Thursday, September 16, 2010

Typhoon Kompasu

I think I should start this by saying that we are safe and well didn't get to see anything exciting.  I know I should be thankful for that but I was extremely excited when I heard there would be a typhoon hitting our small area.  I mean come on it was my first typhoon ever and not only that but I would get to sit inside my 6th story high rise apartment and watch it though double pained windows; mainly because we didn't have any other choice. 

Early in the day Wednesday (9.1) the sun was shinning and there was not a cloud in the sky.  When we left for work it was nice and hot and maybe even a little sticky with humidity but yet no clouds in the sky.  Ryan and I had both hoped that this meant maybe the rainy season was over.  However during the day it started to get cloudy and we just figured the typical rain storm was moving in.  By the time we left work it was starting to rain a little bit harder making us miss having a car however not bad enough to climb onto one of the over crowded buses.  Once home we went about our night enjoying some TV and thinking nothing of the weather outside as we went to sleep with a nice breeze flowing though the apartment making it even feel cold. 

Early Thursday (9.2)  morning we were woken up to the sound of our closet door slamming shut at about 12:30.  Now we have no ac in the apartment so we have to sleep with all the windows open and for the closet door to slam shut it has to be really windy and forming a wind tunnel.  Getting up to investigate is still never something I jump up and offer to do, I guess mainly because back home when you hear a really loud thump in the night it is not just the wind slamming the door shut.  So that left Ryan to get up and go close the windows, yes the door is shut so it can't slam twice but hey all my cloths are in there.

At some point later on in the night things started to get worse.  Apparently Ryan woke up at about 4:45 to the sound of things crashing around outside and the wind hallowing through the building.  I however can sleep though anything and Ryan has learned not to wake me up so he sat and enjoyed the view of the wild winds and the trees blowing around as he had a nice snack.  Finally around 5:30 I woke up to what I thought was a siren blaring; however it was not much more comforting to hear that it was just the wind. As I look out the window through the laundry room/balcony I was shocked to see that it was crazy outside; maybe even windy enough to say "Auntie Em Auntie Em".  Once awake I got up to go talk to Ryan and see if he knew what was going on. 

Man he was like a kid in a candy store he was so happy to see this wild site.  The strange thing was there was no rain, there was no hail, there was just crazy wind.  After watching out the back windows a few minutes we made our way out to check on the front windows where we saw things were just as windy.  The wind was whipping around trees, it had pretty much trashed the tennis courts, it had ripped the roof off the small buildings that cover the entrances to the parking garages, and was even blowing around the few people that ventured out in it. 

As we went back in to the main room I had noticed that Ryan have moved all the clean cloths out of the laundry room and brought everything into the main room.  He also had shut off the balcony area so all the floor to ceiling windows were closed and then shut the glass doors that lead into the laundry room.  It took me a minute to realize that it was very possible for the windows to blow out from the strong winds or for something to possible come flying through one of them.  At this point we were really confused as to what was going on, growing up in Florida he said it didn't seem like a hurricane and we are about an hour to and hour and a half in land and well growing up with a few tornadoes a year it didn't seem like a tornado either.  Leaving it to be what then? 

After giving it some thought and coming up empty handed we thought it might be time to check out what was going on in the rest of the world. Really not much we could do besides just sit and watch what was going on outside; buses were running, people were out walking, kids were on bikes headed to school; I mean people were acting like this 60mph plus wind was a typical thing. 

When we got to Korea we had both promised our parents we would register with the U.S. Embassy and along with that Ryan signed us up to get email alerts from them.  We just happened to have one that they sent out warning people that there was apparently a typhoon headed towards Seoul and the surrounding area.  Sadly that just happened to be us, and what makes this maybe even a little sadder was that we didn't even have the slightest clue that it was typhoon season, what a typhoon was, or that one was headed for us.  However with most of the news being in Korean over here I really don't know how we would of know had it not been for that email that a typhoon was even going to hit, or well for us sadly was hitting.

The email explained that the typhoon should hit sometime before 3 pm on Thursday September 2nd.  Seeing as how we were in the path and what we had just seen we figured this typhoon might be pretty cool to watch.  So we let our parents know that things could get sticky and settled in to watch the storm that was to come.  Little did we know after a few hours of waiting that what we had seen early that morning was the typhoon that was supposed to be so bad and destructive was well not so much.  I was highly disappointed it is like hearing you are getting 20 inches of snow and getting none.

 Seoul got what seemed to be the worst of it and as of earlier three people had been reported dead.  One 80 year old man was hit in the head with a tile off someones roof, one was hit by a tree and one was electrocuted.  It was reported that most of the above ground metro systems in Seoul were also shut down along with the airports.  Many people lost power, many had broken windows, and other damage.

 I am very thankful that there was not much damage in our town.  As we walked to school we saw that the crops had been blown sideways and some up rooted, the roof of buildings that cover the entry to our parking garages were beat up and missing some pieces, the green houses down the way had the plastic ripped off, some signs were down, the glass building across the way had some windows out, some fences had been torn up, some trees were down, and other small damage. 

Please do not think that I am some horrible person because I was looking forward to a typhoon.  I was just really looking forward to seeing a typhoon and one day telling my grand kids that I was chilling out on the 6th floor of a cement building in South Korea and a typhoon hit and boy was it a good one.  Sadly I doubt as I type this that it will ever even be a story worth telling.

Few pictures from the day:

Watching the trees saw in the wind

Just a few shoots of the clouds

As it started to lighten up, we thought it was the "calm before" the storm.

Poor plants

Sadly that port-a-john is still on its side


1 comment:

Chastity said...

I Kind of understand why you were excited about the typhoon. I mean..you don't see that kind of weather every day to live and say you seen it and survived is pretty cool. I LOVE your wizard of oz reference as soon as I read that description I could picture you running around like Dorthy with a huge funnel chasing you down ( even though I know you weren't outside). I am glad that you guys are okay and that's sad that some of the elderly people were injured. People are lucky, the death rate could have been much higher than 3 people. God was definitely watching over you guys.