Supertyphoon Mangkhut; massive damage forecast for Philippines, China

While Americans are understandably focused on Hurricane Florence, a massive supertyphoon is causing tremendous damage to the Philippines, and is on track to cause absolutely enormous economic damage in China.  As part of research Enki is conducting to support Global Parametrics (GP, an initiative started by German KfW and the UK Government’s DFID), we are working on refining and expanding global disaster models.  Here are some results using a “next generation” open source model sponsored by GP of the possible impacts of this storm.  First, let’s take a look at the storm itself: it is massive …

Currently the Joint Typhoon Warning Center is showing the storm, which is currently over the northern island of Luzon, tracking across the south China Sea and making landfall just south of Hong Kong:

This forecast is horrific.  $20 to$25 billion in direct impacts to the Philippines, which is 6.5 to 7% of GDP, a massive hit.  But the potential damage in China is eye watering.  On the JTWC official track, damage to Hong Kong alone would be that much, with China overall seeing $120 Billion in impacts.  But that’s not the worst reasonable scenario by far – the respected HWRF model, the track only a trivial 30 miles north of the JTWC forecast,  shows a direct hit on Hong Kong, putting the eye wall of the storm directly across the city, and 6 meters (20 feet) of storm surge in to VIctoria Harbour.  The damage for that scenario is truly phenomenal, over $135 Billion in economic impacts to Hong Kong alone, $230 to China overall … wow.  The humanitarian, economic, and political implications of such a disaster are hard to imagine.

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