Typhoon Saola Makes Landfall in China

On Saturday morning, Typhoon Saola made landfall in the Chinese province of Guangdong after leaving a path of devastation in neighboring Hong Kong, Macau, and Shenzhen, where the storm killed at least one person....

Typhoon Saola Makes Landfall in China
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Facts

  • On Saturday morning, Typhoon Saola made landfall in the Chinese province of Guangdong after leaving a path of devastation in neighboring Hong Kong, Macau, and Shenzhen, where the storm killed at least one person.1
  • More than 900K residents were evacuated from Guangdong and Fujian provinces, schools and businesses were shuttered, and hundreds of flights were canceled as the cyclone – with winds exceeding 125 mph –  moved closer.2
  • The forecast for the storm prompted the Hong Kong Observatory to issue a rare Signal 10 warning for the first time in five years.3
  • Hong Kong, an area not usually vulnerable to storm surges, saw water inundation of 5-6 meters. Sustained two-minute winds of 115 mpg, with gusts of up to 138 mph, were recorded at the eye for the storm.3
  • When weather warnings for Hong Kong exceed Signal 8, trading at the Hong Kong exchange is paused. Typhoon Saola's arrival prompted additional discussion about the practice, as most trading is completed electronically. Paul Chan, the Financial Secretary, is exploring solutions to continue trading during extreme weather.4
  • After making landfall in China, the storm was forecast to continue its slow crawl to the southwest before weakening and moving out to sea.5
  • As residents clean up from Typhoon Saola, they are also preparing for Typhoon Haikui – another cyclone moving toward the eastern coast of China. The same impact area can expect strong winds and heavy rains beginning on Sunday.5

Sources: 1Reuters, 2Al Jazeera, 3Yale climate connections, 4Bloomberg and 5Guardian.

Narratives

  • Anti-China narrative, as provided by Reuters. As climate-induced disasters continue to rip through China, the fallout has ignited a public outcry that's fallen on deaf ears. The people of China understand the environmental changes, but when they search for answers, they're met with state propaganda that outlines China's fight against climate change and the lack of action from other developed countries. The government's actions are transparent in that the people see the lack of action for what it is: failure.
  • Pro-China narrative, as provided by Washington Post. Despite the brewing conflict between the US and China, Beijing's leadership has committed to working with Washington on the issue of climate change. While China leads the world in coal-based emissions, it's prepared to tackle this issue, but at its own pace without international interference. Chinese President Xi Jinping's priority is the energy security of the nation; emissions reduction will follow while the administration works steadily and diligently to curb the impacts of climate disasters.

Predictions