Super-Typhoon Mangkhut

Our learning journey 2018 to China would have been exciting enough. However, the final days brought a very specific challenge: The super-Typhoon Mangkhut was coming to the south of China and Hongkong – the final city of our journey.

In former times we would have asked weather forecasts on radio or TV – today our smartphones are equipped with professional Apps like WheatherPro, HK (Hongkong) warnings including a typhoon tracker or Wetter-Radar with detailed typhoon and hurricane tracking. Therefore, we all knew what would happen, but it was still all about nature. Moreover, such a dangerous natural event is not 100% predictable. So, it was very interesting to observe the individual reactions and strategies: Many of us changed their bookings and flew home some days earlier and some went away from Hongkong to the north.A small group of us, however, still decided to go to Hongkong – looking forward and experiencing how Hongkong deals with this event. And Hongkong did it in a very professional and routine way: Thousands of sandbags were layered, wooden boards were nailed on all bigger glass doors, taping most of the windows and specific warnings in many public places were announced.

It’s Sunday: From our hotel room we saw how the storm bent and snipped off trees in the small park vis-à-vis, rain was coming horizontally like it was pouring out of mighty tubes. Now and then we heard the siren of an ambulance car or fire truck. In the 27th floor of the hotel it felt like on a sailing boat. Only a McDonald’s had opened for some almost starving people who were fighting through the pouring rain. In the lobby and the local TV there were no signs of panic – except for the nervous messages from our relatives in Europe. Only some hours later: hundreds of teams of road sweepers started to remove trees, glass, plastics and other loose items.

The next day: Monday, an almost normal working day. Only the famous ladies’ street market was removed completely before the typhoon and needs some extra hours to reopen now.

One Hongkong citizen told us: bad luck it was Sunday, so we lost this extra holiday we usually have. Indeed: Hongkong experiences a typhoon almost every second year – but not always as strong as Mangkhut.

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