Freakish Night

At around 9 PM last night, Raquel and I had just finished watching something on TV and had turned the TV off for the night. All was quiet for a few seconds but then, a roaring sound started to come from outside the house. We wondered what the sound was. It was like a couple of aeroplanes were flying low and headed straight for our house. Actually, it sounded like the sound effect used in movies when it had to show a creeping wave of energy after an explosion like in the Independence Day film.

Needless to say, we were both freaked out by the sound that steadily grew louder with each passing second. It didn’t help that we watch the TV show Jericho which was about a small town needing to fend for itself after the major cities of the US were destroyed with nuclear bombs.

And then, boom! Suddenly, our house was in a middle of gale-force winds (or at least, it seemed to be). The wind was the strongest I’ve ever experienced personally in Australia thus far. Groaning sounds came from our ceiling as the wind battered our house. We heard the sound of what could be hail stones falling down on our roof but when we peeked out the window, it wasn’t raining and there was no hail. Only falling dust and debris. The lights in the house flickered briefly but the lights on the street lamps gave out.

The strong wind went on for several minutes more. It was very bizarre. My imagination ran wild in my head. Was this the end of the world? What could’ve caused such a sudden change of weather?

Soon, it was over and our house was still in one piece. Thank God.

Today, we found out that it wasn’t a localised incident but affected most of western Victoria including Geelong and Ballarat. According to The Age article Winds wreak havoc across state, “State Emergency Service volunteers have had a busy night, answering more than 600 calls for assistance as strong winds wreaked havoc across Victoria.”

In hindsight, it wasn’t really all the bad. We’ve experienced worse weather in the Philippines. It was only freaky because it came so suddenly. That and we didn’t know exactly how much strong winds our new house can endure. At least we’re lucky enough to come out of it with no problems.

Published in: on November 22, 2006 at 12:17 pm  Comments (3)  

Wild Weather

It was a little after nine last night when we heard a loud roar. Was that the wind? Hubby turned off the television and answered in the affirmative. I continued unloading the dishwasher but the roar was followed by a louder one and yet another. We ran to the backyard and saw how the wind was simultaneously flattening our small plants and yet also seem hell-bent on uprooting it. We then went into the house and glanced out from the front window to see what is happening in the outside world. Dust was blowing from all directions as small bits of debris rained down on our roof.

We felt like characters in the Three Little Pigs story, thinking all the time why there were no warnings from the weather bureau. We watched mesmerized as people walking in the street try to walk as fast as they can until the street lights went off. Our indoor lights were also flickering by this time and hubby was getting nervous, asking where we kept our candles.

About an hour later, everything seem to have calmed down and the street lights were back. Our brick house escaped the wolf this time, others weren’t as lucky.

Published in: on November 22, 2006 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Red Gold

Two office colleagues came in later than usual this morning with another transportation tale of woe. Train services were cancelled and people heading towards the city were left to use overcrowded buses and trams. Public transport users in this city had to deal with late and cancelled trains in the past with a myriad of excuses coming from Connex. Flooding, signalling problems, lack of drivers and faulty trains were only some of the explanations put forward by the company to explain their spotty service. So what’s different this time?

This time, Connex may not be entirely to blame as thieves helped themselves to overhead lines used by the rail. These lines contain copper wires and with copper prices soaring worldwide, the thieves risked getting electrocuted by high voltage live wires just to make a quick buck. The first time I heard of stealing electric cables for the copper was when typhoon Milenyo struck Manila in October. Power lines downed by the typhoon were also stolen by thieves then, even electric poles were not spared. Consumers were the ones who suffered having to go without electricity for several days as the electric company struggled to replace everything.

It seems like everything could be sold for a price these days and as long as there’s a market for it, thieves would risk life and limb to get it. However, it is not only simply copper wires that these thieves are stealing, it is also the time and productivity lost by thousands affected by their selfish act.

Published in: on November 22, 2006 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment