Thursday, 7 November 2013

Update: Super Typhoon Hai Yan

Hi everyone! Just a quick post from Palau, where Super-Typhoon Hai Yan has just passed. We were on a liveaboard dive holiday when we received the news that there was an impending typhoon, and the good folks on board strived to give us as much of our itinerary as we had booked. So we got to see most of the good stuff like Blue Corner, Blue Hole, German Channel, Jellyfish Lake, Chandelier Cave, Jake Seaplane Wreck (WWII reconnaissance plane which had ditched) and Iro Wreck (a Japanese military freighter torpedoed during WWII). It is our most expensive trip by far, but totally worth the money! We had awesome company too, and the trip was just perfect.

Still, we 'lost' one and a half diving days and seven dives, because all the boats had to return to harbour to be secured alongside. Nevertheless, the most important thing is that all of us are safe and sound! Of course, we got to experience the fringe of the typhoon as well, with the wind howling all night long outside the hotel which served as a luxury 'typhoon shelter' of sorts.

We've got lots of video and pictures from our dive trip, but the internet connection here is really terrible, and thus we'll do a more complete post in time to come, perhaps in Manila on our layover if the internet there is better.

My initial thoughts on how the typhoon was handled in Palau? I think that they handled it a lot better than SG handled the haze. There was actually pretty decent preparation and response by the government before the typhoon hit. I hope to do a more detailed comparison to further put the buffoons running our country to shame. Sheesh, I was expecting the government here to be a bunch of monkeys given how much less they are paid, but everything went smoothly, and the cleanup is well underway today, after a night of damage.

I know typhoons kill many people in the Philippines (Palau rarely sees typhoons, though one passed close by last year), but given the sheer size of their country, limited resources, huge population, extreme poverty, I'm frankly quite heartened and impressed that the death toll wasn't higher. I honestly am not too sure that we'd handle such a disaster with anywhere near the poise and stoicism of the Palauans. I'm expecting some damage when we land in Manila after Hai Yan makes landfall, but life would go on as per normal there.

Apologies for the wall-of-text and lack of pictures, but those will have to wait. I can't wait to read more about the hacktivist group Anonymous' impact on SG - my favourite blog LIFT is taking forever to load and that was before Hai Yan hit. Now surprisingly there seems to be no impact on the connection, but getting anything done online is still frustratingly slow.

I know some people have posted comments, which I have just managed to publish. We'll reply in due course, please be patient :)

Ok back to poring over my photos and videos. Ciao!

- S

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