A Stormy Night
When night falls, the tired body and soul would want to have a peaceful respite from the grueling challenges of the day. Yet, that peace could be shattered or rather modified when huge dark ominous clouds would envelop the skies and torrential rains will be unleashed on the resting populace. It would be Aeolus unleashing the Anemoi Thuellai at the command of the gods to wreak their havoc.
The very common and the most parodied “it was a dark and stormy night” would look good in here as popularized by Sir Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton in his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. However, this isn’t creative and fictional prose where certain literary liberties are allowed. Hence, that will not be applicable in this case in spite of the seemingly fitting title.
Storms are natural phenomena caused by violent atmospheric disturbances occurring over land and water. They are capable of changing thousands of lives in minutes owing to the incredible forces they wield. They also vary in the strengths and characteristics of their atmospheric disturbances. With recent major onslaughts of storms in the different parts of the world, it has been observed that most had caused catastrophic effects. According to Dr. Anthony D. Del Genio of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, storms vary with “sorting out how aspects of each type respond to warming” is where it makes the science more interesting. They are classified as follows: tropical cyclones which include typhoons and hurricanes; extratropical cyclones which include winter storms and blizzards; monsoon-type storms, tornadoes, and thunderstorms.
With a major storm threatening the US East Coast on the first week of 2018 and Storm Dylan battering Ireland and Wales with winds of up to 80 mph, a stormy night wouldn’t be a farfetched scenario. Many would assume that its description is a romantic allusion to creative literary pieces. However, it is far from that in real life. If one thinks that it’s just about snuggling warmly near the fireplace while sipping hot chocolate, think again. The situation could be far worse than just being stuck in the living room while flipping between the news and reruns on HBO and foregoing karaoke night or some recreational activities at the local park.
A stormy night could offer different experiences for some depending on the severity of the storms and according to the National Hurricane Center, on their level of advance preparations and their action towards it. If the home is hurricane or tornado-proofed to some extent, whether by the latest commercial technologies in weatherproofing or by DIY procedures, it could at least offer a certain level of preparedness just in case disaster strikes.
However, investing in a higher level of protection like GigaCrete designed by Architect Andrew Dennis which was described as storm and bullet-proofed, or having a roundhouse built by Deltec which is worth 5% – 10% more than its average counterpart but still has to lose a single structure to hurricanes or tornadoes, would level up that preparation.
Going back to the stormy night experience, it would truly be laid-back if one is fully secured in his home and he is assured that it won’t be obliterated like that house in “Jumanji” where it was torn apart by the rampaging animals or when in, “I, Robot” a compromised demolition robot totally destroyed the house ahead of schedule in an attempt to murder Will Smith’s character. That in spite of a category 5 hurricane bearing on his location like the Kraken in “The Clash of The Titans”. Should evacuation be necessary, at least he’d still be assured that he’d still have his properties to go back to?
On the other hand, an unprepared individual in a regular house with no reinforcements of some sort at all, wouldn’t think twice about evacuating and leaving his properties to the mercy of nature’s wrath like how Azog’s Orc army almost annihilated the combined human, elf and dwarf armies in “The Battle of the Five Armies”. Hence, what he had would be a totally opposite stormy night experience. Moreover, should he choose to be obstinate and insist on riding out the storm inside his house, then the consequences could be dire.
Storms like hurricanes and tornadoes can cause insurmountable damages to lives and properties. It can damage communication and power lines resulting in compounding tragedies just like the deaths of 12 nursing home residents in Florida when their air conditioning lost power after Hurricane Irma made landfall in that area. This could mean more casualties if a storm which could cause serious damages to utilities as well as to structures would hit an area at night. One could just imagine how vulnerable people could be in pitch-black darkness when the power is out while trying to evacuate in the middle of the storm with debris flying in all directions or when they’re trying to leave their flooded homes like in Katrina a little too belatedly though. It’s true that we shouldn’t underestimate the indomitability of the human spirit but we can never underestimate nature’s fury either.
There’s no denying that storms, no matter what type they are and the time they happen, are not the quiet night storm that one would be thinking of. They’re devastating and had caused massive deaths and damages to billions worth of properties around the world. Here are some storms which have been recorded among the deadliest and the most destructive:
- The 1970 Bhola Cyclone that killed 300,000 people in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). It has been declared as the world’s all-time deadliest weather event by UN’s World Meteorological Organization.
- Super Typhoon Yolanda with a wind strength equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane devastated the Philippines in 2013 killing 6, 340 people and destroying $11.49 billion worth of properties and lost income opportunities (Remo, 2013).
- Category 3 Hurricane Katrina which wreaked havoc in New Orleans on August 2005 killing 1, 833 people and damaging $108 billion worth of properties
- Category 4 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on August 2017 leaving 82 people dead and $180 billion worth of damage.
Stormy nights can be as poetic and laidback as some would picture it to be. It could be true at times when postcard images would automatically be the first things that would pop out and when they’re not the weather disturbances which could be attributed to a vengeful nature. However, storms are real and their beauty is deadly like the femme Fatales of this world.