Elderly woman narrowly escapes death amid strong winds

A woman, in her 60s, narrowly escaped death last weekend when strong winds blew down a portion of her house at Pepaur village, Madang province.

Lucy Pesam, from Sumkar district, was cooking in the kitchen of her family home when strong winds blew against the corrugated roof. 

She was inside the kitchen, making fire, when suddenly the building started shaking. After what seemed like minutes, the roof over her head began falling.

Luckily, stools built inside the kitchen held it up while the timber braces provided a gap for her to run out.

Strong winds currently experienced in the island regions of Madang confirm recent warnings issued by the PNG National Weather Service (PNGNWS).

The PNGNWS reportedly stated that the current southeasterly winds would continue to be strengthened by warm energy stored in the ocean.

PNGNWS director Samuel Maiha explained that due to climate change, more energy from the sun is being stored in the ocean.

He said the only way to release that energy is through heavy rainfall and strong winds when the warm energy is converted to kinetic energy.

PNG normally experiences prevailing southeast trade winds from June to October.

Mr Maiha said however, these southeast winds are currently strengthened by the high amount of warm energy being released from the ocean and converted to strong winds.

He said the strong winds will die out when the wet season arrives in November.

(Lucy Pesam pointing to the destroyed portion of her house at Pepaur village in Sumkar, Madang.)

James G. Kila