Na noite de 16 de Agosto do ano de 1971 eu e minha esposa encontrando-nos de folga, tencionámos ir a Hong Kong, para tal embarcámos no Ferry Boat Fat Shan que saiu de Macau pelas 04.00 horas, da ponte 20 do porto interior.
Navio Fat Shan
Eram cerca das 08.00 horas quando o ferry atracou em Hong Kong, estava um dia bonito e com sol.
Apanhamos um táxi e nos dirigimos para a zona de Van Chai, onte tencionamos ir fazer a reserva de um quarto no Hotel Harbourview, porém ao entramos no átrio do mesmo, verificamos que havia uma enorme tabuleta informando estar içado o sinal de tufão número 1.
Como eu e minha esposa não tinhamos solicitados nos nossos serviços autorização para nos deslocarmos a Hong Kong, apanhamos de novo um táxi que nos levou até ao antigo terminal onde embarcamos no Ferry Boat Macau.
Desembarcamos na Ponte Cais do Porto Exterior e dali seguimos para casa, volvida cerca de uma hora o sinal 3 de tempestades tropicais foi içado, e eu, como mandavam os regulamentos tive que me apresentar no comando da PMF, onde fiquei de piquete.
Não tive que intervir em acção alguma, mas meus colegas sim, já o sinal tinha sido içado e feitos bastantes estragos com árvores derrubadas, muros caídos e taipais e bambuns das obras espalhados pelas vias.
Nesse mesmo dia vim a saber que o Ferry Boat Fat Shan tinha afundado, tendo pericido 73 dos seus tripulantes. O Ferry Boat Macau igualmente não ficou bem tratado devido a ter sofrido vários embates de várias embarcações, mas felizmente não houve mortes.
Ao saber de toda aquela tragédia pensei, vejam só a sorte que tive em ter regressado a Macau e dei graças a Deus pelo facto.
Tragically, "Rose" was the worst typhoon for fatalities and heavy damage to property in Hong Kong since Typhoon "Wanda" in 1962. In general, heavier damage was reported in the western than in the eastern side of the Colony. Over 30 ocean-going vessels went aground or suffered collision. About 300 small craft, including 100 pleasure craft, were sunk or damaged.
Three of the 14 hydrofoils on the Hong Kong - Macau run were severely damaged and a total of 6 Hong Kong & Yaumati ferries went aground while taking shelter in Kowloon Bay. In addition, the "Fat Shan", a Hong Kong - Macau Ferry, capsized and the 'Lee Hong', a laid-up ferry vessel, was sunk. The death toll from Typhoon "Rose" stood at 110 confirmed deaths. Most of the deaths occurred on board the capsized "Fat Shan". Of the 92 people on board, there were only four survivors, 73 confirmed deaths and the others were still missing and presumed dead. 286 persons were injured of whom 90 had to be hospitalized.
A total of 5,644 people from 1,032 families was made homeless and 653 huts were destroyed. About 24 buildings were damaged in 12 locations, of which 6 were beyond repair or collapsed. Cables affecting some 30,000 telephones were out of order. There were numerous landslides resulting in 110 cases of road blockage of which 30 were serious. Flooding occurred in 35 locations in low-lying and coastal areas. Fallen scaffoldings and signboards, uprooted trees and broken boughs were common scenes all around the city.
Fonte - Hong Kong Observatory
(O estado como ficou o navio USS REGULUS da Marinha norte americana)
Amidst the fury of Typhoon "Rose" a fire broke out shortly after 9.00 p.m. on August 16 in a large power sub-station in Kwun Tong, Kowloon and the flames were fanned by the high winds to such an intensity that firefighters were unable to control it at times. Although the fire was put out at about 10.30 p.m. it triggered a general power failure, resulting in a blackout in Kowloon and the New Territories. Thousands of people were trapped in elevators during the power cut. There were 43 fire alarms altogether.
Hundreds of pigs and over 40,000 chickens as well as other poultry were killed, about 1,356 hectares of vegetable and garden crops damaged and some 20,000 fruit trees blown down. Considerable loss of pond fish due to overflow was also reported.