Preface to the Special Issue on "Typhoon Morakot (2009): Observation, Modeling, and Forecasting"



Typhoon Morakot was the deadliest typhoon or tropical cyclone (TC) to strike Taiwan in recorded history. It brought catastrophic damage to Taiwan, leaving 619 people dead, 76 others missing, causing roughly $16.4 billion NTD ($547 million USD) in agricultural losses alone. The storm produced a huge amount of rainfall, peaking at 2855 mm in 4 days (nearly the world record for peak accumulated rainfall of a landfall TC), which triggered enormous mudslides and severe flooding throughout southern Taiwan. One mudslide buried the entire village of Shiaolin, killing approximately 500 people in the village alone. This slow moving storm also caused widespread damage in China, leaving nine people dead and causing $8.9 billion RMB ($1.3 billion USD) in damage. Nearly 6000 homes were destroyed and 136000 more were reported to have sustained damage in China. The storm also caused severe flooding in the northern Philippines where it killed 26 people. Consequently, the scientific advance and the improvement of forecasting techniques and early warning systems for TCs reaching landfall are among high priority tasks for scientists and governmental agencies in Taiwan and other TC-prone countries.

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