Sunday, April 1

Storm update

typhoon shuttersAs of 10 a.m. this morning Tropical Storm Kong-Rey was about 350 miles southeast of Guam -- still heading northwest. If it stays the current course the eye of the storm should cross over Rota in the middle of the night. Rota is the island about 40 miles north of us.

It is now expected that the storm will reach typhoon strength later today -- before it hits the Marianas (the group of islands of which Guam is the largest and most southern).

People are boarding up their windows or sliding in their typhoon panels. Two weeks ago we had accordion-style typhoon shutters installed at our house. It took about 3 minutes this morning to close and and lock them. I also moved the potted plants into our all-concrete condo from the patio. The preparation is amazingly simple if you're set-up for it.

The name Kong-Rey was submitted by Cambodia to the regional committee assigned with the task of naming tropical storms. Kong-Rey is the name of a pretty girl in a Khmer legend. There is also a mountain with the same name. It is the first storm name assigned in the 2007 season.

In the midst of all of this we were also under a tsunami watch for awhile this morning following a major earthquake on the Solomons. They got hit with a wave but we didn't.

Never a dull moment out here.

UPDATE: 2:15 p.m., Monday -- Tropical Storm Kong-Rey is now officially Typhoon Kong-Rey. It appears more and more like the center of the storm will pass slightly to the northeast of Guam -- still lots of rain and wind -- but perhaps Guam will be spared the brunt of the storm. Saipan, on the other hand, is right in the path for a direct hit. But it could all change rather quickly.

UPDATE 10:30 P.M., Monday -- The center of Typhoon Kong-Rey has passed to the east and the typhoon warning is canceled. No damaging winds are expected. Saipan could still get something out of this but I think they'll be spared, too. At the very least it was a good drill.
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