Environment Fix Perspective

Typhoon Haiyan Loses Power In Hanoi

Chi Le / youthjournalism.org

 

This Hanoi street on Tuesday afternoon showed no sign of Typhoon Haiyan. 




By Chi Le
Reporter
HANOI, VIETNAM There have
been floods and mild droughts in my native city of Hanoi, but never a storm
that could level countless houses or steal a hundred lives.
Typhoon Haiyan, billed as “the deadliest
storm in history,” struck us as possibly the first when we in northern Vietnam
first heard the forecast.
Hanoi was spared, but the coastal provinces
of Vietnam suffered much more terrible damage. I’ve heard news reports of a
thousand houses damaged, fishing vessels sinking off the sea of Quang Ninh, where
the world famous wonder, Ha Long Bay is located.
Many thousands of people left their houses
for shelter. Relief efforts are currently underway in places that suffer from
serious storm damage.
“The detrimental effects that Haiyan has had
upon the lives of many civilians, especially those in coastal cities, are
utterly undeniable,” said Duy Duong, a high school student who kept a close eye
on news reports of the storm. “Though officials have taken much precaution to
reduce the severity of the disaster, Haiyan still establishes itself as an
awesome force of nature.”
Chi Le / youthjournalism.org

 

Hanoi shops opened about 5 p.m. Tuesday for a normal night of business.


Duong also highlighted relief efforts to help
civilians gain back their normal pace of life.
“I believe assistance from the government as
well as cooperation and resilience of the people is crucial in the next stage
of overcoming its consequences,” he said.
While in the coastal provinces, many people
returned from shelter to shreds of their torn-down houses, in Hanoi today,
everything seems the same. Students are back to their workload. People are
carrying out their daily schedules as if there had hardly been any
interruption.
I doubt if someone would look at the weather,
the city or the people and guess a deadly storm went past us.
Escaping the storm wasn’t a certainty,
though, and Hanoi got ready to take a hit.
Chi Le / youthjournalism.org

 

A Hanoi street on Tuesday afternoon showed little evidence of a typhoon.

 




 

Authorities closed the schools Monday as the
storm approached. Jogging my memory, I could recall several storms and flooding
with water levels as high to my waist. My dad’s motorbike would break down in
the sea of water during our ride home from school.
But I had never got an official day off
despite all the heavy rains, the strong winds and immeasurable flooding around
many locations in the city. It was different this time, with announcement from
the Ministry of Education early Sunday.
It was clear enough to me how different the
situation was going to be as Typhoon Haiyan headed for Vietnam after destroying
part of the Philippines.
As we prepared ourselves for the worst, we
hoped for the best.
Hanoi’s geographical position may have saved
us from significant damage. Typhoon Haiyan seems to have lost its power
considerably going deep into land.
Chi Le / youthjournalism.org

 

Traffic flowed  as usual on the streets of Hanoi Tuesday.


An Nguyen, a high school student from Hanoi,
agreed.
“I feel that we are so lucky because the
storm did not leave us devastated,” Nguyen said. “Its influence was less
drastic than previously expected.”
Indeed, it rained cats and dogs through
Sunday’s night into early morning but around 9:30 Monday morning, the weather
was sunny. There was some slight flooding but I don’t think it could have
hampered any traffic.
The potentially most fatal consequence –
fallen trees along city roads – luckily claimed no lives.

It stopped raining Monday and as I’m writing
this a day later, sunlight penetrates my window and the sky is clear and blue. It’s
hard to believe such fine weather could be the aftermath of a destructive storm
that cost thousands of lives.