By Kassi Berg
It is just after 7 pm in Palau. We no longer have power at our home and are connected to the world by a portable generator. We have already lost our signal to the government radio station, thumb EcoParadise, that was covering the storm locally.
The first gusts of Typhoon Bopha began around 4pm. Then it stopped. And then it started again. Almost like a persistent neighbor who knocks even when you don’t want to answer the door, Typhoon Bopha keeps coming back. And the winds are stronger each time it returns. Now the betlenut trees are swaying to and fro and the winds are howling. I can hear the sound of banging tin roofs. Curiously there is no rain. But even without rain, we can hear the voice of Bopha upon us.
Curfew is in effect and the streets are quiet, that is, except for the police car that has just patrolled our neighborhood. We took a spin around town just as the sun was setting and unlike the businesses, many of the residences still are without any protection from the storm. Some are simply resigned to the fact that they have run out of time to prepare and some just refuse to believe it will be that devastating. One local dive operation has left all of their boats in the water and simply tied them together by rope.
The last we heard the typhoon had jogged slightly south making its main destination Palau’s island of Anguar, but no matter what is the ultimate closest point of Bopha’s approach, it will cloak the entire of this small nation when it passes with its 150 mph wind speed. Typhoon Bopha is expected to last for up to 24 hours. And we anticipate that we will be fighting it the whole time as we try to keep it from invading our homes and ripping them apart.
We will continue to provide on the scene coverage; that is, until nature interrupts.
By Kassi Berg