2 Typhoon Names Retired after Devastating Storm Season in China

By Matthew Bossons, March 4, 2019

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There will never again be another Typhoon Mangkhut, at least in name. Last Wednesday, February 27, the World Meteorological Organization’s Typhoon Committee held its 51st session in Guangzhou and decided to remove Mangkhut and Rumbia from the list of typhoon names, according to an announcement by the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

Rumbia and Mangkhut, the 18th and 22nd typhoons of last year’s storm season, unleashed strong winds and heavy rains on a number of China’s coastal provinces and both resulted in fatalities on the Chinese mainland. Mangkhut also caused widespread devastation in the Philippines, where it was responsible for at least 127 deaths. Rumbia made landfall in August 2018 while Mangkhut followed just weeks later in September. 

WATCH: South China Decimated by Deadly Typhoon Mangkhut

Nations affected by a particularly destructive typhoon are able to apply to the Typhoon Committee to have the storm’s name retired from usage. The organization began naming storms in 2000, with each of the 14 regions that are Typhoon Committee members providing 10 names, according to Guangdong Television. For a typhoon name to make the list, it has to have nine or less English letters and be easy to pronounce. Names must also have no negative meanings.

flood-guangzhou.jpg
Flooding in Guangzhou’s Panyu District in the wake of Typhoon Mangkhut. Image via Prakash Mahtani

The CMA’s announcement notes that the Philippines proposed removing Mangkhut from the typhoon naming registry, while China proposed the retirement of Rumbia. Thailand and Malaysia, the nations who added Mangkhut and Rumbia to the list in the first place, will be able to add new names at the Typhoon Committee’s next meeting.

READ MORE: How to Track Typhoons Hitting China on WeChat and Web

“The name Mangkhut replaced Durian (in 2006),” a storm expert recently told Guangdong Television. “Thailand picks tropical fruit names, while in China, we offer names like Wukong and Fengshen. Hong Kong has submitted names like Kai-tak and Lionrock.”

A total of 45 typhoon names for storms generated over the South China Sea and Northwest Pacific have been retired by the Typhoon Committee since 2002.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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