Thursday 28 August 2008

Typhoon Nuri

Typhoon Nuri arrived on Friday 22nd August. It was a direct hit on Hong Kong, and the HK Observatory raised Signal 9 (of 10) for the first time since 2003 - it was hoisted for 11 hours, the longest time ever for a signal 9.

As with the last typhoon, Kammuri, nothing happened for a long time, but we were happily ensconced watching 24 (yes, I gave in!) and pottering around in the flat. Late in the afternoon, about 5 or 6, the winds really started to get up, as the southern hemisphere of Nuri passed over Hong Kong island. In fact, it had become a severe tropical storm by this stage. There was quite significant damage to many of the trees around the racecourse, some of which are at the bottom of our tower. It was strange to see huge trees frantically waving about as their boughs cracked off, while we were inside, with our hardcore glazing and soundproofing. The destruction felt very remote.

There was quite a lot of debris all over the roads, several scaffolding structres ripped off buildings (not as bad as it sounds, since they're all made of bamboo) and some shop signs fell off too. Being crazy gweilos, we ventured outside in the evening, just out of the door of our building, and I can testify that, yes, the wind was strong. It reminded me of standing on the deck of a cross-channel ferry, thinking that the wind could probably keep you upright if you leant too far over.

All the vegetation on the ground used to belong to the trees...

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