November 30, 2023 08:18
The Korea Meteorological Administration is scrabbling for new names for typhoons after certain monikers such as Megi (catfish) and Noru (roe deer) were thrown out by the World Meteorological Organization last July.
Typhoon names are rotated among a total of 140 submitted by 14 meteorological offices worldwide. But if a typhoon causes tragic devastation it is no longer recycled to spare sensibilities. Megi and Noru caused a total of 226 casualties in the Philippines last year, leading to their removal from the list.
The criteria for a typhoon name are surprisingly stringent. It must be in Korean, easily pronounceable and memorable for people from other countries. It should not cause confusion with other meteorological information, evoke specific regions or groups, or have a negative or overly strong connotations, given the potential for significant human and property damage caused by typhoons.
The KMA appealed for suggestions from the public in July and 412 suggestions came in that were then vetted with the help of the National Institute of the Korean Language. A shortlist of 10 candidates will be whittled down to six by Dec. 31.
The WMO, consisting of forecasters from 14 countries, will then conduct a final round of voting to select the top two.
"It is widely believed in the international community that typhoons tend to live up to their names," a KMA official claimed, and expressed the hope that typhoons with Korean names will pass without causing major accidents.
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