A week after Typhoon Soudelor hit, and it now has its own Wikipedia page here. Current figures are that 8 people died and over 400 were injured in Taiwan as a result of the typhoon. The worst affected area was the hot spring area of Wu-Lai up in the mountains above Taipei where a major landslide has devastated the valley, washing away homes, hotels, roads, cars, trees and filling the beautiful hot springs with mud.
Throughout the country, damage to homes and businesses is immense, but at least mostly repairable. That’s what we’ve all been doing all week, fixing and mending and cleaning and mopping up. Even for people whose homes were OK, the amount of dust everywhere was incredible. Damage to trees and crops is more tragic in many ways, as it’ll take months and years to recover. Nationwide, the biggest damage is to the banana crops.
This morning was my first time to go out locally in the Sanzhi 三芝 area since the typhoon hit. Most noticeable are the downed banana trees and the unripe banana fruit lying on the ground, unable to be harvested. Interestingly many of the papaya trees have all lost their leaves but being stronger, have kept their fruits. Peanuts and other low-growing crops and fruits seem fine, and rice was harvested only last week….
And then there is the poor old bitter gourd. A few weeks ago, July 28 in fact, I posted a photo of a crop of bitter gourds I had seen growing locally. The post can be seen here. Bitter gourds usually grow from a frame, hanging down, and are often wrapped up to prevent damage. Today I noticed that the whole crop and the whole frame has been completely destroyed by the typhoon. I may not like bitter gourd – but this is so sad.
Before and after photos…
Please continue to pray for Taiwan as the country clears up after the typhoon. The army are doing much of the work in Wu-Lai, but even today there is a report of one of the soldiers being crushed to death while removing typhoon debris.
In the Taiwan Episcopal Church, we thank God that none of our churches sustained major damage and all our church members are safe. We have had many messages of support and assurances of prayer from all over the world. Thank you to you all!