[Daily article] December 26: Tropical Storm Vamei

Tropical Storm Vamei was a Pacific tropical cyclone, the last storm of
the 2001 Pacific typhoon season. On December 26 the storm developed into
a tropical depression about 230 km (145 mi) east of Singapore in the
South China Sea at 1.4° N, 156 km (97 mi) north of the equator. This
was the first recorded occurrence of a tropical cyclone developing near
the equator, which had previously been considered impossible because of
a lack of Coriolis effect there. It strengthened quickly and made
landfall the next day approximately 60 km (35 mi) northeast of
Singapore, along extreme southeastern Peninsular Malaysia. The storm
rapidly dissipated over Sumatra a day later, and the remnants eventually
re-organized in the North Indian Ocean. Though officially designated as
a tropical storm, the intensity of Vamei is disputed; some agencies
classify it as a typhoon, based on sustained winds of 140 km/h
(85 mph) and the appearance of an eye. The storm brought flooding and
landslides to eastern Peninsular Malaysia, causing US$3.6 million in
damage and five deaths.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1776:

American Revolutionary War: In the predawn hours, George
Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River to launch a surprise
attack against the Hessian forces at the Battle of Trenton.

1871:

Thespis, the first comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, made
its debut at the Gaiety Theatre, London, UK.

1900:

A relief crew arrived at the lighthouse on the Flannan Isles of
Scotland and discovered that the previous crew had disappeared without a
trace.

1996:

The Federation of Korean Trade Unions called upon its 1.2
million members to walk off the job, beginning the largest organized
strike in South Korea’s history.

2006:

The Hengchun earthquake struck off the southwest coast of
Taiwan, on the anniversaries of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that
devastated coastal communities across Southeast and South Asia, and of
the 2003 Bam earthquake that destroyed areas of southeastern Iran.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

Boxing Day:
The day after Christmas; the 26th of December.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  There is survival and survival, the historian learns to his grief.
The very worst impulses of humankind can survive generations, centuries,
even millennia. And the best of our individual efforts can die with us
at the end of a single lifetime.  
–Elizabeth Kostova

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