Typhoon Haikui

Well this week’s typhoon certainly made things interesting in Shanghai. The city’s first red-level warning -highest in a 4-tier system- kicked in , ships were called back to port , and nearly 200,000 people were evacuated from the storm’s path. Just after midnight early Wednesday morning the soft pitter-patter of rain started on my awnings and it had intensified to more of a machine gun sound by sunrise. At 7:20 a.m , my alarm clock started blaring causing a bleary-eyed me to lurch up and try to gather my bearings. Yup , even with the typhoon warnings and threats my kindergarten’s teachers had to report to work. However , there were no students. Give the cute little kids the day off. (Aww she could be literally swept by the gale winds!) The teachers?! Hah! Not cute anymore, off to work with the lot!

With a little bit of preparation the whole no students thing made my day pretty awesome. Pack a few books , some DVDs , my laptop, and I’m set. I spent my entire day at work chillaxin in the office , alternating between reading , writing , watching a movie , and staring outside my window as particularly intense wind gusts caused rattling from the awnings , railings , and clothes lines on the tattered old buildings outside.

The weather reports only called for more of same for the next few days. The teachers were released thirty minutes early with cautions to get home and stay safe and don’t come back tomorrow. Can’t work anymore if we’re dead , yea?

I awoke the next day expecting lightning , hailstones , and terror raining down from the heavens. I was greeted by light cloud cover , rays of sun poking through , and a pleasant breeze that occasionally escalated into a slight gusts. No work for this? Awesome.

I was hoping perhaps it was the eye of the storm and things would pick up again but didn’t even see as much as a drop of rain. I’m the kind of person who enjoys watching a summer thunderstorm out the window, and to be honest I was kinda let down by the typhoon. I’ve been in the middle of a hurricane in Florida before and damn was that intense.

On the way home from work during the day of the typhoon I was trying to assess my neighborhood for signs of damage. We were pretty lucky, minor flooding in my street and a few branches were knocked off the trees. Above ground lines of the subway also experienced closures and delays. Other parts of Shanghai (particularly those near the coast) weren’t so lucky with road closures and property damage. The scaffolding on the new Shanghai Tower wobbled a bit but was a-okay.

I heard that things were much worse in the Philippines with Manila being described as a “water-world” by Filipino officials and close to sixty deaths. I’ve spent some time in Manila and am trying to imagine what it must be like now. My thoughts go out to all those affected by the typhoon and I thank my lucky stars my city didn’t get hit too badly.

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