The last couple of days have been fascinating ones in Hong Kong. The hot topic of discussion remains the events of the T10 typhoon. Yesterday morning people awoke to streets littered with fallen trees, crumpled roadsigns, and flooded walkways in low lying areas. The South China Morning Post has numerous photos today of the destruction, one even showing a yacht crumpled against a harbour wall in Deep Water Bay. At the same time Social Media is awash with photos of the carnage, Twitter and Facebook users are sharing scores of photos.
My mind can not help contrasting this with the events of Typhoon York back in 1999. Sure there was plenty of destruction, and sure there were scores of photos in the press. However, there was not the instant reproduction of images via mobile digital cameras like I am seeing these last few days. There certainly wasn’t the online sharing of these details, and the spread of so many images between so many people.
After the initial reports on York there were photos in the press, but the day after there were none. Now two days on after Vicente’s strike and the amount of available data is piling. We can access huge amounts of information very quickly, and we are no longer dictated by the press. We can search out these images, videos, and stories through our own networks and reproduce them for as long as our own interest remains.
One of the pictures above pushes this even further showing the published report of the September 1906 typhoon in Hong Kong which caused a huge amount of devastation also.
So whilst the discussion circulates about what got destroyed, how many beautiful trees were lost, or even in my opinion the unnecessary criticism of the MTR…I am reflecting on some other issues.
Where some see a typhoon, I see social change.