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Hurricanes/Typhoons

  • By: Jamie D. Mitchem
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

Hurricanes and typhoons are regionally specific names referring to powerful tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are intense, warm-core centers of low atmospheric pressure that develop over most warm tropical oceans. Tropical cyclones are one of the costliest types of hazards, and they have the potential to produce large numbers of casualties. Over the past two centuries, tropical cyclones have been responsible for approximately 1.9 million deaths worldwide.

Development and Measurement

Tropical cyclones are nonfrontal centers of low pressure that develop over tropical or subtropical waters, and are composed of intense, organized convection and surface winds that circulate cyclonically (e.g., counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere). Tropical cyclones typically develop from tropical disturbances or easterly waves, which are ill-defined areas of convective activity sustained for 24 hours or longer, frequently ...

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