Monday, August 11, 2008

Its Kammuri in Hong Kong... NOT Cubbies!!

Grrrowl!!! Grrrowl!!! Grr...

I was scheduled to travel to Hong Kong again early in August for work but nearer to the actual day, a "human" colleague of mine asked if she could fill in this trip for me (mainly because she wanted to see Hong Kong for the first time!), which of course, i agreed. Apart from my compassion towards another being (a noble bear-trait...), its also because i've been really busy with work on site and having just recovered from my rigorous and strenuous regime of travelling to, from and within the region, i embraced the offer wholeheartedly.

Well well well... it hadn't been a smooth sailing affair for the "human" after all, when just hours before the scheduled flight, a severe tropical storm affectionately named "Kammuri" was issued by the Hong Kong Observatory.

You know, i proud on the fact that if there is one place on earth ready for turbulent stormy weather any time of the year, its Hong Kong. I mean, their warning and signal systems are efficient and extensive - covering all corners of wind directions and the depth of every drop of rainfall and thunderstorms. All you need to do is turn on the TV and follow the instructions, like a freshly printed manual out of a box.

And even though i would give up anything to be in Hong Kong during the typhoon (just to experience what its like), i can't bear to think about how it feels when you have a major turbulence in the plane, as it battle against the stormy weather and super strong winds! Like... YIKES!!! I hate air turbulence! I hate air turbulence anytime, everytime!

Moving forward, on the morning of 6th August (THE day in which "human" is scheduled to fly) the HKO issued Storm Signal No.8. Now, T-Storm No. 8 is just few steps behind no. 9 and no. 10 (duh...) which is really, one of the more serious, severe cyclone warning in HK. The impact of Kammuri was felt strongly and most public transport services there were halted during the storm. The Airport Authority cancelled and delayed a total of 380 flights to and from Hong Kong that day! I don't even need to talk about Ferry Services!

Yup, it was that serious! And from the comforts of my back-straining office chair, i was glued to the computer screen with hourly weather conditions on how the storm was progressing and providing text updates to my "human" friend, while religiously pounding the phone with my fat little paws (wasn't very comfortable by the way...).

Will the storm hit or will it miss Hong Kong? Hit or miss? It was a guessing game for us all...

Below is a wonderful shot taken by China Daily, of the T-Storm in Hong Kong, with the official Five Olympic Rings canvassing the otherwise grey skies. Kiddo in pink tees must be very happy that she's on camera!

Just for your visual pleasure, this is what Typhoon Kammuri looks like from the satellite (which i have conveniently used it as my PC wallpaper at work, just to get in the mood of things!) What a vicious sight to see!

Here are more photos which i borrowed (and promised to make a reference to...) from a fellow Flickr! member, Marco Veringa. He must be very passionate in what he does, having braved through the storm just to get a few snapshots of the sea conditions at the bay. Something i don't think i can ever do, or even allowed to do in this weather!

Whoaaa! What a tide!

So prepared is Hong Kong, that people confuse danger with fun...

I don't know where this was taken from but it sure looked like the view i had from Telegraph Bay; one that can be clearly seen from my room at the Le Meridien Cyberport back in April. How can i tell? The single wind turbine perched on a hill!

Hmm... I don't quite remember the lighthouse being there though...

Clearly, all the precautions of a T-Storm 8 didn't get through this kiddo's cheerful, playful, optimistic whatchamacallit nature, as he dares the tides to a ... go on... hit me... sequence... Sheesh!
Of course, more than anything, I am definitely very concerned for the safety of my "human" friend but i didn't know how serious this was until i found out the impact it had caused on the lives of those affected, outside of Hong Kong.

All in all, the thunderstorms from Cyclone Kammuri hovering in Vietnam, China, Hong Kong and Luzon led to the loss of at least 142 lives (cumulatively) and destroyed over 300 homes while damaging over 3,500 others! GASP! I could've been the 142! Bleargh...

No negative thoughts... No negative thoughts... Shoo negative thoughts...

Enough on worrying about things that did not happen (but could've!), and on to the things and really did...

The positive side of it all was that the eye of the typhoon had decided to give Hong Kong a miss this year. And lucky for the "human", after 15 hours of being stranded, she made it to the hotel at 6:50am on Thursday, 7 August 2008 ... and ready for work at 7:30am.

I still think it was a lucky miss for me! :)



Blog Widget by LinkWithin