Friday, August 16, 2013

Utor Devastation WideSpread - China and the Philippines Hardest Hit

Typhoon UTOR, one of the worst tropical storms to hit the Philippines and mainland China turned out to be a very devastating storm. There has been a confirmed death toll from Utor to be at least eight people in the Philippines, before the storm continued across the North China Sea and ravaged China.
China experienced a more serious situation, although a smaller part of the country compared to the Philippines was actually affected. The main island in the Philippines called Luzon was pretty much under water so far, the total death toll from this storm is not really known, but at this moment almost a dozen people have been killed.
Unfortunately for thousands of other who managed to keep their lives, they instead lost their homes and their land. It is now a very difficult time for the many displaced Philippine citizens.
You may be wondering why the death toll is kind of light, considering the size and strength of Utor. Storms are nothing new to the people in the Philippines, as they endure an average of 20 serious storms each year. It has become a way of life during the months of July, August and September.
Because of the frequent storms each year, the people have been able to adapt and learn how to evacuate when the time comes. Unfortunately for many people in the United States who do not seem to have much sense when it is certain that the time has come for you to leave and remove yourself from the path of the storm, instead people in the U.S. try to wait out the storm, and then try to leave when it is too late. It is easy for me to say that if a storm of the magnitude of Utor visited the United States, there would be more fatalities, just because people seem to be more ignorant as to what actually they should do when faced with a storm such as Typhoon Utor a category 3 or 4 storm. There is no sense to stay and think you can protect yourself from such a storm.
This in itself is one of two reasons why I write this blog. On a personal note that I wish to share with you, I write this blog and one prior to this one because of my own family did not have enough sense to stay out of the way of a hurricane.
When hurricane Katrina hit many years ago, my sister was living in New Orleans at the time, but did elect to relocate herself during the stay of the storm with me in Dallas. Her daughter elected to stay, and fortunately for her, she made it through, but it was very difficult. It goes without saying that I was happy that my sister came to visit me, as she was much safer being with me during that very bad storm.
But then, to me she did the unthinkable. I think maybe because she really didn't personally experience Katrina, but only had to return to some minor damages to fences and trees in her yard.
So what do you think my sister did when she moved away from New Orleans? She moved to another town, just as vulnerable as New Orleans.... Galveston. How could I not worry about her.
Writing another blog called, I became really interested in weather, and eventually started this blog just prior to the hurricane season this year. The second reason why I write this blog, now especially after her death from a long illness, I really care about people who must face these horrific storms each year. I would like to warn everyone and anyone who learns about this blog.
So what are some of the known fatalities of the Philippine Typhoon called Utor. Some of the people didn't leave as they were told, but instead decided to stay and protect their belongings and property.
Two of the fatalities were men who were swept away by a flash flood and two others killed as the typhoon smashed their boat as they were trying to take cover from it after taking it ashore.
As expected, there were overflowing rivers, and in one incidenta man tried to save his water buffalo from being washed down the swollen river, but he drowned instead. Another drowned trying to rescue relatives. It is unknown if the relatives ever made it. Another such known product of the storm of this nature with heavy rains are landslides, as another man was crushed under a landslide. Another woman was swept away as she was standing on the roof a a house while rescue teams and her own neighbors watched helplessly.
Others were people who may have not known of the storm approaching, as they left for the sea just days before the storm hit.
Over 83,000 people now need assistance, and thousands more lost their homes. The storm was relentless as it ripped off the roofs of houses, churches and government buildings. The food crop suffered as most were flattened and many fallen trees were reported.
But the storm wasn't even half done. It headed back over open waters of the South China Sea and reached winds of 150km per hour and glanced by Hong Kong. But it still had a major effect on the city, as the stock markets were closed, as were all schools and businesses, not to mention all of the airline flights that had to be cancelled.
There was a cargo ship just off of Hong Kong, a pretty large ship that sank before reaching the city of Yangjiang, the city that took a direct center hit from the storm in southern China.
The fatalities in China were not a high, at least from what we know now, which is very good considering the difference in population that was hit directly on by Utor. One person was confirmed dead and another five are now missing from southern China, as it rained very heavily with nearly 2 feet of rain recorded in a very short period of time. There goes without saying that flooding and landslides also contributed to the fatalities.
In Maoming, 88,000 people were evacuated but still suffered by the storm as they experienced flooding and mountain torrents as they were trying to leave.
Finally, Thursday came and the store was reduced to a weak tropical depression. Somehow, China and the Philippines endured yet another bad storm.
But it wasn't the worst. Back in 2012, there were over a thousand people who were illed by Typhoon Bopha which is considered the most deadliest storm of that year in the world.
Thank God it is over !!

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