Magazine article Geographical

The Chinese God of Wind Ousts Andrew and Irene

Magazine article Geographical

The Chinese God of Wind Ousts Andrew and Irene

Article excerpt

Tropical typhoons are to be given names in the local language, rather than English names, as is the current practice. The Typhoon Committee of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have released a list of local language names compiled by its 14 member states for this year's tropical storms and typhoons in the western North Pacific and South China Sea. The move to using names selected from the area's local languages reflects an effort to raise awareness of tropical cyclones by using familiar local words.

This year's first named storm will be called Damrey, which means elephant in Cambodian. Others scheduled for use this year from the list of 130 names include Fengshen (the Chinese God of Wind), Hagibis (a Filipino word for swift or fast), and Washi (Japanese for eagle). The USA has contributed ten names of Palauan, Marshallese, and Chamorro origin, including Chataan, the Chamorro word for rain.

Tropical cyclones are named to provide ease of communication when forecasters issue warnings and forecasts to the general public. …

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