Global environmental challenges
This time it’s on worldwide TV.
Typhoon Hunter, a 46-minute documentary led by Local Tiger International Co. and funded in part by the Taiwan government, tracks an effort to send weather sensing aircraft into the eye of the typhoon. Taiwan worked with Japan and the United States, both of whose territories were hit by the same storm, to fly the dangerous mission for recording changes at the centre of the typhoon.
“This reveals for the first time the scientific secrets to the incubation, formation and fierce destructive power of typhoons,” government information Minister Su Jun-pin said in a statement.
The storm in question was Typhoon Sinlaku, which packed wind gusts as high as 162 kph (101 mph) and dumped up to 1,400 mm (55 inches) of rain in some parts of Taiwan. (For a story from the time, click here) Three died in the collapsed tunnel, one drove off the fallen bridge and others were killed in weather-driven traffic accidents. The typhoon also hurt 23 more people and prompted thousands to evacuate.
The contestants are chunky to say the least, but to their celebrity coaches and sponsors they are things of beauty: 11 endangered leatherback sea turtles, competing to be the first to swim from their chilly feeding grounds off the Canadian Atlantic coast to their breeding grounds in the Caribbean.
The Great Turtle Race starts April 16, but the handicapping began early, with boosters for massive entrants Nightswimmer and Backspacer boasting that they were sure to win.