Friday, October 2, 2009

Anticipating the Worst, Hoping for the Best

Just last Saturday, Metro Manila suffered from the heaviest rainfall (brought by typhoon Ketsana) in about 30 years. Many areas were flooded and many people displaced and forced to seek shelter in evacuation centers. Those worst hit with the flooding are still in the evacuation centers while many others have just started picking up their lives. As if adding insult to injury, another typhoon, this time a super typhoon, Parma, is nearing exactly the same place where typhoon Ketsana made landfall. Ketsana’s wind speeds reached about 85kph while Parma’s is up to 210kph!

Since yesterday, groceries and supermarkets have been jam-packed with people buying noodles, canned goods, and other stuff in preparation for the nearing super typhoon. Yes, we are all expecting the worst. The ground is still saturated with water from Ketsana’s heavy rains, and it won’t take much rain to cause another round of wide spread flooding.

Right now the weather is very calm. Although it’s cloudy you won’t be able to tell that a strong typhoon is approaching. But telltale signs are everywhere. Billboards have been pulled down and there is a certain hurriedness to the way people are going about. There’s this desire to be with loved ones when the weather worsens. I guess it’s because many people were away from their families when the flooding occurred last week.



Of course we’re hoping that the effect of this new typhoon will be minimal. It again is left to be seen how the government is going to handle this addition to the crisis that seems to have overwhelmed them.

And by the way, Last July 27, 2009, in her State of the Nation Address, President Gloria Arroyo very proudly announced:

“As a country in the path of typhoons and in the Pacific Rim of Fire, we must be as prepared as the latest technology permits to anticipate natural calamities when that is possible; to extend immediate and effective relief when it is not….The mapping of flood- and landslide-prone areas is almost complete. Early warning, forecasting and monitoring systems have been improved, with weather tracking facilities in Subic, Tagaytay, Mactan, Mindanao, Pampanga.


“We have worked on flood control infrastructure like those for Pinatubo, Agno, Laoag, and Abucay, which will pump the run off waters from Quezon City and Tondo flooding Sampaloc. This will help relieve hundreds of hectares in this old city of its age-old woe.


“Patuloy naman iyong sa Camanava, dagdag sa Pinatubo, Iloilo, Pasig-Marikina, Bicol River Basin, at mga river basin ng Mindanao.”

Hmmmmm… I wonder who advised her of these facts. Thank God for the Non-government organizations and major television networks and all the other private citizens and corporations who took it into their hands to reach out to those affected by last week’s typhoon. I hope we are better prepared this week.

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