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Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Luban was the third tropical cyclone to affect the Arabian Peninsula during the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, after cyclones Sagar and Mekunu in May. Luban developed on October 6 in the central Arabian Sea, and for much of its duration, maintained a general west-northwestward trajectory. On October 10, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) upgraded Luban to a very severe cyclonic storm – equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane – and estimated maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h (85 mph). The storm made landfall on October 14 in eastern Yemen, as a cyclonic storm. The storm quickly weakened over the dry, mountainous terrain of the Arabian Peninsula, before dissipating on October 15.

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Luban
Very severe cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Luban 2018-10-10 0926Z.jpg
Cyclone Luban at peak intensity on October 10
FormedOctober 6, 2018
DissipatedOctober 15, 2018
Highest winds3-minute sustained: 140 km/h (85 mph)
1-minute sustained: 140 km/h (85 mph)
Lowest pressure978 hPa (mbar); 28.88 inHg
Fatalities14 total
Damage$1 billion (2018 USD)
Areas affectedOman, Somalia, Yemen
Part of the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Upon moving ashore, Cyclone Luban produced flooding rains in Somalia, Oman, and Yemen. The cyclone killed 14 people in Yemen, when heavy rainfall cut off villages and damaged roads. Damage in the country was estimated at US$1 billion.[nb 1] In Oman, desert rainfall caused a small locust outbreak. Luban coexisted with Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Titli in the Bay of Bengal, marking the first time since 1977 that two storms of such intensity were active at the same time in the North Indian Ocean.

Contents

Meteorological historyEdit

 
Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

On October 4, an upper-level low persisted over the southeast Arabian Sea.[1] That day, the American-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) first mentioned an area of scattered convection southwest of India as an area for potential tropical cyclogenesis, due to projections from tropical cyclone forecast models. The convective system was located in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea in an area of low wind shear.[2] The circulation slowly became more defined,[3] developing a low pressure area on October 5. On October 6, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) designated the system as Depression ARB 04. A day later, the agency upgraded the system to a deep depression, and on October 8, the IMD upgraded it further to Cyclonic Storm Luban.[1] On the same day, the JTWC initiated advisories on Luban, giving it the designation Tropical Cyclone 05A.[4]

By that time the JTWC initiated advisories, Luban had rotating rainbands around a persistent central area of thunderstorms, with good outflow to the north. The circulation became better defined over time, steered generally west-northwestward by a subtropical ridge to its north.[4] On October 9, the IMD upgraded Luban to a severe cyclonic storm,[5] as the thunderstorms continued to bloom over the circulation.[6] A day later, the IMD upgraded Luban further to a very severe cyclonic storm, with maximum sustained winds of at least 120 km/h (75 mph), equivalent to a hurricane.[7] Luban coexisted with Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Titli, marking the first time since 1977 that two storms of such intensity were active at the same time in the North Indian Ocean.[1] The JTWC also upgraded Luban to the same intensity on October 10, noting the development of an eye feature.[8] Both the IMD and the JTWC estimated that Luban attained a peak winds of 140 km/h (85 mph). They also forecasted that the storm would continue its general trajectory and strike the Arabian Peninsula.[9][10]

Caught between two ridges, Luban moved slowly toward the Arabian Peninsula. The slow movement caused upwelling, which cooled the waters, thus weakening the cyclone despite otherwise favorable conditions. The central core of convection diminished and became restricted to the eastern side of the circulation.[11][12] On October 13, thunderstorm activity increased over the center, signaling some re-intensification.[13] Luban again weakened as it approached land, affected by the cooler water and air temperatures.[14] On October 14, around 06:00 UTC, Luban made landfall in eastern Yemen, about 30 km (20 mi) south of Al Ghaydah, with winds of 75 km/h (45 mph).[15] The storm rapidly weakened over the dry and mountainous terrain,[16] degenerating into a well-marked low on October 15.[1]

Preparations, impact, and aftermathEdit

The IMD advised fishermen not to go into deep waters of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.[17] Omani officials closed schools and recommended that residents in the storm's path to avoid low-lying areas.[18] As Luban made landfall, the storm dropped heavy rainfall in southern Oman that caused flash flooding. Dalkout reported a 24 hour precipitation total of 145 mm (5.71 in) and Salalah of 138 mm (5.43 in).[19] The rains created temporary lakes between desert dunes, which produced a small locust outbreak.[20] To the south of the center, the outer rainbands of Luban dropped rains in Puntland, Somalia.[21]

Cyclone Luban struck Yemen in the midst of a civil war and a cholera outbreak.[22] The United Nations Population Fund moved 1,250 rapid response kits to coastal areas of Yemen in anticipation of Luban's landfall. Medical teams also moved to the region on standby in preparation for storm victims.[23] Luban dropped heavy rainfall upon moving ashore, reaching 290 mm (11 in) in Al Ghaydah; there, wind gusts reached 102 km/h (63 mph).[1] Luban caused about US$1 billion in damage in Yemen,[24] with the worst effects in Al Mahrah Governorate,[25] where about 90% of the infrastructure was damaged. The storm killed 14 people in the country, and 124 people were injured, with 10 people missing. About 8,000 people were left homeless because of Luban.[26] Storm damage forced 2,203 families to leave their houses, using 38 schools for shelter.[27] Flooding washed away thousands of livestock,[28] and damaged Yemen's coastal roads and bridges, which disrupted relief efforts.[27][29] Dirt roads were washed away, isolating seven villages and about 3,000 people.[30] The port of Nishtun was closed during the storm, but was reopened in the subsequent weeks.[29][27] In Al-Masilah, flooding damaged or destroyed 62 houses. The storm damaged the hospital in Qishn District, forcing all workers to evacuate, and shutting down the facility for at least a week.[27] The storm damaged about 90% of the power grid in Al Ghaydah.[29] Many areas lost access to clean water after wells were destroyed. The Yemeni Red Crescent operated search and rescue missions, with help from a helicopter sent by Saudi Arabia.[27]

In the storm's aftermath, various governments and non-governmental organizations provided emergency supplies to residents affected by Luban. The King Salman Relief Centre sent two trucks from Aden to the worst affected areas to distribute tents, blankets, and mattresses. The Oman Charitable Organization sent seven trucks with food and other supplies to eastern Yemen. The World Health Organization sent three tons of medical supplies, including kits for cholera, malaria, and general trauma.[29][27] About 10 days after the storm struck, the Emirates Red Crescent reconnected seven villages after clearing debris and restoring the dirt roads.[30] Al Mahrah Governorate allocated ‎2 billion (US$2.55 million) for repairing public facilities.[24]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ All damage totals are in (2018 United States dollars unless otherwise noted.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, ‘LUBAN’ over the Arabian Sea (06 – 15 October 2018): A Report (PDF) (Report). India Meteorological Department. December 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  2. ^ Significant Tropical Weather Outlook for the Indian Ocean (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. October 4, 2018. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Significant Tropical Weather Outlook for the Indian Ocean (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. October 5, 2018. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Tropical Cyclone 05A (Five) Warning NR 001 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. October 8, 2018. Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  5. ^ Naresh Kumar (October 10, 2018). Bulletin No: 11 (BOB 08/2018) and Bulletin No. : 21 (ARB 04/2018) (Report). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 008 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Archived from the original on October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  7. ^ S. D. Kotal (October 10, 2018). Bulletin No: 11 (BOB 08/2018) and Bulletin No. : 21 (ARB 04/2018) (Report). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 010 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Archived from the original on October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  9. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 010 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Archived from the original on October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  10. ^ D. Joardar (October 10, 2018). Bulletin NO.: 22 (BOB 08/2018) and Bulletin NO. : 32 (ARB 04/2018) (Report). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  11. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 015 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. October 12, 2018. Archived from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  12. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 017 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Archived from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  13. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 022 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. October 13, 2018. Archived from the original on October 13, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  14. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 025 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. October 13, 2018. Archived from the original on October 13, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  15. ^ Tropical Cyclone Advisory Bulletin No. 51 (Report). India Meteorological Department. October 14, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 14, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  16. ^ Tropical Cyclone 05A (Luban) Warning NR 026 (Report). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. October 14, 2018. Archived from the original on October 14, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  17. ^ Sunitha Devi (October 10, 2018). Bulletin NO.: 19 (BOB 08/2018) and Bulletin NO. : 29 (ARB 04/2018)-Modified (PDF) (Report). India Meteorological Department. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  18. ^ "Cyclone Luban: Storm closing in on Salalah, heavy rains in Dhofar". Lhaleej Times. October 14, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  19. ^ Dr. Jeff Masters (October 15, 2018). "94L Headed Towards Belize; Tara Drenching Mexico; Luban Floods Yemen". Weatherunderground.com. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  20. ^ Desert Locust Bulletin 483 (December 2018) (PDF). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Report). January 9, 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  21. ^ Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 17 October 2018. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Report). October 17, 2018. ReliefWeb. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  22. ^ Global Emergency Overview Weekly Picks, 16 October 2018. Assessment Capacities Project (Report). October 16, 2018. ReliefWeb. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  23. ^ UNFPA rushes emergency supplies for cyclone-affected South-east Yemen. United Nations Population Fund (Report). October 15, 2018. ReliefWeb. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "Govt. Report: Luban Storm cost US$ one billion". Debriefer. November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  25. ^ Yemen UNHCR Update, 13 - 26 October 2018 (PDF) (Report). High Commissioner for Refugees. October 26, 2018. ReliefWeb. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  26. ^ "Yemen says 14 killed in Cyclone Luban". Associated Press. October 28, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  27. ^ a b c d e f Yemen: Cyclone Luban Flash Update #3 (21 October 2018) (PDF). United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Report). October 21, 2018. ReliefWeb. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  28. ^ Ahmed Al-Haj (October 17, 2018). "Update: Cyclone Luban Hits Yemen, Injuring Dozens, Destroying Property". Insurance Journal. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c d Yemen: Cyclone Luban Flash Update #1 (15 October 2018). United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Report). October 15, 2018. ReliefWeb. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  30. ^ a b Hassan Bashir (October 27, 2018). "ERC ends isolation of cyclone-hit Mukalla villages". Emirates News Agency. ReliefWeb. Retrieved November 1, 2018.