Global Hazards - October 2007
Please note: Material provided in this report is chosen subjectively and included at the discretion of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The ability to report on a given event is limited by the amount of information available to NCEI 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 Hazards and Significant Events
Tropical Storm Noel, the 14th named storm of the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane season, brought flooding and loss of life to parts of the island of Hispaniola. Additional information can be found below.
Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions continued throughout much of the Southeast region, the western U.S., and some areas in the northern Great Lakes region. Exceptional drought persisted in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina and parts of Kentucky and Virginia. On October 30, 57% of the western U.S., 67% in the Southeast, and 35% of the contiguous U.S. were in moderate to exceptional drought, according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor.
In the state of Georgia, the exceptional drought has taken a toll on the state's water supplies, forcing the governor to declare a state of emergency across the northern half of the state. Lake Lanier, a 15,380 hectares (38,000 acres) reservoir in the northern part of the state, serves more than 3 million residents with water and it is feared that it might be in total depletion in 3 more months (BBC News).
For a complete drought analysis across the United States, please see the U.S. drought page.
Severe wildfires in southern California, which started on October 21, forced 950,000 residents to evacuate the area, resulting in the biggest evacuation in Californian history (BBC News). The fires charred 209,200 hectares (517,000 acres), destroyed more than 2,000 homes, killed 7 people and injured 40 others. Seven of southern California's counties have been declared in a state of emergency by President Bush (BBC News/USA Today).
Across China, moderate to extreme drought conditions persist across northern Neimongol, eastern Hubei, southern Jiangxi, western Fujian, and northeastern Tibet (Beijing Climate Center).
Across Central America, heavy rain prompted devastating floods during October 12-15. In Costa Rica, heavy rain that fell during October 10-11 caused widespread floods that washed away over 800 homes and prompted a deadly mudslide on the 11th. The mudslide, according to reports, is the worst weather disaster for Costa Rica in years, claiming 14 lives and burying hundreds of homes in the town of Atenas (AFP/BBC News). In Nicaragua, the heavy rain affected 10,000 people, destroyed homes and crops, and washed away cattle. According to reports, 600 mm (24 inches) of rain fell in a period of four days (BBC News). El Salvador reported 2 fatalities, Honduras reported 4 fatalities, and Panama reported 2 missing people (AFP/BBC News).
Extensive flooding affected areas of Haiti on October 11-12, resulting in the deaths of 45 people and the flooding of hundreds of villages. About 20,000 people were left homeless (BBC News).
Eastern Spain was pounded by thunderstorms that brought heavy rain on October 13-14, triggering widespread floods. In Valencia, 100 mm (4 inches) of rain fell in a one-hour period while other areas reported over 200 mm (8 inches) of rain falling in short periods of time. Two fatalities were reported (BBC News).
In the United States, a 100-year-old annual rainfall total record was broken on October 14 when 36 mm (1.4 inches) of rain fell at Will Rogers World Airport, south of Oklahoma City, bringing the annual total rainfall, as of the 14th, to 1,355 mm (53.34 inches). This amount surpasses the previous annual record of 1,322 mm (52.03 inches), set in 1908, by 33 mm (1.31 inches) (Associated Press).
A strong storm brought heavy rain and flooding to parts of southern Bangladesh on October 17. According to reports, the Chittagong Port City received about 225 mm (9 inches) of rain overnight. The heavy rain triggered a mudslide that killed many people (BBC News).
Severe storms affected northern Texas on October 15. The storms produced damaging winds and heavy rain that flooded roads and damaged buildings. About 20,000 customers lost electricity in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One fatality was reported (Associated Press).
Strong thunderstorms, with gusts as high as 86 mph (138 km/hr or 74 knots), damaged mobile homes and injured more than 30 people in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 17 (Associated Press).
Severe thunderstorms affected areas across the central and southeastern United States on the 18th (Associated Press). A tornado, spawned from the severe storms, struck Missouri's Monroe County, claiming two lives after tearing apart a mobile home and killing its occupants (BBC News). Another tornado formed in Pensacola, FL which damaged a house, a church, and a shopping mall and injured 4 people. No fatalities were reported (Associated Press/BBC News).
Typhoon Lekima formed in the western Pacific Ocean as a tropical depression on September 27. After making its first landfall as a tropical storm in the Philippine island of Luzon, Lekima strengthened to a category 1 typhoon. On October 3, the storm made landfall in Vietnam with maximum sustained winds near 72 mph (116 km/hr or 63 knots). Lekima brought torrential rain and high winds, which triggered landslides, flooded thousands of homes, and destroyed vast areas of rice fields (BBC News/Reuters). Typhoon Lekima was responsible for the deaths of 86 people with 9 others missing (Associated Press). Vietnam suffered its worst flooding in 45 years due to the extensive flooding caused by the typhoon (BBC News). According to reports, Vietnam's Department of Floods and Storms Control estimate damage losses was $131 million (Associated Press).
Typhoon Krosa developed in the western Pacific Ocean on October 1 and reached typhoon strength on the 3rd (BBC News). The storm had maximum sustained winds of 101 mph (162 km/hr or 43 knots) when it made landfall in Taiwan on the 6th, becoming the strongest typhoon to hit the island during this year (AFP/BBC News). Krosa's aftermath led to 7 fatalities and left about 2 million people without power in Taiwan (Associated Press/BBC News). The storm made its second landfall near the border of China's provinces Zhejiang and Fujian with maximum sustained winds near 78 mph (126 km/hr or 68 knots) on the 7th (BBC News). Krosa brought heavy rain to China's southeast region, pouring up to 200 mm (8 inches) of rain on parts of Zhejiang and Fujian (AFP).
Tropical storm Noel developed off the south coast of the island of Hispaniola, composed of Haiti and Dominican Republic, on October 28 and made landfall in Haiti on the 29th with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (80 km/hr or 43 knots). Noel brought heavy rains that caused widespread floods and prompted landslides across the island of Hispaniola (AFP). In the Dominican Republic, 84 people lost their lives and about 14,500 homes were damaged, while 57 deaths were reported in Haiti. Noel's wrath damaged the Dominican Republic's rice, plantain, and cacao plantations leading to an estimated $30 million in losses (Associated Press). After making landfall in Haiti, Noel moved towards Cuba, making a second landfall on October 30 with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (97 km/hr or 52 knots). According to reports, the heavy rain in Cuba damaged 1,000 homes (Associated Press). Tropical storm Noel became the deadliest storm of the 2007 season (Associated Press).
For 2006/2007 basin tropical cyclone statistics, please refer to the following:
North Indian Ocean Basin
Western North Pacific Basin
South Pacific Basin
South Indian Ocean Basin
Northeast Pacific Ocean Basin
No reports of significant extratropical cyclones were received during October 2007.
No reports of severe winter weather were received during October 2007.