Aftermath of Typhoon Utor

The delta cities were still blanketed by thick thunderstorm clouds 2 days after Typhoon Utor hit Hong Kong. The heavy downpour flooded many small towns in Guangdong and crippled the railway network. I was on my way to meet my friends in Dongguan when I found myself stranded at the Shenzhen Railway Station. It was chaotic and my train was delayed by 1.5 hours. To make things worst, passengers who were delayed hijacked the coaches. Patience ran thin and I witnessed ugly squabbles inside the cabin.  A group of angry Chinese travelers took their frustrations on a helpless waitress, demanding her to start the train. How absurd I thought, but this is China – when big bullies abuse the weaker ones. Just when I was about to play “hero” to defend the poor waitress, the train started.

When I arrived in Dongguan, I got a shock of my life. The main road outside the railway station was flooded. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Lionnel, Joey and I were just here last week! One car was half-submerged in the murky water. The water was at least a meter deep. The tunnel was completely shut down. There were a couple of damaged cars and tow-truck by the side of the road. I saw the frustrations of the drivers. I guess their cars were completely damaged.

The return trip to Hong Kong was just as bad. Trains were delayed by up to 2 hours. It was chaotic at the train station. People were yelling and pushing around. In the end, I booked a private car to Shenzhen instead. (A normal trip takes about 90 minutes. Yesterday, it took me 4 hours!) This was just a small flood and it crippled the network. The infrastructures and local authorities aren’t prepared at all. Worst of all, the local people – some are just selfish, vicious and ungraceful. I can imagine how chaotic it can be when a big crisis hit town the next time.

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