Super-typhoon Mangkhut visited Hong Kong on Sunday, September 16, 2018. It was the strongest typhoon to hit the territory since records started to be kept in 1946, uprooting more than 46,000 trees, flooding seaside communities and blowing out windows in high-rises on both sides of the harbour. Even with all the destruction, amazingly, no one died here.
Our cemetery, unfortunately, was not immune to the storm’s powerful winds. A few of our big trees, which are probably 150 years old, came down. One of them smashed the top of an old sarcophagus while another dislodged two more recent headstones. Again, amazingly, neither of those stones broke, nor did any other stone in the cemetery. Fortunately, the sarcophagus can be repaired. The cleanup work, however, is too much for our full-time gardener and part-time cleaner, who have been absolute troopers in tackling the debris. Thankfully, the trustees of the Ohel Leah Synagogue Charity have approved the services of a contractor to send a team in for three days to cut up the fallen trees and branches, and haul everything away. The contractor estimates that it will require fifteen 16-ton trucks to complete the job. Hopefully, it will all be completed before the end of September and our cherished cemetery will be back to its pristine beauty.