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14. My First Typhoon Experience

Metallic roofing sailing in the air, trees falling, abandoned water-claimed cars, dogs howling, winds smashing against my delicate glass window, rains stampeding on my window sill –Armageddon has begun, eyes glued to the television set monitoring its destructive path…BLACKOUT!

This is the story of my first typhoon experience, it was something new for me, and I invite you to be part of it, hopefully you will enjoy it.

Before coming to Taiwan, I had never experienced a Typhoon, so obviously when I heard about the first typhoon my reaction was: What is a Typhoon? Ok, I did experience the effects of hurricanes at my country, so I know that there is a lot of rain and wind, but typhoons... I had no idea what to expect, tough I believed it should be something like a hurricane. But… usually with hurricane I wasn’t the one to get worry about the supplies or anything. So then question became: What am I supposed to do? I heard a lot of friends buying supplies, and it made me realized I might need some too, but then the question became: What am I supposed to buy?

Tropical cyclone or Typhoon as it is called in the East is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rains. Base on these two variables: location and intensity, people refer to Tropical cyclone differently. Tropical cyclones are also referred to as typhoons, hurricanes, tropical storms, cyclonic storms, and tropical depression. Suffice it to say that, people in different parts of the world experience different weather conditions.

My first typhoon experience in Taiwan was horrific because I never imagine that winds can be so strong and fast like that. When I was told that it was a typhoon I remembered reading about it in Geography at high school and seeing it in the news but never thought that it would so terrifying and destructive as it was.I was also told by my program manager a day or two before that but I have seen what I was not expecting thus making it a real surprise.

Before coming here in Taiwan, I sometimes heard and saw on TV this sort of rougher wind.

It was frightened since I have never done this experience. But, I our dorm, Taiwanese students (dorm maters) regularly informed us through news from TV.

In Belize, we have a hurricane season that last from the first of June until the end of November. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with a low pressure center called the “eye” and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain, very similar to Typhoons except that they form in the Atlantic. The mere mention that a hurricane is approaching or might possible pass over our country, Belize strikes primal fear into the hearts of almost every Belizean. This is because over the years only a handful of hurricanes have actually impacted us and each time they leave in their path a wake of destruction and despair. As a result the issuance of a hurricane watch or warning in Belize sparks frenzied buying of food and other supplies, boarding up of windows and doors and sometimes even mass exodus from the coastal areas to higher ground in the central regions of the country. Therefore, upon arriving in Taiwan, I had expected that Typhoons were regarded with the same apprehension.

I have lived meteorological events on major disasters such as Hurricane like Mitch in 1998 on their way through Central America, which leave my country awash with billionaires damage and around 16,000 lives lost, ten years later I'm in Taiwan, and to be more specific at NCU in Jhongly City, my only four weeks of being here I have lived the experience of two typhoons, initially I can deny that I felt a little nervous to know who was coming one of these events, because I assumed as similar of my last experience in my country, and for which I was ready for it, I bought plenty of food, water and candles, but I have been surprise, it is pleasant to me, this is not a devastating event but of course that left his footprint in its wake.

My name is Mustapha Jatta a twenty-seven year old Gambian. I am currently a graduate student in the Civil Engineering Department at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan. My major is Civil Engineering Management. I so grateful for being part of this program and want to thank ICDF TAIWAN for making this possible.

Hello my name is Floyd Martin Williams but my friends call me Wei Ma Ding which is my Chinese name or 魏馬丁. I come from the beautiful country of Belize which is the only English speaking country in Central America. I am a Taiwan ICDF Scholarship recipient pursuing an International Graduate Program in Civil Engineering and Management at the prestigious National Cheng Kung University in Tainan City. My first experience of typhoon in Taiwan is similar to that of my experience of hurricanes in my own country. As a matter of fact there are several notable similarities between Belize and Taiwan.

Hi, My name is Enrique Manuel Sandres Bautista. I am form Tegucigalpa M.D.C, Honduras
I am studying my Masters Degree (ICEM International Graduate Program of Civil Engineering and Management) in the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan.