DEBRIS-FILLED STAIR WELL in a "SEEMINGLY QUIET MOMENT" AFTER THE STORM
TYPHOON SANBA. September 16th, 2012.
I don't recollect seeing this much trash on the stairs during past visits to this Hotel.
This time around, the wind and rain got in everywhere, and created vortexes that carried loose debris into all corners of the building.
I'm on the way down from the roof-top restaurant, and all seems quiet here --- thus, the "seeming quiet" of my Video title.
However, although the Typhoon has now passed, lingering bands of wind and rain continue to hit the Hotel from the south.
Let's force open one door and take a look to see what's going on outside..... through the blown out accommodations of ROOM 404...
TYPHOON SANBA. September 16th, 2012.
The strongest Typhoon to approach Okinawa in 20 years or more. The violent eye of the deadly cyclone was predicted to pass directly over the abandoned (and many say "haunted") hotel on Dead Man's Ridge above Shioya Bay.
If that happened, the derelict hotel would be slammed and crushed by 170mph wind gusts (270 kph) or even stronger blasts due the funneled shape of the unprotected brow upon which it sat. .
The rain ripping through the hallways would send glass shards from the blown out windows, shooting like daggers to imbed themselves in the concrete walls, or anything else that obstructed their deadly flight.
If the swirling vortex really did pass over the glaring skull of old concrete sitting up on the ridge, this would happen twice --- once when the first wall of screaming winds hit, and then again, when the other wall of the rotating blades of cloudy death roared back with the sound and fury of a thousand freight trains.
Cool. I think I'll go there AND SPEND THE NIGHT ~ !
I left the house after midnight. My windshield wipers were near useless against the thick curtains of blinding rain, and my car shook violently in the winds. The Eye of the storm was still three hours away, and yet it's massive force of wind and torrential downpours had already cleared the roads of everyone who had an ounce of sanity left in their brains.
I followed the coast line alone. The tunnels were all mine as well.
Finally, the blackened mouth of the old mountain road to the hotel swallowed me whole, and regurgitated me at the top of the mountain, where the winds used their force to turn the vines of the Jungle into bullwhips --- a 30-minute gauntlet against the wind, rain, and lashing jungle as I made my way from the parked car to the Hotel.
I stopped for a moment to picture in my mind the huge snake I had just run over with my car only minutes before. It was the largest snake I have ever seen on Okinawa.
I had mistaken the glistening creature for a wet, fallen limb as it slithered slowly across the road amongst the other debris being ripped out of the roadsides, and hit the breaks when, at the last second, realized what it was.
I backed up, and my headlights hit a chilling sight.
Apparently, my tire had crushed the tail of this huge Akamata, and it was now convulsing in a slick, writhing ball of pain and madness.
For only a fraction of a second, the snakes eyes seemed to lock onto mine, telling me I will never get off this mountain.
That's what was in my mind as I crawled and struggled in the wind while making my way to the Hotel, my meager flashlight already seeming to lose power as I looked for more snakes like the one I had crushed.
The hotel was pitch black inside, filled with horrible moaning, a cacophony of slamming doors, and the crashing of objects I could not identify.
I made it to the Restaurant on the Roof, threw my supplies on a table, and collapsed on a chair next to a blown out window whose dagger-like glass shards --- still clinging to the frame --- flapped wildly in the increasing winds....... threatening to fly off at any moment, and impale me to the wall.
For the life of me, I couldn't understand why my wife didn't want to come along and experience this cataclysmic event of meteorological devastation. But, to be fair, she couldn't understand why I hadn't been committed to a mental institution before getting this far.
I closed my eyes and waited.
The eye of the typhoon --- and its rotating wall of death --- was less than an hour away.