Wednesday, 28 February 2007
After finishing my ten week stint of teaching 6 hours a day I was pretty exhausted and needed a holiday, so headed down to Vung Tau. Vung Tau is quite close to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh and a popular beach resort. Unfortunately, after two days a typhoon struck! The hotel I was staying in was right on the coast and took the full force of the 100 odd mile per hour winds. Virtually all the glass in the hotel was blown out and I had 2 inches of water coming under my door as the window of the corridor outside my room was smashed and letting in the torrential rain. It was before dawn when it struck and a there was a power cut too so it was pretty scary, especially when the window in my room suddenly flew open with a crack. I wrapped a blanket around me in case the window shattered and came my way, but it hung on, luckily.
I took some video with my Fuji stillcam and will try and get that uploaded too. (now it is up ((click the play symbol on the dark pic)) although not that high quality, but might give some idea of the scariness of the storm) It was just before dawn so little light available. These pics were taken after dawn so don't really show anywhere near the full force of the storm. They include some of looters being arrested and of the rooves of the local houses which were mainly damaged, even the pantile ones. Even the main doors of the hotel were blown in, and when I got downstairs the next morning there were just big, lethal-looking shards of glass sticking up from the floor where the inch-thick glass doors used to be.
I left the next morning in a taxi, which cost me twenty dollars and had to share with three others and went back to Saigon, then went on to Nha Trang, which I enjoyed.
There were 84 deaths I believe from Typhoon Durian in Vietnam and more than a thousand in the Philipines where it struck before Nam.