Haiphong now has a flood defense system including dykes/levees (though not all of them are firm), a flood warning service provided by Vietnam's Meteorological Service, and evacuation plans. What are the lessons that can be learned from this unusual historical event? Flood defences are in place: for instance Haiphong's protection includes 315 kilometres of river dykes and a 104‐kilometre length of sea dykes. The Cua‐Cam is one of the rivers forming the northern Red River delta. Haiphong, Vietnam, in the Gulf of Tonkin, lies directly in one of the most frequently used paths for those Pacific typhoons that originate in and around the Philippines and reach the Asian mainland through the Gulf of Tonkin. The corridor between Haiphong and Hanoi is one of Vietnam's most heavily industrialised areas, and Haiphong itself is one of southeast Asia's principal ports. The draft of Figure 1 was kindly drawn by Mrs L.K. With the high waves and winds, rice fields were flooded, buildings were decimated (and, as a result, people either were drowned or left stranded), trees were ripped up, etc. It was three times the casualty count of Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest Philippine typhoon in modern meteorological records, and is the third deadliest tropical cyclone in history of the world. Nowadays we know otherwise: migrating tropical storms have been known to merge, but it is physically improbable for a typhoon to split into two separate typhoons. The typhoon killed about 3,000 people in Haiphong, Vietnam. With its alarming … Residents of smaller towns and villages in less accessible rural areas of the lower Red River delta may not be so fortunate, and would be the most likely to suffer the consequences of severe inundation. The actual (single) track probably travelled between the pair originally suggested. Note the low density of population in the marshy areas near the river (rizières means rice field). Seasonal variation of hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics in a shallow subtropical estuary: the Ba Lat River, Vietnam. Coastal vulnerability to typhoon inundation in the Bay of Bangkok, Thailand? See text for details. The storm killed an estimated 20,000 people in the Philippines, making it the deadliest storm in the history of the country. Haiphong also ravaged tDai Nam (now known as Vietnam), leaving more than a whopping 300,000 people dead. On making landfall, Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. We suggest not. The Gulf of Tonkin is a route sometimes taken by typhoons originating near the Philippines as they travel westward in the prevailing tropical easterlies. Most of these deaths were caused by a few deadly cyclones, including the 1881 Haiphong typhoon, the 1931 Shanghai typhoon, the 1970 Bhola cyclone, Typhoon Nina in 1975, the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone, and Cyclone Nargis in 2008. Furthermore, it may be implied that the system did not weaken while turning on its northwestward passage through the Gulf of Tonkin because this track trajectory avoided the island of Hainan, so the typhoon's movement and intensification were not disturbed (this is further discussed below). Charts of Remarkable Typhoons in the Philippines 1902–1934. Occurrence of 1 ka-old corals on an uplifted reef terrace in west Luzon, Philippines: Implications for a prehistoric extreme wave event in the South China Sea region. Evidence to the contrary can first be found in the history of Haiphong itself, which was a small market and fishing town prior to French occupation in 1874. This scenario is based on the behaviour of the storm surge from Cyclone Nargis that engulfed the lower Irrawaddy delta in 2008 in Myanmar (Figure 4). Flooded areas are blue, cities are red, and tree cover appears in shades of green (dense tree cover) to pale yellow (sparse tree cover). There were erroneous reports that the typhoon was the third-deadliest tropical cyclone on record with a death toll of 300,000, but this was likely due to mixing the death toll with the damage total, as the city only had a population of 18,480 in 1897. 61 junks were lost. Original paper copy held at the University of Chicago Library. Sinuosity of tropical cyclone tracks in the South West Indian Ocean: Spatio-temporal patterns and relationships with fundamental storm attributes, http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/maps/asian‐cities/, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1483619/Haiphong‐cyclone, http://www.monre.gov.vn/v35/default.aspx?tabid=428&cateID=25&id=26785&code=QNOJA26785, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2008/h2008_nargis.html, http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/jma‐eng/jma‐center/rsmc‐hp‐pub‐eg/trackarchives.html, Sheltering off Baksha, southern Lien‐chow peninsula, Note: Symbols appearing after ship names are those used in Figure. Based on JTWC2 advisories and the IBTrACS data (NOAA, 2011), there has not been a storm comparable in terms of intensity and track to the Tonkin typhoon since 1881. This would cause seawards flow of runoff in the drainage network to temporarily cease, until the surge subsides as the typhoon moves inland. The China Sea Directory, Vol II: Hydrographic Department, British Admiralty. Although it is probably correct to say that the 1881 Tonkin typhoon does not deserve its ignominious rank as the third‐deadliest tropical storm in history, it was nevertheless a destructive event that inflicted a dreadful toll in human life. deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Author unknown. Modern boundaries and place names are used. NOAA Satellite and Information Service, World Data Center for Meteorology: Asheville, NC. IBTrACS. In the 1880s, splitting was a phenomenon believed to have affected other typhoons that had passed over the mountains of Formosa (Taiwan). Note how storms landfalling on the coastline of northern Vietnam tend to follow quasi‐linear tracks along southeast to northwest trajectories (Terry and Feng, 2010) that earlier pass across the mountainous island of Hainan, so weakening them. This minimum pressure within the eye allows estimation of maximum sustained winds (10‐minute averages) to be of the order of 80–90 knots using the system of Dvorak (1975), or possibly 100 knots based on an empirical correlation between pressure and wind for tropical storms in the western North Pacific using available International Best Tracks (IBTrACS) data of NOAA (2011). Areas flooded by Cyclone Nargis in 2008 in the Irrawaddy delta, Myanmar. The city of Haiphong lies about 10 miles from the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin and also on the Red River in a low elevation area (delta), connected to an access channel. Catalogue of Typhoons 1348–1934. Overall, since the population of the rural areas of the Red River delta has grown significantly since 1881, it is possible that total fatality levels could exceed those of 1881 (i.e. Suggested paths of the ‘terrific Tongking typhoon’ of early October 1881 as interpreted by Dechevrens (1882) from the weather logs of several steamships that encountered the storm and were able to record barometric pressure and wind direction ( SS Fleurs Castle, Quinta, Tong‐ting, HMS Magpie, Kang‐chi). It is one of the deadliest Philippine typhoons on record, killing at least 6,300 people in that country alone. Haiphong, being a low-lying port town, was devastated both physically and economically. The system intensified significantly in the South China Sea before entering the Gulf of Tonkin on a curving trajectory (Figure 1).

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