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Typhoon Nuri. Tame?

Filed in Digital Hunter, General, Hong Kong, Photo of the DayTags: , , , ,

The first time I was in Hong Kong, visiting with a student from The University of New South Wales in 1985, we were hit by a #10 typhoon. At the time, I believe I was staying with his family in a hillside home made of tin and concrete next to the now non-existent 荔園 amusement park. It was quite an experience, although the hurricanes in Australia can be even stronger. In my hometown in Queensland, a hurricane lifted a hurricane-proof roof off from a motel and dropped it elsewhere!

A young Bulbul feeding before the typhoon

The wind and rain as it began this morning stirred insects from their hiding places. The birds, including this young Bulbul, were joyfully catching more bugs than they could count.

Today though, here in Hong Kong, my family and I are staying indoors. No one in Hong Kong is going to work. Everyone is waiting, waiting for the biggest typhoon we've seen in a while pass smack right over the middle of Hong Kong.

Our kids are inside. We went out for their daily walk this morning before the rain became too heavy, and now they're sleeping. There's nothing else for them to do. Fortunately, there's no lightning. A couple of them really don't like lightning, especially 小白. If there's lightning at night, she'll come looking for me and sit next to our bed forlornly looking at me as I sleep. If I don't notice her, she'll paw me until I wake up and sit with her. Rachel doesn't like lightning either. Wind and rain don't seem to bother them much although Jason and Dallas both hate getting wet. If Jason is out roaming around the village and it begins to rain, you can be sure that very soon after, he'll be at the garden gate barking politely to be let in.

Typhoon Nuri won't be on top of us until around 5pm today. Until then, I'll have to keep my ears and eyes open, watching that everything around us remains stable and anchored to the ground. It will be an interesting day.

Update 4.30pm

The wind stopped. Everything is quiet. We took this opportunity to drive down to the local shopping centre. Unfortunately, only one supermarket and one coffee shop were open, and the lines were way too long at the supermarket, so we came back with just a cup of coffee and a slice of typically commercial low-grade cheesecake.

Arriving home, we were met by an amazing sight; thousands of dragon flies and hundreds of swallows feasting on them. This was the first time I've seen evidence of a natural enemy for the dragon fly. I stood near the middle of one swarm of dragon flies as the swallows flew around me. They were definitely enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to photograph what I was seeing so I don't have any photographs to show you.

There was still no wind or rain so we took the kids for a walk while we could.

Everything is very very still. I suspect that we are perhaps in the eye of the typhoon. So far though, this typhoon is nothing to write home about.

Update 9.00pm

I was right. We were in the eye of the typhoon. But I was wrong. This typhoon is very powerful, even though it's only a #9. I tied down a few of the not-so-sturdy construction items around our home today, but this wind is proving to be too strong for my reinforcements. Our second fridge on the balcony was moving away in the wind. I had to tie it to the wall. Most of a light aluminium sheet fence that keeps the kids within our garden area is warped and ripped. We'll have to replace it. As long as it doesn't fly away and damage someone's property or hurt someone, I'll accept the situation.

Also on the balcony, a wonderful stainless steel cupboard that someone kindly gave to us when they moved house a few weeks ago isn't moving anywhere, but the doors unfortunately are no match for the vacuum force created by the typhoon wind, and everything within the cupboard including my power tools is getting wet. We'll have to dry everything out tomorrow, and I'll have to develop a method of securing the doors in typhoon weather.

Nothing to write home about… yeah, right! This is one pretty nasty wind. On the other hand, it's very soothing to stand in. If not for the danger of getting hit by flying objects, I'd spend a lot more time standing out there.

This is the first time we've experienced a typhoon of this magnitude while living in our current residence, and as such, we have no idea how resilient the flat is to the elements. There's a large window and a large two-panel glass door in the living area. You can see the window swell and flatten with the wind, and as new-comers, it's quite scary. For the first hour or so after this wind hit us, I had a hard time relaxing, wondering if anything was going to break or shatter. So far however, everything is ok.

According to the government weather site, typhoon Nuri is moving away; very slowly, only 14km/hr. We'll probably have to put up with these gale-force winds for at least another hour. We won't be getting much sleep tonight.

I should mention that unlike most people in Hong Kong, we don't live in a high-rise. We live on the ground floor of a village house facing South to the ocean which is just half a kilometre from us. According to the government weather site, Nuri is now blowing us from SSW so we're really getting the full force of Nuri.

I wonder how the birds survive these winds…

Update 11.30pm

Nuri is still blowing just as hard as ever. The fence is still on the ground although disconnected in several places. I hope it stays on the ground for the rest of the night, and I can then hopefully repair it tomorrow. According to the weather site, Nuri is already on its way away from Hong Kong. I really hope the wind drops to a more modest speed within the next hour. We'll see.

Update 2am

Still blowing hard. There have been lulls now and then, but the occasional powerful buffets make up for those lulls. I'm really tired now. I need to shower and sleep. With luck, nothing more will be broken tonight and the weather will allow us to clean up tomorrow. The fence will take longer to repair but I'll examine the problem tomorrow.

Next time, we'll be better prepared ;-)