Guam, Northern Marianas Prepare for Destructive Winds of Typhoon Dolphin
Typhoon Dolphin has been steadily intensifying as it approaches Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. According to reports, Dolphin, which formed in the western Pacific on May 7, has strengthened from a weak tropical depression to a typhoon over the last five days, and is expected to continue gaining strength over the next couple of days (NASA, NWS).
Flash flood warnings remain in place for parts of Guam and the Northern Marianas, although reports indicate that expected rainfall amounts are less than previously anticipated (NWS). Nonetheless, Dolphin is expected to bring destructive winds, as well as a dramatic increase in sea level and dangerous surf.
As of the most recent advisory from JTWC, Dolphin is located approximately 217 nautical miles east-southeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and has tracked west-northwest with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (95 knots) (JTWC Warning #33).
RVA Country Profile: The Marianas
As Typhoon Dolphin approaches Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (known collectively as the Marianas), PDC’s Global Risk and Vulnerability Index assesses the estimated average exposure of population and GDP to tropical cyclone winds, tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods via the Multi Hazard Exposure Index. As you can see below, 88% of Guam’s population may be exposed to tropical cyclone winds annually, while 100% of the population of the Northern Mariana Islands (located on Tinian, Saipan, and Rota) may be exposed on annual basis.
This Week in Hazards
- The World Health Organization declared Liberia free of the Ebola virus on May 9, ending the country’s outbreak which began over a year ago (WHO). Community engagement is cited as one of the factors that contributed to Liberia’s success, as empowerment of local leaders and community members helped the response effort. Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) cautions that improving biosurveillance across borders is vital to keeping Ebola from re-emerging in Liberia as the Ebola outbreak continues in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone (MSF).
- Nepal continues to experience strong aftershocks following the 7.8M earthquake on April 25, and a subsequent 7.3M earthquake on May 12 (PDC, ECHO). According to reports, the 7.3M quake severely affected the district of Sindhupalchok (which was already the hardest hit area following the initial 7.8M earthquake) and it was felt as far as New Delhi, India, and Dhaka, Bangladesh (OSOCC). Relief operations in Nepal are ongoing, and reports indicate that (as of May 13) the earthquakes and aftershocks have destroyed more than 479,000 homes and damaged an estimated 263,000 (UNOCHA Situation Report #14).
Current Hazard Warnings
Flood: Kenya, Canada (Ontario), Sweden, United States (Central), Ethiopia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Tasmania
Severe Weather: United States (Texas), Malaysia
Earthquake: Nepal, Japan
High Surf: El Salvador
Tropical Cyclone: Dolphin (Pacific)
Wildfire: Canada (British Columbia)
Drought: Angola, Namibia, United States (Southern, Western), Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea
Biomedical: West Africa
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