Some of you may have heard of typhoon Soudelor that went over Taiwan last Friday and Saturday. It was our first real typhoon here in Taiwan and the people here say it was probably the most serious in the last 10 years. We have, however, survived without bigger trouble. It started on Friday night and many people already had “typhoon-vacation” that night as it was too dangerous to go to work. It was increasingly stormy and started to rain heavily. It was really noisy that night and Amy tried to cover her ears while sleeping. The typhoon reached its maximum somewhere in midst of the night. Fortunately Joe did not go to bed that early and so he noticed just in time that one of our balconies was flooded and water started to run into our apartment. As the drain was too small and a bit clogged, it was not able to drain the vast amounts of rain the typhoon pressed on the balcony. Joe quickly cleaned the drain, which left him completely wet within seconds, and then dried the already half flooded room. Then he went to bed, but he still had a bad feeling. So he once got up to see whether everything is OK. This time the same room was completely flooded and the water already started to make its way to the living room. As soon as Joe dried the room for the second time, the missionary has that lives in the 4th floor rang and asked Joe for help as her balcony that goes almost around the whole house was already flooded with a water height of about 1feet. So Joe got his swimming trunks and helped to draw part of the water from her balcony. It was not until 6.30am in the morning that the typhoon weakened and Joe finally went to bed. On Saturday still a lot of people had “typhoon-vacation,” throughout the day, however, wind and rain became weaker and weaker.
On the night of the typhoon some places in Taiwan got close to 50” of rain (which is about the same amount as the annual precipitation of New York City), which led to many flooded houses and balconies in Taipei. At many places in the city trees have been fallen down, branches were torn down, and some billboards and shop signs have fallen from the walls. Most of the damage, however, was cleaned up in a short time. Only in the south of Taipei, where the mountains begin, there were a few bad landslides. Overall we are thankful that we did not have too much trouble. As typhoons are announced pretty early, normally there is enough time left to prepare well. As the houses in Taiwan are built to endure earthquakes and typhoons, and if people stay at home during the typhoon, actually there is not too much danger in the city.