Tropical Storm Aere

  • Tropical Storm Aere
    13.05.2011 07:07

    Over the weekend, a tropical depression over the Philippine Sea developed  into the first tropical storm of the 2011 Pacific typhoon season. The storm tracked into north-eastern parts of the Philippines on Sunday before moving north and then north-east close to the coast of Taiwan and southern Japan.

    The storm was especially destructive in the Philippines where the death toll related to the storm rose to 31. The worst hit regions were in Bicol, the eastern Visayas and the northern region of Luzon. Hundreds of thousands of people were also displaced by the heavy rainfall in eastern areas due to the risk of landslides.

    Hundreds of millimetres of rain fell in some of the worst hit areas in just 24 hours. At Daet, in Camarines Norte 252mm of rain fell in just 12 hours. As the storm moved towards the main Philippine island of Luzon it was packing maximum sustained winds of 72kph and gusts of up to 100kph.

    The storm weakened as it hit the mainland, but with widespread flooding there was damage to agricultural products worth in the region of 117.8million pesos ( £1.7million).

    This figure is expected to rise in the coming days. However, large scale farm damage was avoided as 80% of farmlands in rice-producing areas had been harvested before Aere arrived. In other areas of Luzon the rainfall was welcomed by farmers where it brought much needed moisture at end the long dry season.

    After affecting the Philippines, Aere strengthened again with winds peaking at 150kph as it moved north towards Taiwan prompting Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau to issue a sea warning and cautioned residents on the eastern and southern parts of the island. However, Aere then moved east offshore, sparing the island from the heavy rain and strong winds.

    Aere then continued to move north-east close to the south of Japan bringing heavy rains here too. Totals of over 50mm fell in 24 hours, although there was not the damage that affected the Philippines earlier in the storms life.

    Aere was the first storm of the season which typically lasts from May to November, bringing an average of 27 storms to the north-west Pacific every year. The likelihood is that although it was the first, it won't be the worst.

    By: Stephen Ellison