Early in the afternoon the weather took a turn for the worst and the winds started blowing ruthlessly. At first it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary and signaled that another period of rainfall was coming in the Thai rainy season. However, as the winds picked up speed, trash and bits of trees started being thrown around, it was obvious that these winds were stronger than usual.
People started running around trying to escape the coming rain while avoiding the dust whipping by. It began to rain shortly after and the winds kept up. Potted plants were tipped, branches were torn off trees and then the electricity went out. The rain didn’t continue for very long and the whole thing took place in about an hour. In that one hour though, a lot of damage had been done: several roof tiles had been torn off the school’s roof and one hit a car, leaves and branches were strewn everywhere and a tree had fallen across the road that was blocking traffic. The electricity did not come back by the time I left the school.
I later found out that a sign had fallen down onto a roadside noodle shop that is on my way home. A woman got pinned by the large, metal sign in the building and was crushed to death. Around the city of Bangkok other signs had fallen and many trees as well. Of course, the storm resulted in bad traffic as motorists rushed home and had to avoid routes with repairs in progress.
The best course of action for the rest of the day seemed to be to go home after the wind and rain stopped. The placed I most like to be if another storm occurs is within a large, sound building. Hopefully, the roof doesn’t blow away. It is forcasted that heavy rain storms will persist for the next three days.