges and more severe flooding.

Let’s talk about how exactly this is all linked together.

As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, more moisture begins to build up in the atmosphere, leading to heavier downpours and more floods during the increasing typhoons and hurricanes.

All in all, as climate change becomes more dangerous, typhoons will continue to bring more rain which will raise sea levels, and so on. It’s a vicious cycle.

So – is climate change truly a lie? Or is it just a reality that some of us aren’t willing to face?

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