October 19, 2017 (Peleliu) Tropical Storm Lan, which has now intensified into Typhoon Lan as it approaches Japan, left a trail of destruction across Peleliu State this week. Strong winds and high surf hit Peleliu island over a number days, finally dissipating Thursday, although high surf conditions remain. [restrict]
The Tropical Storm coincided with extremely high monthly tides causing strong wave surges, in particular across Peleliu’s western coast. Peleliu’s southern dock, known as Camp Bec, took the brunt of Mother Nature’s powerful forces with waves, some estimated at 30 feet high, crashing across from one side of the promontory to the other, and submerging the access road and large parts of the dock and recreation area . The kitchen and BBQ area behind the Camp Bec bai was totally torn down by the waves, and the ocean has eroded away a section of the promontory behind where the kitchen once stood, with large rocks and coral now strewn across the whole Camp Bec area.
Trees fell across the island, taking down power lines and blocking roads. PPUC and power plant workers responded to constant callouts to repair lines through the day and night, and did an impressive job to keep reinstating Peleliu’s electricity. Peleliu State workers, with assistance from NGO Cleared Ground, by Wednesday had cleared trees blocking roads, as well a tree that had fallen across the playground of Peleliu Head Start, thankfully during the night when no children were present. A local dive shop was not so lucky, with a large tree falling across and smashing the bow on one of their dive boats, and the entire tarpaulin roof and its supports were ripped off the Peleliu State boat losing it to the ocean.
The storm came with little warning to Peleliu’s communities, but after the severe destruction brought by Typhoon Bopha to Peleliu, they were able to respond rapidly to limit damage. Today as you drive down the main street of Peleliu people can be seen replacing roof sheets torn off by the wind, mopping sea water out of their houses, raking fallen branches and leaves, but they are thankful the storm has passed, with overall damage less than that from typhoons Bopha and Haiyan, and life on Peleliu can now return to normal. (contributed) [/restrict]