It's the month of natural disasters. Closer to Singapore is the greatest typhoon affecting Hainan, China, in over 30 years. Hainan, where I visited end of 2004, is also where my ancestors came from. Pictures of the Hainan typhoon disaster from the internet.
Apparently there is a lot of damage in Qionghai City, one of the major hometowns of the Hainanese Diaspora. Qionghai, my maternal ancestral county, is the county north of Wanning, which is right on the direct path of the typhoon. In fact, Qionghai was destroyed in a great typhoon disaster in the 1970s and was totally rebuilt.
Dad rang a relative in Wenchang County, my paternal ancestral county, and was told that many of the coconut trees and rubber trees in my ancestral village were totally uprooted. A relative at the prawn farms nearer to the coast had to crawl his way through the destroyed coconut plantations in order to reach home.
Some rooftop tiles of our ancient ancestral house which I visited in December 2004 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/twc-nomad/message/268) suffered damage but the house is generally ok. The more modern building in our family compound built a few years ago was intact, but I hope our old house would be repaired in the same ancient ethnic style (see my Dec 04 report on the local architecture). Some buildings in the village were severly damaged. Although not many people were killed due to the swift evacuation of local population, the overall economic damage on the densely populated eastern Hainan counties is devastating.