Special Issue on Wind Disasters
Increasing numbers of devastating weather events such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and tornadoes in the US and Japan are suggesting that nature’s destructive power is having a growing worldwide impact.
These events follow the occurrence of such disasters as Cyclone Sidr in 2007 in Bangladesh and Cyclone Nargis in 2008 in Myanmar, especially in the alarming numbers of deaths and injuries and concomitant property loss.
The wind engineering community has taken the initiative in globally promoting wind hazard research and education over the last several decades and is continuing to devote its efforts and energy to producing and providing techniques in advanced wind hazard mitigation to developing countries prone to typhoons and cyclones.
Mitigating the effects of wind hazards on a global plane has thus become a top priority because most of the economic and other loss due globally to natural disasters is caused by extreme wind and water events. Calamitous tropical cyclones generally bring with them high waves, storm surges, heavy rain, flooding, landslides and lightning.
This ongoing process underscores the pressing need to pool expertise and cooperation in reducing such loss. The loss of lives and related financial loss and waste due to such disasters is continuing to increase significantly. It has therefore been hypothesized that global warming and climate change are potentially exacerbating such scenarios as the intensity of weather-related disasters grows.
This special issue of the Journal of Disaster Research focusing on wind-induced disasters is thus both meaningful and timely. As the Guest Editor, I am most pleased to have this opportunity to present and share the latest in knowledge, information and resources on wind damage mitigation to all those working in mitigation efforts and to society as a whole.
Finally, I extend our sincere thanks to all of the contributors and reviewers involved with these articles.