Hurricane-strong winds

It’s not everyday we experience winds so strong that it brought trees down and roof tiles flying in Melbourne. Well, that was what we got last Wednesday (February 2). “Winds of up to 100km/h whipped across Victoria as the remnants of tropical Cyclone Pancho combined with an intense cold front in the Great Australian Bight and moved east,” according to an article on The Age titled Victoria’s killer weather causes chaos. I remember hearing on the radio that it was an event that only happens in one in fifty years.

That morning began like any other cloudy day. Then, I started hearing roaring noises that I couldn’t account for. To me, it sounded like the noise generated by a construction site. I thought that maybe a building was being demolished. However, the loud sound repeated every few minutes. The building-being-demolished theory was out the window then. My officemate thought there were jets flying around Melbourne. But that would mean that they were flying in circles for a long time as the noise spanned a few hours.

We looked out the window and realised that it was the winds that was causing all the ruckus. The glass windows of neighbouring buildings were wobbling from the force of the winds. The trees down on the streets were swaying wildly. Looking at the horizon, we saw that Melbourne was being surrounding by a brown foggy cloud. Apparently, the wind picked up a lot of dust as it went causing the sky to turn brownish from afar.

I didn’t mind the strong winds at first. After all, it reminded me of the youth when I used to wish that there was a typhoon so we didn’t have to go to school or to work. So, I’ve always associated storms with happy times rather than sad and scary times. However, nearing the end of the day, I discovered that the winds was causing major damage around Victoria. There were power outages in some parts of greater Melboourne. The West Gate bridge had to be closed (that’s the bridge I needed to use to get back home if I had taken the car to work that day). Trains got cancelled.

For a moment, I thought I’d be staying the night in the office. Some offices allowed their employees to go home early that day. Because of that, Raquel was able to get an earlier train home. It was a bit late but at least it wasn’t cancelled. I had to stay at work till 5.45pm because I had some work I need to finish before going home. The train I was trying to catch was 20 minutes late but apart from that, it was all easy going.

We were lucky. All we experienced were minor inconveniences. Others weren’t so lucky. Some people still don’t have power back as of this writing. Some people lost their homes. Some, even lost their lives.

My main worry is that this kind of storm will no longer be a one-in-fifty-years-type of event. Due to climate change, I’m afraid that we’ll be experiencing this kind of freak weather more frequently. I hope I’m wrong.

Published in: on April 4, 2008 at 1:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: