Tropical Storm Cecil

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Severe Tropical Storm Cecil
Tropical Storm Cecil approaching central Vietnam on May 24
Meteorological history
FormedMay 22, 1989
DissipatedMay 26, 1989
Severe tropical storm
10-minute sustained (JMA)
Highest winds110 km/h (70 mph)
Lowest pressure975 hPa (mbar); 28.79 inHg
Category 1-equivalent tropical cyclone
1-minute sustained (SSHWS/JTWC)
Highest winds140 km/h (85 mph)
Overall effects
Fatalities751 total
Damage$71.7 million (1989 USD)
Areas affectedVietnam, Laos, Thailand
IBTrACSEdit this at Wikidata

Part of the 1989 Pacific typhoon season

Severe Tropical Storm Cecil in May of 1989 caused devastating floods in central

Hoi An
, Vietnam early on May 25 and quickly weakened. The system later dissipated over Laos on May 26.

In Vietnam, heavy rains accompanied the storm, amounting to over 510 mm (20 in) in some areas, triggered catastrophic and deadly flooding. Widespread structural and agricultural losses took place in addition to the significant loss of life, with damage estimated at

Red Cross

Meteorological history

Map plotting the storm's track and intensity, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale
Map key
  Tropical depression (≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h)
  Tropical storm (39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h)
  Category 1 (74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h)
  Category 2 (96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h)
  Category 3 (111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h)
  Category 4 (130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h)
  Category 5 (≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h)
Storm type
triangle Extratropical cyclone, remnant low, tropical disturbance, or monsoon depression

On May 20, following Typhoon Brenda's passage through the South China Sea, a monsoon trough extending from the area into the Bay of Bengal received enhanced low-level southwesterly flow. An environment of weak wind shear in the wake of the typhoon allowed a new area of low pressure to form within the southwesterly flow on May 21. With convection becoming persistent and the system's overall presentation more organized by May 22, the JTWC issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert at 0300 UTC.[2] Around this time, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) classified the system as a tropical depression.[3][nb 2] Later that day, convection wrapped entirely around the center of circulation; this structural improvement, combined with nearby surface observations, prompted the JTWC to designate the system as Tropical Storm Cecil.[2]

Initially, Cecil was forecast to maintain a northward track into a weakness in a

Hoi An with winds of 130 km/h (81 mph). Once onshore, Cecil quickly weakened to a tropical depression. Turning slightly to the west-northwest, the remnants of Cecil continued inland before dissipating over eastern Laos early on May 26.[2]

Impact and aftermath

In addition to the considerable losses that took place in Vietnam, Cecil also produced heavy rains in Laos and northeastern Thailand, resulting in flooding and crop damage.[2]


Tropical Storm Cecil was regarded as the worst storm to strike Vietnam in 50 years.

Quảng Nam Province, where damage reached 300 billion ($71.7 million).[9][10] The storm destroyed at least 10,000 homes and damaged another 27,000,[6] leaving an estimated 336,000 people homeless.[8] Approximately 60 percent of the forests and forestry nurseries in the province were ruined.[11] By June 5, 151 people were confirmed dead across the country with another 600 missing.[8] Eventually, the death toll was revised to 751 as all missing persons were considered dead.[12]

In the wake of the storm, Vietnamese soldiers were deployed to rescue survivors. Local police forces were also stepped up to prevent looting.

Red Cross donated clothing, which was later distributed by the local Red Cross along with medicine and relief supplies.[8] A total of ₫52 million ($124,000) worth of funds and relief supplies, including 1,600 m (5,200 ft) of fabric, and two tons of clothing, was sent to Quang Nam province.[10]

See also


  1. ^ The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is a joint United States Navy – United States Air Force task force that issues tropical cyclone warnings for the western Pacific Ocean and other regions.[1]
  2. Regional Specialized Meteorological Center for the western Pacific Ocean.[4]


  1. ^ "Joint Typhoon Warning Center Mission Statement". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. United States Navy. 2011. Archived from the original on July 26, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Cpt. John D. Pickle (1990). "1989 Annual Tropical Cyclone Report: Typhoon Cecil (04W)" (PDF). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. United States Navy. pp. 50–51. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 6, 2020. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  3. ^
    on December 5, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  4. ^ "Annual Report on Activities of the RSMC Tokyo – Typhoon Center 2000" (PDF). Japan Meteorological Agency. February 2001. p. 3. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  5. .TXT
    . Joint Typhoon Warning Center. United States Navy. 1990. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Worst Natural Disaster". Bangkok, Thailand: New Straits Times. Reuters. June 1, 1989. p. 15F. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Tropical storm". United Press International. Bangkok, Thailand: Ellensburg Daily Record. May 29, 1989. p. 12. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d "Viet Nam Cyclone Cecil May 1989 UNDRO Situation Reports 1-3". United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs. ReliefWeb. June 16, 1989. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "Typhoon kills 140 in Vietnam". Hanoi, Vietnam: Xinhua General News. May 31, 1989.  – via LexisNexis (subscription required)
  10. ^ a b "Central official tours province affected by typhoon". British Broadcasting Corporation. June 7, 1989.  – via LexisNexis (subscription required)
  11. ^ "Typhoon and torrential rains hit Vietnam". British Broadcasting Corporation. May 31, 1989.  – via LexisNexis (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Country Disaster Response Handbook: Vietnam" (PDF). Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance. October 2012. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013.

External links