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New names adopted for tropical cyclones in 2015

     In 2015, five new names have been added to the name list for tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea. They are Barijat, Mun, Lan, Bailu and Jongdari, replacing the old names Utor, Fitow, Vicente, Haiyan and Sonamu respectively. The meanings of these five new names and the contributing countries/regions are set out in the Annex.

     The new names were endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific/World Meteorological Organization Typhoon Committee at its 47th session in Bangkok in February 2015.

     According to the practice of the Typhoon Committee, a country or region which has suffered serious human casualties and economic losses from a tropical cyclone may propose to remove its name from the name list. In August 2013, Super Typhoon Utor affected the Philippines, causing at least 11 casualties and evacuation of 830,000 people. Moreover, 22 people were killed and more than 8 million residents were impacted by flooding in Guangdong during the passage of Utor. In September 2013, Severe Typhoon Fitow made landfall in Fujian. Five people were killed, four others were missing, around 2,300 houses collapsed and over 180,000 hectares of farmland were inundated, with direct economic losses exceeding RMB4.7 billion. In November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the central Philippines. Over 6,000 people were killed, around 1,800 people were reported missing, 28,000 people were injured and the direct economic losses exceeded 10.3 billion Pesos (around HK$1.9 billion). In Hainan Island, Guangxi and Guangdong, seven people were killed, four people were reported missing, more than 9,400 houses collapsed or were damaged, and over 2.95 million hectares of farmland were destroyed, with direct economic losses exceeding RMB4.4 billion. Haiyan also caused at least 13 deaths in Vietnam.

     Furthermore, as the English pronunciation of Sonamu is similar to "tsunami" and Vicente appears in both the name lists for tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific and the eastern North Pacific, these two names have also been replaced to avoid confusion.

     The public, aviation and shipping sectors and the media are requested to take note of the updated tropical cyclone names and to take appropriate action. The updated list of tropical cyclone names and their corresponding meanings is available at the Hong Kong Observatory website at

Ends/Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:00


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