Jul 15, 2016

Here’s Proof That a Typhoon’s Biggest Peril Is Rain, Not Wind

Minqing, Fuzhou, Fujian
China
by
Laura Mallonee
,
WIRED
Residents gingerly walking over a bridge mounded with debris in Bandong Town in China’s Fujian province. Photo: STR / AFP / Getty Images
Residents gingerly walking over a bridge mounded with debris in Bandong Town in China’s Fujian province. Photo: STR / AFP / Getty Images

THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE part of a typhoon isn’t the wind. It’s the water. Even after being weakened to a tropical storm, Typhoon Nepartak dumped torrential rain on Taiwan and China. This astonishing shot of debris choking a bridge in the Fujian province city of Bandong Town shows just how devastating it was...

Jason Senkbell, a hurricane expert at the University of Alabama, calls it a case study of how the biggest threat posed by a typhoon isn’t the wind, but the rain. “It’s a great example of how much damage water alone can do,” he says