Global Hazards - August 2006


Please note: Material provided in this report is chosen subjectively and included at the discretion of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The ability to report on a given event is limited by the amount of information available to NCDC at the time of publication. Inclusion of a particular event does not constitute a greater importance in comparison with an event that has not been incorporated into the discussion. Data included in this report are preliminary unless otherwise stated. Links to supporting information are valid at the time of publication, but they are not maintained or changed after publication.


Global Focus

Map of flood-affected areas of Ethiopia during August 2006
August Flooding In Ethiopia
Global Hazards And Significant Events
August 2006
Heavy rainfall in Ethiopia brought deadly flooding during the month of August. Additional information can be found below.
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Drought & Heat | Flooding | Storms | Tropical Cyclones | Extratropical Cyclones | Severe Winter Weather
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Drought conditions
Across the United States, significant drought affected large areas of the nation. Exceptional drought was noted across portions of South Dakota as well as sections of Texas and Oklahoma along the Red River.
Drought Monitor depiction as of August 22, 2006
U.S. Drought Monitor
For complete drought analysis across the United States, please see the U.S. drought report.
Map depicting high temperature anomalies across the United States on August 3, 2006
U.S. Temperature Anomalies
A heat wave across the northeastern quarter of the United States during the first week of August claimed 22 lives in New York. In New York City the heat index, which represents the combined effects of heat and humidity, climbed to 44°C (111°F) on the 3rd (AFP).
Drought in China affected about 18 million people in August, or the worst drought to affect the country in 50 years, according to the state news agency Xinhua. The southwestern province of Sichuan was the worst affected. In Chongqing, no rain had fallen for more than 70 days, and two-thirds of the rivers had dried up (BBC News).
Drought depicition across China as of August 18, 2006
China Drought Depiction
In Japan, a heat wave brought electricity demand to record levels in August on the islands of Hokkaido and Kyushu. Maximum temperatures reached 35°C (95°F) on Kyushu (Reuters).
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Heavy rainfall and flooding
In Ethiopia, flooding across the country during August 2006 claimed 626 lives. Some of the worst flooding occurred along the swollen Omo River (Associated Press).
Africa hazards/benefits assessment map
African Hazards Assessment
Map of flood-affected areas of India during early August 2006
Flooding In India
Monsoon-related flooding continued across India during August. In Gujarat state, the city of Surat was embattled by flooding. Surat is the capital of India's diamond-cutting industry, and the flooding caused an estimated $29 million (USD) in daily ecomomic losses. Flooding also halted gas and petroleum production in India's largest gas fields in Gujarat state. Across the nation, hundreds of deaths were reported during August with nearly one million people losing their homes due to floods in the eastern part of the country (AFP/Reuters).
In Pakistan, monsoon-related flooding was blamed for more than 185 deaths from late July through mid-August 2006 (AFP). In neighboring eastern Afghanistan, heavy rainfall generated flooding that claimed at least 35 lives (Associated Press).
Across the Philippines, landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall killed at least six people and destroyed eight villages in the southern part of the country. The hardest-hit area was the southern island of Mindanao where flash flooding and mudslides occurred on the 14th (AFP). In Vietnam, monsoon-related flooding in central and northern regions of the country was blamed for 42 deaths by the 20th (Reuters).
Map of flood-affected areas in Thailand during late-August 2006
Thailand Flooding
Across northern provinces of Thailand, incessant rainfall during late-month produced flooding that was blamed for eight deaths. Flooding in the Nan province was reportedly the worst in 40 years (IFRC). In neighboring Cambodia, flooding along the Mekong River resulted in eight fatalities (AFP).
In the United States, rainfall in parts of the greater El Paso, Texas area totaled more than 380 mm (15 inches) since July 27, 2006, or nearly twice the seasonal average for the city. The resulting flooding destroyed as many as 300 homes and caused an estimated $100 million (USD) in damage. One flood-related death was reported (MSNBC).
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Severe Storms
Radar image of a severe tornadic thunderstorm in Le Sueur County, Minnesota on August 24, 2006
Minnesota Tornadoes
In the United States, severe thunderstorms spawned a tornado that affected Nicollet and Le Sueur counties in Minnesota on the 24th. There was one death and several injuries, along with damage to many houses (Associated Press).
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Tropical Cyclones
Typhoon Prapiroon developed as a depression just east of the Philippines on the 31st, crossing the Philippines by the 1st and reaching typhoon strength by the next day. Prapiroon made landfall in the southern part of China's Guangdong province on the 3rd with maximum sustained winds near 130 km/hr (70 knots or 80 mph). The typhoon was blamed for at least 80 deaths in China after killing six in the Philippines (Reuters/OCHA).
Satellite image of Typhoon Prapiroon on August 1, 2006
Typhoon Prapiroon
Satellite image of Typhoon Saomai near landfall in southeastern China on August 10, 2006
Typhoon Saomai
Typhoon Saomai developed in the western Pacific Ocean on the 4th, passing near Guam on the 5th as a tropical storm. Saomai reached typhoon status the next day, and reached the Chinese coastline on the 10th, just south of Wenzhou along the border of Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. Maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were near 240 km/hr (130 knots or 150 mph). The typhoon prompted the evacuation of 1.5 million people from flood-prone areas, and resulted in at least 441 fatalities. Saomai was characterized as the most powerful typhoon to strike China in 50 years (BBC News/Associated Press/Reuters).
Typhoon Maria developed in the northwest Pacific Ocean on the 5th and reached typhoon strength by the 7th. Maria weakened into a tropical storm as it brushed southern Japan on the 9th, before dissipating the next day. Tropical Storm Bopha developed in the Philippine Sea on the 6th and tracked across southern Taiwan on the 8th with maximum sustained winds near 65 km/hr (35 mph or 40 mph). Bopha's primary effects were heavy rainfall amounts along its course.
Satellite image depicting Saomai, Maria and Bopha on August 8, 2006
Western Pacific Typhoons
Satellite image of Tropical Depression Wukong on August 18, 2006
Tropical Storm Wukong
Tropical Storm Wukong formed in the Philippine Sea on the 12th and crossed southwestern Japan (Kyushu) on the 17th with maximum sustained winds of 85 km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph) before weakening to a depression. Heavy rainfall and flooding was the primary impact from this storm (Reuters).
Hurricane Ernesto developed in the eastern Caribbean Sea as a depression on the 24th and attained tropical storm status the next day. Ernesto became a hurricane just before crossing the western tip of Haiti on the 27th. The storm was blamed for 4 deaths on Haiti (OCHA). Ernesto then tracked across the western half of Cuba before emerging over the Florida Straits as a tropical storm on the 29th. The storm moved across the Florida peninsula, briefly weakening into a tropical depression before re-strengthening to tropical storm status as it emerged off the southeast coast of the United States on the 31st. Impacts from this system in the Carolinas and Northeast United States will be documented in the September 2006 hazards and significant events report. For additional information, please see the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane season summary page.
Satellite image depicting Tropical Storm Ernesto off the southeast coast of the U.S. on August 31, 2006
Tropical Storm Ernesto
Satellite image of Hurricane John on August 31, 2006
Hurricane John
Hurricane John formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean on the 28th and reached hurricane strength the next day. John buffeted coastal areas of Mexico from Lazaro Cardenas to Cabo Corrientes as it tracked parallel to the coastline during the 30th-31st. John made landfall along Baja California near Cabo del Este on September 1st with maximum sustained winds near 175 km/hr (95 knots or 110 mph). Impacts from this system in Mexico's Baja Peninsula will be documented in the September 2006 hazards and significant events report. For additional information, please see the 2006 East Pacific Hurricane season summary page.
Typhoon Ioke formed in the central Pacific Ocean on the 19th, crossing the Date Line and entering the western Pacific on the 27th. Ioke passed north of Wake Island on the 31st with winds on the island gusting to near 160 km/hr (85 knots or 100 mph) before wind instrument failure occurred. The U.S. Air Force evacuated all of the approximately 200 residents of the island before the typhoon passed by just to the north (Associated Press).


For 2006 basin tropical cyclone statistics, please refer to the following:
Australian Basin
North Indian Ocean Basin
Western North Pacific Basin
South Pacific Basin
South Indian Ocean Basin
Northeast Pacific Ocean Basin
Atlantic Basin
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Extratropical Cyclones
Map of affected areas in Swaziland from a storm system that produced strong winds in early August 2006
Strong Winds Affect Swaziland
A storm system affected Swaziland during August 1-3, generating strong wind gusts as high as 120 km/hr (75 mph). The winds caused significant structural damage to buildings, injured several people and killed one person. As many as 100 houses were destroyed (IFRC).
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Severe winter weather
No reports of severe winter weather were received during August 2006

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Hazards for August 2006, published online September 2006, retrieved on September 21, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/hazards/2006/8.