RT Cunningham


Tropical Cyclone - Hurricanes, Typhoons and Other Storms

tropical cyclone Hurricane Irma is now devastating Florida in the United States. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone there, the same thing as a typhoon over here. Storms have many names.

I’m tempted to say Floridians are never ready for a storm as bad as a hurricane, but Filipinos here are just as bad. It seems people won’t prepare for any storm until it already threatens their particular areas.

Tropical Cyclone - Hurricanes vs. Typhoons

People will make a big deal about a hurricane hitting a particular region in the United States because of how rarely it happens. The Asian Pacific islands (including the Philippines) get hit by typhoons every year. Amazingly, a single typhoon has yet to hit my area of the Philippines this year. We’re getting a lot of rain, but it’s only coming in spurts of two or three days at a time. This is the driest rainy season I’ve experienced in more than 11 years.

I sometimes get confused about what to call a tropical cyclone when it hits certain areas. I once thought a typhoon meant Pacific and a hurricane meant Atlantic. The storm that hit Hawaii in 1982, when I was there, was a hurricane.

A tropical cyclone is a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and just a cyclone in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean.

Tropical Cyclone vs. Earthquake

A tropical cycle doesn’t scare me. My house doesn’t get damaged by wind and rain, unless you count exterior paint. The bright sunlight does just as much damage as storms in that regard.

Earthquakes scare me. There’s damage to my house every time. Most of it’s just cracks in the cement finish, but I found one crack that went all the way through a wall. Luckily, it wasn’t a primary support structure.

If there’s one thing that can scare me enough to make me retreat to the United States, it’s an earthquake. If a really strong one occurs nearby, I’m leaving this country no matter how much I like it here.

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By RT Cunningham
September 11, 2017