"Dolphin" and "Lionrock" would replace "Yanyan" and "Tingting" as tropical cyclone names, according to a decision made in the recent 38th Session of the Typhoon Committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the World Meteorological Organization. The Committee also elected Dr. Wong Ming-chung, Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, as the Vice Chair of its Working Group on Disaster Preparedness and Prevention and Mr. Lai Sau-tak, Senior Scientific Officer, as the Vice Chair of its Typhoon Research Coordination Group.
The names of tropical cyclones in the Western North Pacific have been regulated by the Typhoon Committee since 2000. The 14 country/territory Members of the Typhoon Committee have nominated a total of 140 names, with 10 from Hong Kong.
The Observatory and the "Happy Daily" of Radio 1 of the Radio Television Hong Kong jointly organized the "Tropical Cyclone Name Nomination Contest" earlier this year and selected "Taichi" and "Kapok" as the winning names and "Dolphin", "Lionrock", "Yun-Yeung" and "Lu-Feng" as the standby names. In the 38th Session of the Typhoon Committee, the Hong Kong Observatory proposed to substitute "Taichi" and "Kapok" for "Yanyan" and "Tingting". Regretfully, as "Taichi" and "Kapok" had some negative implications in other languages, they were rejected by the Committee. The Typhoon Committee accepted "Dolphin" and "Lionrock" instead.
Dr. Wong Ming-chung pointed out, "Both "Dolphin" and "Lionrock" bear characteristics of Hong Kong. The Chinese White Dolphin is a precious creature living in our waters and the mascot of Hong Kong. Lion Rock is a famous landmark which has accompanied the growth of Hong Kong and represents the united and striving spirit of the people."
Regarding the election of colleagues by the Typhoon Committee to serve in the Working Groups, Dr. Wong Ming-chung said, "We hope we can make use of the rich experience of the Hong Kong Observatory to facilitate and motivate Typhoon Committee Members in preventing and mitigating natural disasters as well as conducting tropical cyclone research, with a view to reducing casualties and economic losses caused by natural hazards in the Asia and Pacific Region."
Dr. Wong Ming-chung, Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory (first row, sixth from left) attended the 38th Session of the Typhoon Committee at Hanoi, Vietnam.