Part 1: Hello. I’m Sarah. This is Morning Coffee. Recently, a play about weather-related disasters has become a phenomenon. It provides audiences with basic knowledge of causes, risks and hazards and preventions from these disasters. Now, let’s see an excerpt from this play about storms.
Hieu: Good afternoon everyone. Before starting my presentation, I’m grateful if you sit firmly on your seat because I won’t be responsible in case you are blown out of this room.
Well, I would like to introduce myself I am The Queen of the winds. Actually, my name is called so diversely in the different localities in the world that discrimination of my name is like “asking for trouble”. When I appear in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, I am “Hurricane”. The term “Typhoon” is used in Northwest Pacific while “cyclone” is in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. However, despite of what my name is Hurricane, Typhoon or Cyclone, I am very proud of that the humans call me “natural disaster” fearfully.
Dung: No, no, no… It’s wrong, Hurricane, no, Typhoon, no, Cyclone, no… I don’t know what you are exactly. I will call you Wind which originates you, ok?
Hieu: What? Who are you? Wind? Do you know that comparing Wind and Hurricane (I choose this name) is like comparing apples and oranges? Wind is simple the flow of a huge amount of air, usually from a high pressure area to a low pressure area. It may be calm, gentle, moderate, strong or gale.
Gale winds progress end up as tornadoes and hurricanes which the sustained winds reach speeds of over 74miles per hour. Hurricane winds blow in a large spiral around a relative calm center known as the “eye.” The “eye” is generally 20 to 30 miles wide, and the storm may extend outward 400 miles. Winds are also like that. They are not as strong, great and beautiful as hurricane. Do you get it?
Oh my Gods, I am an intelligent.
Dung: yes. I got it because I am a weather expert, but… Wi…n…d, Queen…back to your thinking about “natural disaster”, I mean what is exactly natural disaster? Firstly, it must be catastrophic events that are caused by nature or the natural processes of the earth. And secondly, it must occur in populated areas.
Look at this picture. When you, hurricane is in ocean and without impact on mainland, you are only a dangerous phenomenon. However, when you attack islands or land where humans inhabit, you become a natural disaster. Therefore, be not arrogant as well don’t regard yourself as the center of the universe.
Hieu: a…a…uhm…uhm. So anyway, in the end, I still become a disaster, right?
Dung: Maybe. But, …
Hieu: Stop debating, it is boring. I want to show you some pictures of my eye. They look so beautiful and attractive. (show picture and tell about their name)
Dung: Stop, Stop, stop. I appreciate these are too beautiful to describe. However, those photos are taken from the sky. Look at these pictures which are recorded on the land before and after the hurricane. (Show).
Before the hurricane comes, all of us will be informed about what the elements are most at risk during hurricanes, such as: building roofs and walls, it not properly attached, windows, if not protected, lightweight structures built with plam branches or wood, and older buildings with weak walls/structures without proper anchorage to foundations, settlements, roads and utilities located in low lying coastal areas, informal shelter and shanty settlements, harbors and associated facilities, trees, fences, signs, fishing boats and other marine equipment/industry, etc.
Therefore, we will know the way to reduce damages of the hurricane.
Especially, fishermen are at the most risk from hurricanes as they may be at sea when a hurricane arrives and not be able to get to a safe harbour if they do not receive adequate warning. They need fast and furious SOS methods to protect their life.
But,…but… but… The damages are still terrible because some major hazards associated with hurricanes.
Wait, wait! I need some water, and sit down, please. (uống nước).
Hiếu: Ok, I am excited to listen to you talk about my achievements. Calm down and talk fluently and clearly.
Dung: Ok, let continue. What I am talking about is…is… is…
Hiếu: about some major hazards associated with hurricanes.
Dung: oh, yeah. Yeah.
First of all, hurricanes bring storm surge and storm tide. The destructive power of storm surge and large battering waves can result in loss of life, buildings destroyed, beach and dune erosion and road and bridge damage along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland. In estuaries and bayous, salt water intrusion endangers public health and the environment.
Secondly, they are heavy rainfall and inland flood. Tropical cyclones often produce widespread, torrential rains in excess of 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. In fact, flooding is the major threat from tropical cyclones for people living inland. Flash flooding, defined as a rapid rise in water levels, can occur quickly due to intense rainfall. Longer term flooding on rivers and streams can persist for several days after the storm.
Rainfall amounts are not directly related to the strength of tropical cyclones but rather to the speed and size of the storm, as well as the geography of the area. Slower moving and larger storms produce more rainfall. In addition, mountainous terrain enhances rainfall from a tropical cyclone.
Hieu: Thirdly, The strong winds of a tropical cyclone can cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors. When the waves break along the coast, they can produce deadly rip currents – even at large distances from the storm.
Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore.
In 2008, despite the fact that Hurricane Bertha was more than a 1,000 miles offshore, the storm resulted in rip currents that killed three people along the New Jersey coast and required 1,500 lifeguard rescues in Ocean City, Maryland, over a 1 week period.
In 2009, all six deaths in the United States directly attributable to tropical cyclones occurred as the result of drowning from large waves or strong rip currents.
Finally, Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane; however, they can also occur near the eye wall. Usually, tornadoes produced by tropical cyclones are relatively weak and short-lived, but they still pose a significant threat.
Dung: Why do you know the answers I am about to talk?
Hieu: This report which belongs to someone I don’t know is “gone with the wind” yesterday……
Dung: It is mine. You are a thief, a vandal. You don’t deserve to name The Queen.
The humans and hurricane are the children of the nature. Why can Hurricane damage the Human life?
Hieu: ha ha ha ha. The reasons? You want to know the reasons? Ok. So, I have some question for you. Who cuts down trees and forests? Who releases CO2, NO, NO2,etc to make change climate? Who makes global warming? Who? Who? Who? If it is natural, which you explored, the energy of hurricane comes from the evaporation of water from the ocean surface that forms clouds high in the atmosphere. The combination of warm sea surface temperatures, atmospheric instability, high humidity in the troposphere and the Coriolis effect to produce a low pressure centre combine to form such tropical cyclones. The human activities destroy the environment and change the climate, I am behalf of nature to punish them, annually, more and more the hurricanes will happen if you don’t act anything, that’s all.
Dung: I am really sorry for our failures, but it is difficult for us to stop all the activities, we also need to live….
Hieu: I don’t know. Remember that “save environment, save your life”. Mothods such as communication, warning systems, evacuation, building structure, etc are not good choices.
Now, I must go now, I have a date in Philippines. Think again, and I hope that in the next meeting, you will stand for nature, stand for a good life. Goodbye.
Dung: Stop. … I want… Goodbye and I hope I will never listen and see you again in anywhere in this planet.
Yeah. We just enjoy an excerpt from a famous weather – related disaster play. Apparently, play’s message is to change our thinking about environment, weather and disasters as well as provide us ways to protect ourselves from weather disasters.
We will back to this play in the next programs. Thanks for watching. See you tomorrow.