25 September 2018

Up and Running

Hong Kong was hit with a super typhoon two Sundays ago (Typhoon Mangkhut).  We knew it was coming and that it was strong.  We've had typhoons with a Signal 10 rating before. We've had typhoons that rattled and shook the huge panes of our windows. The kids had experienced typhoons that closed schools.  They look forward to those!  This is the first one, though, where they actually wished that they're in school instead and not have to be so worried about how much damage the typhoon will wreak.  This is the first typhoon where I was genuinely scared.  The building where we live was swaying (I later learned that it's actually meant to sway with strong winds, on rollers or something to better protect against strong winds and earthquakes).  Facebook and WhatsApp were full of videos and pictures of the damage --windows smashed, (construction) cranes bent, roofs blown off, big trees uprooted, floods, debris all over the place. 

Typhoon 10 was hoisted for 10 hours, after which it went down to T8 for a few more hours, before being downgraded further.  The kids were off school for three days, on account of felled trees blocking the roads, etc.  We took advantage of those days to go to a nearby neighborhood and help clean-up.  

We couldn't help much with the felled trees and the big branches, but we helped where we could. There were so much styrofoam pieces, big and small, that had been blown in from the sea.  From afar, they looked like white pebbles, but it was staggering  how much styrofoam pieces there were.  The kids, together with a few of their fellow Scouts and schoolmates set about gathering all these foam pieces into trash bags.  We came prepared with gloves and tongs.  Over two days (two hours each day), the kids managed to gather close to 15 big trash bags full of foam pieces, plastic bottles, some glass shards, and just general rubbish.

What was great, though, was seeing people pitch in where they could.  When we were there, there were other people doing the same thing. There were people going around offering bottles of water, offering trash bags. Residents passing by expressed their appreciation for the help.  There was great community spirit.

It is this community spirit and Hong Kong's can-do attitude that got the city up and running in no time. Considering the intensity of the typhoon and the devastation that it wrought, the government and the people, in general, plowed on and things are chugging along as best they can. But for some big trees / branches and debris on the roadsides yet to be collected, it's business as usual now.


Pea bea said...

Sounds like a really rough time, but glad most are okay. The weather has been a askitter lately. It is nice to see how people can gather together when disaster strikes.

Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

Tamar SB said...

So sorry it was so scary, but glad Hong Kong has recovered!

Lydia C. Lee said...

Glad you were okay - and good for you doing the clean up. That sounds horrific - and alas with our careless attitude in the last century, I'm presuming we'll only have more and worse...:(

betty-NZ said...

I can't imagine being where you were but I'm glad you are OK! I do love the fact that people always come when they are needed..

elizabeth said...

I'm so thankful that you are all ok!

EricaSta said...

My skin had goose bumps reading your post! I ˋm relieved that you and your family are all unhurt.

Aditya Narayan Mohanty said...

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