1. Cyclone ZOE
It may not be a pleasant flight for people flying to Tikopia Island, a small isolated island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, just after the strike of the tropical cyclone Zoe, which was one of the most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded in that area. Based on meteorological satellite images, the local meteorological agency estimated its intensity to be the strongest class with maximum wind exceeding 80 meters per second. These figures remind us of the worst case -- the island was totally demolished by devastating wind, and washed away by a series of huge storm surges. The press people, who were then flying to the island for studying the extent of the disaster, were afraid that they would see a number of casualties in the island. But, to their surprise, they discovered that the islanders had no casualties because of the killer storm, thanks to their appropriate decision making. That is, all the people in the island decided to evacuate into a cave in the center of the island, where they knew is the safest place in the island. This decision making saved the lives of islanders. Their decision making sounds even more miracle when we realize that this tropical cyclone has shown a so-called "rapid deepening," the unexpected intensification of the tropical cyclone in a short period of time. Unexpectedly rapid intensification often leads to severe disasters, because people are attacked by tropical cyclones before their preparedness reaches the level of tropical cyclones after intensification. Fortunatelly, the islanders could collect necessary information and they also knew where they were safe.
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3. Image Collection
Images below are observed by the Japanese geostationary meteorological satellite GMS-5, its infrared sensor (IR1), and visible sensor (VIS). The center of the image is fixed to Tikopia Is. (S12.1, E168.5), Solomon Islands. The time zone is UTC. The maximum sustained wind (knots) in parentheses shows the analysis by Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
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