|Cyclone Usagi on Thursday.|
Credit: Colorado State University
The past two decades, cyclone activity in the South China Sea has been relatively calm, and there are some forecasters worried that the population may "wrongly think that the typhoon risk in Hong Kong has declined." In 1906 and 1937 typhoons killed 15,000 and 11,000 people respectively, but with better warning systems, there have been less than two dozen casualties since the late 70's.
What is a super typhoon? It is equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane. Different ocean basins have different rating scales for their storms. Remember that in the Atlantic, big storms that rotate and have an eye are called "hurricanes." In the Pacific, they are called "cyclones." In most ocean basins, hurricanes are rated in "categories," with values assigned from 1-5. Here is a NOAA table of categories: