by Patricia Siswandjo on

Super Typhoon Trami, is one of the strongest typhoons to hit Japan this year, and has killed two and injured 120 more. The monster storm landed in Okinawa on Sept 30.

Thanks to two kind Singaporeans, a potential additional casualty was avoided.

Singaporean actress Rosalind Pho, of popular show Tanglin, was in Okinawa with her friend, blogger Jemma Wei, when Typhoon Trami made landfall.

Holed up and safe in their hotel but left without any food, Pho and Wei decided to brave the storm as it had appeared to calm down, and head to a nearby convenience store.

However, a mere 50 metres into the journey, they quickly realised how wrong they were.

 

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Super Typhoon Trami hit Okinawa today. It was crazy in the morning but by the afternoon it looked like it had settled a little bit so we went down in search of food. We filmed the first part thinking it wasn’t that bad but after walking for about 50 metres, we grabbed onto some railings for dear life and thought of turning back. A grandma was hugging a pole with both her arms and said to me in Japanese that the winds were so strong she didn’t know if she could make it home. I asked where it was and then @jemmawei and I just grabbed her hands and ran her all the way home. She was almost hysterical but as we turned a corner to her apartment where the winds calmed a little, she actually tried to give us money for a cab back (we said no). Jemma thinks it wasn’t coincidence that we went down at that time coz we contemplated for at least 4 hours before leaving the hotel. Even at the lobby we walked in and out like 3 times, hesitating. There were Okinawan philosophies that touched me today. Icharibacho-de: we met our kin on the streets today. Yuima-ru: we helped her get home but she helped us have the courage to cross the street so we made it to Family Mart after all. Nankurunaisa: everyone is experiencing something different during this typhoon, some worse off than others, but everything will be alright. Because guess what, after we got back safely, the typhoon went even crazier.

A post shared by ROZ PHO (@rozpho) on

In a post she shared on Instagram, Pho wrote: “We grabbed onto some railings for dear life and thought of turning back.”

Just then, they saw an elderly Japanese woman, clinging onto the hotel railings for fear of being swept away by the rain and wind.

Pho, who speaks Japanese, found out that the elderly woman was terrified by the strong winds, and she didn’t know if she would be able to make it home.

Despite her own predicament, she urged the two women to leave her behind and get themselves to safety.

Far from leaving her to fend for herself, Pho immediately asked for her address, and together with Wei “just grabbed her hands and half-ran, half-carried her all the way home”, according to Wei’s post on Instagram.

 

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TYPHOON UPDATE It has just been the most sobering day. The typhoon didn’t look that bad from our hotel window (we r pretty high up) but when we got to level one it was HORRIBLE. People were falling and sliding, branches were separating from trees and flying across the road, and the rain actually hurt because it felt like it was needles slapping your bare skin. We were thinking twice about whether to continue our expedition to the Family Mart across the road (we were out of food) but thank GOD we did because there was a terrified old woman hugging the railings outside our hotel. @Rozpho who can speak jap translated and said the grandma didn’t dare to move but really wanted to get home, so both of us held on to her either side and half carried her home like a few roads down. She was legit shaking man. Later roz told me she was like going omg omg I can’t make it home and Just leave me here and save yourselves to which we were like NO?! Apparently this is the largest recorded typhoon to hit Japan. When roz and I finally made it to family mart roz burst out crying cos she couldn’t imagine how scared the old woman would have been if she had just been alone. But I have to say, the past few days in Okinawa especially really showed how strong their community spirit is and I really got to see their Yuimaru spirit (which is Okinawan for everyone has each other’s backs) play out this typhoon season. Roz actually made a proper video about this whole thing (it’s her latest post on @rozpho) but in the meanwhile just posting a video of this girl who has such a heart of gold for other people, crying in Family Mart because of how the typhoon has affected so many people all over Okinawa. ❤

A post shared by Jemimah James Wei (@jemmawei) on

Pho explained: “She was almost hysterical but as we turned a corner to her apartment, the winds calmed down a little. She actually tried to give us money for a cab back, but we declined.”

If not for their quick thinking, the elderly woman could have been hurt while out on the streets due to the typhoon.

Recalling the “sobering” encounter, Wei described the scene: “People were falling and sliding, branches were separating from trees and flying across the road, and the rain actually hurt because it felt like it was needles slapping your bare skin.

“When Roz and I finally made it to Family Mart, Roz burst out crying because she couldn’t imagine how scared the old woman would have been if she had just been alone.

“But I have to say, the past few days in Okinawa really showed how strong their community spirit is.”

Pho shared similar sentiments, writing: “There were three Okinawan philosophies that touched me today. First, Icharibacho-de: we met our kin on the streets today.

“Second, Yuima-ru: we helped her get home, but she helped us too: to have the courage to cross the street, so we made it to Family Mart after all.

“Third, Nankurunaisa: everyone is experiencing something different during this typhoon, some worse than others, but everything will be alright.”

Netizens applauded both women for their courage and kindness, with one commenting: “So much hope in this post alone! Best thing I’ve seen on Instagram in a while. I’m glad you two are safe, and thank God she met you two kind souls!”

Another wrote: “Thank you for showing your Yuima-ru spirit to save that grandma’s life! Hope you got back home safe!”

We’re thankful for such kind Singaporeans who, even in the face of danger away from home, risked their safety to help someone in need.