Weather tracker: Typhoon Noru wreaks havoc across south-east Asia

As Hurricane Ian hits the Americas, Noru has been ripping through the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand

Hurricane Ian has been in the headlines but it is not the only storm that has been causing havoc in the past week.

On Tuesday, Typhoon Noru struck south of the city of Da Nang in Vietnam, heading westwards to Thailand. Initially a tropical storm, Noru originated in the Philippine Sea on 23 September, propagating westwards while gathering moisture and strengthening.

Classified as a very strong typhoon, Noru made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday with 83mph winds. Passing through Manila, a lack of moisture degraded Noru, returning it to typhoon status. It left at least eight dead, five of whom drowned while trying to rescue villagers from rising flood waters.

Journeying through central Vietnam, Noru blew roofs off houses and caused widespread blackouts, with winds of 72mph and large thunderstorms.

The number of casualties were limited due to more than 800,000 people having evacuated before Noru made landfall. An additional 4,000 people were evacuated from north-eastern Thailand due to a risk of flash floods, stemming from a combination of heavy rainfall and saturated soils following the persistent monsoon season.

Typhoon Noru is forecast to dissipate in western Thailand, continuing its reign of heavy downpours and thunderstorms to the end.

Hurricane Ian, meanwhile, hit western Cuba as a category 3 hurricane on Tuesday, with winds of up to 125mph and caused enough damage to knock out the island’s entire power grid and disrupt water supplies. Work to restore the electricity is ongoing, and at least two people have died.

Fuelled by warmer than usual sea surface temperatures, Ian strengthened to become the second category 4 event of the 2022 hurricane season as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico on course for Florida.

With a lowest recorded pressure of 937 millibars, it is one of the most intense storms to hit the US in years. Making landfall near Fort Myers on Wednesday afternoon, it brought winds of up to 155mph, just shy of category 5 status. A boat carrying migrants sank off the southern tip of the state, with at least 20 missing.

The situation is still evolving, with the worst rainfall and flash flooding likely to lie ahead. Ian has now weakened to a tropical storm, and is heading north towards Georgia and the Carolinas.

James Parrish and Lauren Herdman (MetDesk)

The GuardianTramp

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