By Kassi Berg
In what seems a miracle of mercy, Palau has been spared the full wrath of Typhoon Bopha. While it wailed and howled and sent piercing noises through the trees and outside of our windows, at the very last minute the Typhoon turned west and its path jogged south of Palau. Early reports have the Typhoon passing more than 50 miles south of Koror, the nation’s city-centre. Surprisingly despite its thunderous whistle, there was very little rain.
It is early morning here in Palau and as of yet, it has been difficult to communicate within Palau because the phone lines are down. The power is also out. Third hand reports tell us that the sea has washed into the shoreline on the east side of Babeldoab and Kayangel. Many houses on the northeastern coast of Palau’s largest island of Babeldoab have been destroyed completely, but at least two remain. No reports yet from the islands of Anguar and Peleliu. Damage assessment is ongoing.
We took a drive through downtown Koror. There were police on loudspeakers telling everyone to go back in their homes and to clear the road. The police deserve an applaud for their obvious diligence both during the Typhoon — in patrolling the neighborhoods and clearing the roads through the night — and afterwards in trying to keep the public orderly.
History will reflect that on December 3, 2012, Typhoon Bopha grazed Palau. This storm, like all others, has passed.