It is now looking like Kaemi will pass through Southern Taiwan, so we’ll probably get nothing more than some rain in Taipei.
Next up is Kaemi, currently predicted to hit sometime Tuesday morning. This one is stronger than Bilis was, but still a bit of uncertainty where it will hit. Current forecasts have it going across central Taiwan.
Typhoon Bilis (ç¢§åˆ©æ–¯) turned out to be as exciting as a wet firecracker.
It’s Typhoon Season! Earlier this week Typhoon Ewiniar passed just east of Taiwan which only brought an afternoon of heavy rainy here in Taipei. Today we are awaiting the arrival of Typhoon Bilis (ç¢§åˆ©æ–¯). This one looks like it’ll cross straight over Taiwan. While these things are never certain, it’s close enough now that it looks like we’ll get a pretty direct hit in Taipei.
It’s already been raining with some moderately high winds today. For the first time I had my umbrella pop inside out due to the wind. Not that the wind is that strong yet, but it was a combination of holding the umbrella the wrong way when the wind suddenly shifted, and also the fact that it’s a cheap ass umbrella. Someone needs to figure out how to make a typhoon-capable umbrella. Regular umbrellas are too damn aerodynamic. Rain jackets aren’t suitable because they get very stuffy in the hot and humid weather.
We are probably going to close the restaurant early tonight and open late tomorrow, but since these things are constantly changing, we’re not sure of the exact times yet. My best guess right now is that the storm will gain strength here tonight at 8pm and keep up until mid-morning or as late as noon tomorrow.
Our buy one get one free sale is scheduled for Saturday and while the Typhoon will be gone by then, it’ll likely be a fairly rainy day. The big problem is that we had planned to have flyers distributed in the neighborhood today. Because of the typhoon the flyer distribution company told us yesterday that they weren’t sure they could do it. Eventually they realized that the typhoon was moving in slower than expected, so they picked them up for distribution today anyways. It’s kind of nerve-whracking to have the plans thrown up in the air though.
Still a couple of days out, but this one is expected to be upgraded to a Typhoon and head for Taiwan.
A day after suffering from Super Typhoon Talim of similar size as Katrina, Taiwan has pledged US$2 million in disaster relief funds to the US according to a CNN report. While the impact of Talim was much less than Katrina, it was still a very serious storm, so it’s an interesting reversal of roles.
It is quiet now with just an occasional drizzle. The wind is all gone now.
Emily was getting bored at Maggie’s shop so I went to pick her up to take her to the toy store. On the way there on Zhongyuan Street I saw one shop whose metal awning had fallen off, and across from it was a coffee shop where the air conditioning unit had fallen off and damaged their awning. On the way back from the toy store I saw a lighted shop sign that was dangling like it was only supported by a thread.
Maggie’s shop had one of their water lines broken so they had to get emergency repairs done to open the shop today.
Couple things I forgot to mention.
The streets were very quiet. Very few people out. Schools and businesses are officially closed today, but there were still convenience stores and some restaurants open. Looks like most people are staying home today. My wife’s shop is open, but they opened late.
On the buses they now have LCD TVs that show a digital broadcast channel called Bee TV. It usually plays short animations, advertisements, and English lessons. Today on the way back home there was a public service announcement from the Central Weather Bureau telling people what to do and not do during a typhoon. Two things not to do: climb in landslide areas and go swimming in the ocean. I guess there’s some people out there that need to be told such things, but I would have thought it would be obvious.
There’s still some wind and occasional rain, but it’s pretty much over here now. Went out for lunch and here’s some of the damage I’ve seen:
My neighborhood: Some debris, branches and leaves on the streets. Some scooters knocked over. Traffic signal at Jilin and Minquan intersection broken; the green light is dangling off the end of the signal. Two buildings on Minquan Road both with one window each blown out on one of the upper floors.
Elsewhere: Tree snapped in half on Songjiang road across from Gala Hotel. Another tree nearby leaning at an almost 45 degree angle. A Jih Sun Bank sign on the left side is twisted and torn apart. More scooters knocked over.
Still, a lot better than what scyllacat went through.
Talim managed to make it to Super Typhoon size before hitting last night, so it came in bigger and sooner than expected. (I’m not sure how that compares to the hurricane scale.) Here in Taipei we were getting strong gusts of wind of strength similar to what we expect when the eye is passing near yesterday evening when the typhoon’s eye was still well offshore.
Fortunately for us in Taipei, the typhoon eye took a left turn to the south before coming ashore, so instead of going across just south of Taipei, it went across the island through central Taiwan, quite a ways south of us. Even so, we got quite a lot of wind up here. I haven’t been out yet since it is still windy, but from the windows I’ve seen: a) one of out screens got knocked off b) the sign for the car wash across the lane was knocked down and c) the metal chimney of a restaurant out on the main street had it’s top 2 meters knocked off which is now dangling.
On the news, other parts of Taipei are reporting some significant damage from downed trees, signs falling off buildings, windows blown out, and some heavily damaged buildings. In central Taiwan there’s a lot of flooding and roads washed out. So far the news is only reporting 1 death.