Sunday, November 10, 2013

Destination Twitter #typhoon


Morning mass today at Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon

As I write from my desk in Saigon, the sun is shining, big lofty clouds are floating by and a soft breeze rustles outside my window. A far cry from the typhoon that is lashing out and gaining strength in the central and northern regions of Vietnam. We have known it was coming for two days, watching and listening as mother nature tore into regions of the Philippines leaving harrowing scenes behind. I try following the few English TV news channels in Vietnam, I try following the news reports on the Internet media sites but I find, in the face of the emergency, if I need information quickly, Twitter is my 'go to' site. 


I have never experienced a disaster of the magnitude that has just struck the Philippines first hand but I have been on the other end of a disaster trying to reach family. I was once tucked away in a leafy suburb of Surrey, England about to turn out the lights for the evening when I received the following text message.



February 22 2011
12:18 AM
I want to come home. 
Massive earthquake, 
scariest moment of my life, 
but I am fine.

My daughter was in the midst of the earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand with devastating consequences in 2011.  It was a moment when my expat world came crumbling down. I wrote a blog post on the text message here. That was the moment in time when I knew that Twitter was going to be my salvation. I tuned into every reference I could find that involved the earthquake and stayed in touch. She was without power for some time so I fed her 'tweet bites' the best I could. I can tell you in all honesty it is 'a place' I never want to visit again.

I was lucky, my daughter was fine. I know their are mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who will suffer as a result of Typhoon Haiyan and my prayers go out to them. It is an unimaginable tragedy.


If you have a Twitter account and would like to follow my Vietnam List, you can find it here.

10 comments:

  1. OMG, Jeanne. have been watching the typhoon (living in hurricane territory, we do that) and it never crossed my mind that it is headed your way. Batten down, get in plenty of water and supplies, and don't try to get out too soon. Maison Mango looks sturdy, but flying debris is your biggest enemy - like trees and other people's roofs. Will be thinking of you and your neighbors and hoping it drops in intensity before it reaches you. much love and hope.

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    1. Thank you Webb...fortunately, we were not in it's path. I wish I could say the same for the Philippines, just so sad..

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  2. These natural Disasters are truly heartbreaking and unforgettable. The Earthquake that your daughter must be an unforgettable experience for her. Thank God she was safe. Thank you for this feature and for your prayers for the Philippines.

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    1. Pamela...always in our thoughts and prayers.. xx

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  3. Jeanne, I am so relieved to hear that you are safe. I thought of you immediately when I saw the typhoon was going toward VietNam, not knowing what part of the country you live in. These are times I feel the connection with every being on this planet, wanting to reach out to help in anyway....prayer has to suffice for now. Be safe!

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    1. Thank you Melissa...I fully appreicate what you mean when you say your feel connected around the planet. Blogging has a way of doing that. xx

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  4. We are thinking of you and everyone in or near the path of this mega-cyclone. We will be watching your tweets for more news as the coverage here as yet is sparse. With every hardy wish, Leslie in Portland, Oregon

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    1. Thank you Leslie, we have been watching and it seems to have lost strength en route to Vietnam. Now we wait, hoping the northern regions of Vietnam do not meet the same fate as the Philippines. xx

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