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    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    Typhoon Damrey

    The Rice Bowl has a recent post on the eminent landfall of Typhoon Damrey in North Vietnam. Two points are worth repeating (the whole post is worth reading):
    Most families don't have more than a change of clothes, a few chickens, agricultural equipment and a matress.

    ...in rural Vietnam, you are doing pretty well if your corrugated iron roof is attached to the walls of your house with large rocks and a bit of string, and if you have running water, you are doing very well.
    and in the comments:
    I certainly hope that if the Norwegian government aids America's recovery from the hurricanes, they also extend a little bit of spare change to Vietnam. Vietnam is much less able to help rebuild itself than most western countries. And the damage in dollar terms will always be less here, but that does not factor in the human cost.
    There's always thousands of people swept away here in the rainy season, or buried under mudslides. They are poor people. It's not news worthy. It doesn't even get reported.
    The outpouring of support for America as we go through two hurricanes in such a short period of time is humbling. What has hit me most is Sri Lanka, who received so much aid from the USA after the tsunami, vocally remembering our help, and while still rebuilding, offering S25,000 in aid for our hurricane victims. In the bible there is a story about the widow's mite, teaching the moral that 10 cents from someone with nothing is worth as much or more than $100,000 from someone who has everything. Truly Sri Lanka has proven the worth of the widow's mite again.

    Secondly, Typhoon Damrey (luckily) is not nearly as strong as Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. This is very lucky for the people of Vietnam. Tropical Storm Risk (TSR).com says the storm is currently a tropical storm. Here's a picture
    It's mostly been a tropical storm, but strengthened to a category 1-2 typhoon before hitting the chinese island. That dropped it back to tropical storm strength. It strengthened a little and hit Vietnam as a cat-1 typhoon. The
    BBC reports that Typhoon Damrey has winds of 83 mph (133km/h). This is far weaker than Rita, with sustained winds of 125 mph, or Katrina, with winds of 145 mph.

    Do not take this comparison to downplay the severity of Damrey. The BBC reports that
    With winds of 83mph (133 km/h) and a storm surge that was feared to be as high as 18 feet (5.5 metres), a lot of the preparation work was in vain as Damrey lashed the coast, breaching dykes in some areas. Electricity supplies were cut and trees felled while some homes lost roofs, though early reports had no news of any casualties.

    Now over land Damrey is weakening rapidly, but is still forecast to bring torrential rain to north and east Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
    Dakini at The Rice Bowl was correct in reminding us about flooding and mudslides. We must all pray for the displaced people of north Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand.

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