Hanoi: After Kai-takPosted: August 19, 2012 | |
My new job means I have a little flexibility as to where I work. I was actually supposed to be off this week but there was a “final final” version of a document to look over so I went into work at nine for a last read.
But, these things being the way they are, various other people wanted to see if before I could. When I left at 10 it had just started to rain. By 3.30pm when the report finally reached me, I was speed reading for a 5pm deadline . So when I heard huge thunder claps at 4.18pm I didn’t have the chance to stick my head out of the door as Kai-tak arrived.
Later, as the report went back I started checking through Twitter and Facebook. Best of all was @PamMcElwee whose climate change conference had to finish early due to the extreme weather. Elsewhere here in Tayville, Tay Ho @ptmitchell and @doortomykitchen were already tweeting pics of Westlake in various stages of storminess.
In the centre @Dabeat25 tweeted this rather atmospheric pic from the Old Quarter.
Then at 5.13pm – with the storm already starting to slow, @LeFlic17 tweeted this from an overflown Hoan Kiem lake – that famous old turtle could just about swim away.
It blew itself out fairly quickly although the rain keeps, intermittently coming. Across Hanoi there are uprooted trees and talk of fatalities (Tuoi Tre confirms it as 10). The pictures at the top of this piece are from the day after when I whizzed around the lake from To Ngoc Van on my bike. One Facebook friend called it the worst she had seen in half a dozen years. Certainly Hanoi trees do seem to topple remarkably easily due to their shallow roots but I’ve never seen so many fall.
Finally Wiki, as this is written, has the following to say about Kai-tak’s impact on Vietnam:
….in Vietnam, Typhoon Kai-Tak has stormed across the country’s north bringing high winds and floods to several areas including the capital Hanoi. Among the victims was a taxi driver who was killed when a tree fell on his car in Hanoi, while two others died from electric shock after a cable fell in northern Son La city. Another victim died in a landslide. Earlier more than 11,000 boats, including several hundred used by tourists at Halong Bay, were ordered to stay close to the shore. The Vietnamese army put 20,000 soldiers backed by helicopters, rescue boats and canoes on standby to handle any incidents.
We’ve become used to weather warnings in Hanoi that start off as typhoons and are down graded to fairly mild tropical storms before coming close to Hanoi. It’s usually those in central Vietnam that get the worst of the weather. But this will get worse.
*Yfrog the pic host of the Old Quarter pic has an embed feature which means I guess it is okay to do so here (rather than just link back) – however if anyone has any problems with me using the pic then let me know.