Philippines devastation; Sydney tunnel disaster; and the Northern Lights!
Last week, we were all humbly remembering our war heroes; this week we’re humbly looking on the devastation wrought upon the beautiful Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, where all their hotels, with the exception of one, have been destroyed.
The deadly category-5 Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines just a few days ago, causing catastrophic damage to homes, hotels, and even an entire tourist town – Bantayan Island – which was flattened by this record-breaking storm. These beautiful islands rely heavily on their tourism industry which is traditionally strong, but with many tourists still stranded, coasts devastated, thousands losing their lives, and resorts looking virtually abandoned, cancellations are rising by the hour! Although the Typhoon hit just 6 of the country’s islands (there are over 7,000 islands in total!), major popular resorts including Palawan, Boracay, Bohol and Cebu are seeing cancellation rates as high as 40% as tourists shy away from this gorgeous destination, which is such a shame considering there are so many other islands making up the Philippines that are untouched.
As relief pours in to the country to help them clear up and re-build their buildings and their lives, remember that there is so much more to enjoy in the Philippines than the 6 islands hit by the storm. Don’t cancel, just divert to another of the islands and keep the vital tourism trade alive so that they people of this beautiful country can repair the damage.
As we reflect on the Philippines devastation, we hear about the lorry carrying a container that literally opened up a huge tear in the roof of a tunnel in Sydney, Australia. Captured on CCTV, which is, of course, doing the rounds online, the accident caused extensive damage and huge traffic queues for many travelling in and around the city. It is believed the truck driver accidentally knocked the lorry’s tipping mechanism switches while reaching for his glasses… surely he should have put his glasses on before starting his journey? Quite unbelievable!
On to end on a brighter note, next month is said to provide people with the best opportunity to see the Northern Lights in over a decade! Of course, there are no guarantees, but reports of amazing sightings are already coming in with the promise of better to come! NASA scientists believe that the current solar maximum activity will reach its peak next month; so much so that they have predicted that by December, there should be a ‘solar flip’ – for those of us not in the know, that’s a ‘complete field reversal’ of the sun’s polar magnetic fields! NASA’s predictions were backed up by the Wilcox Observatory who has recorded an increase in cosmic rays, solar flares and sunspots. There is no guarantee that you’ll see the Northern Lights – any cloudy night will mask any activity – but with this year giving you the best opportunity, book your Northern Lights trip now!