1922 Swatow typhoon

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1922 Swatow Typhoon
Typhoon (JMA scale)
FormedJuly 27, 1922 (1922-07-27)
DissipatedAugust 3, 1922 (1922-08-04)
Highest winds10-minute sustained: 155 km/h (100 mph)
Lowest pressure≤ 932 hPa (mbar); 27.52 inHg
Areas affectedNorthern Philippines, China
Part of the 1922 Pacific typhoon season

The 1922 Swatow Typhoon was a devastating tropical cyclone that caused thousands of deaths in the Chinese city of Swatow (now Shantou, both 汕頭) in August 1922. These totals make it one of the deadliest known typhoons in history.

Meteorological history[edit]

A tropical depression located near the Caroline Islands was first spotted July 27. It moved slowly to the northwest, gradually intensifying. On July 31, it crossed northern Luzon,[1] and entered the northernmost part of the South China Sea.[2] It then intensified more and made landfall on the Chinese coast near the city of Swatow late on August 2 or early on August 3.[1] It quickly dissipated inland.

The minimum known central pressure of this typhoon is 27.53 inches of mercury (932 mb).[3] At one point, the winds were estimated to have a velocity of 100 mph.[4]


Deadliest Pacific typhoons
Rank Typhoon Season Fatalities
1 "Haiphong" 1881 300,000[5]
2 Nina 1975 229,000[5]
3 July 1780 Typhoon 1780 100,000[6]
4 "Swatow" 1922 60,000[5]
5 "China" 1912 50,000[5]
6 July 1862 Typhoon 1862 40,000[6]
7 September 1881 Typhoon 1881 20,000[6]
8 "Hong Kong" 1937 10,000[5]
9 Haiyan 2013 6,340[7]
10 Vera 1959 5,238[5]
Main article: list of notable tropical cyclones

Due to the typhoon passing through a lightly inhabited part of the Philippines, no reports of significant impact were received.[3]

In Swatow in China, the typhoon caused a storm surge of at least 12 ft above normal.[4] The rain was heavy, and left enough water to leave the land saturated for a few days.[8] Swatow was an unfortunate city, as around 5,000 people (out of a population of about 65,000) perished in the storm.[1] Some nearby villages were totally destroyed.[9] Several ships near the coast were totally wrecked.[4] Other ones were blown as far as two miles inland.[9] The area around the city had around another 50,000 casualties.[4] The total death toll was above 60,000,[10] and may have been higher than 100,000.[4]

The 50,000 to 100,000 deaths–100,000+ deaths caused by this typhoon make it one of the deadliest tropical cyclones in the western north Pacific Ocean. The other typhoons with comparable death totals include an unnamed typhoon that hit Haiphong in 1881,[11] 1975's Typhoon Nina,[12] and another unnamed typhoon that hit somewhere in China in 1912.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Willis E. Hurd (August 1922). "North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. pp. 433–35. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  2. ^ "July–August 1922". Universidad Complutense Madrid. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  3. ^ a b Rev José Coronas (August 1922). "The Swatow Typhoon of August, 1922" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. pp. 435–6. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Selga Chronology Part II: 1901-1934". Universidad Complutense Madrid. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "The Worst Natural Disasters by Death Toll" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Pedro Ribera, Ricardo Garcia-Herrera and Luis Gimeno (July 2008). "Historical Deadly Typhoons in the Philippines". Weather. Royal Meteorological Society. 63 (7): 196. doi:10.1002/wea.275.
  7. ^ "SitRep No. 46 Effects of Typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan)" (PDF). National Reduction Risk Reduction And Management Council. 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  8. ^ "The Swatow Typhoon of August, 1922" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. August 1922. p. 435. Retrieved 2007-05-02. 933
  9. ^ a b "Notes on weather in the other parts of the world" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. p. 437. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
  10. ^ a b "NOAA's Top Global Weather, Water and Climate Events of the 20th Century" (PDF). NOAA. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
  11. ^ "The Ten Worst Hurricanes Worldwide". Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  12. ^ "The World's Worst Floods". Archived from the original on 19 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-12.

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