THE HORRIFIC STORM that just hit the Philippines was identical to a storm that hit Hong Kong in the middle of the night in 1937: both saw estimates of more than 10,000 people dead, both saw ships blown onto the land, both saw entire communities wiped out.
On the evening of Sept 2, 1937, Hong Kong weather experts checked the path of a hurricane in the vicinity and were happy to see that it would pass well south of the territory.
But late that evening it changed course to head directly towards the centre of Hong Kong harbor. On its way, it built up wind-speeds higher than ever recorded, at 146 knots, or 269km an hour.
After midnight, it arrived. A hurricane and a tsunami hit Hong Kong together. Thousands died around the main harbor. On Hong Kong island, the water came up to Des Veoux Road.
The buildings in Central caught fire. (pic below)
Thunderous waves crashed into buildings throwing live fish against windows eight or nine storeys in the air.
Between ten and 15,000 people were killed.
I hope people in Hong Kong will remember what their parents suffered at that time, and send help to the Philippines. Click here to see what you can do to help.
Here's an amazing picture of the situation right now in the Philippines by Erik de Castro of Reuters.
Just to put things into context: think about how much publicity hurricane Sandy received, internationally, when it hit the US.
And now compare the figures below.
Sandy: 285 dead
Haiyan: est. 10,000 dead
Great Typhoon of Hong Kong, 1937: 10,000 to 15,000 dead