I can hardly believe that the sun is already out and shining. After a really stormy night which rendered a lot of streets non-passable in Naga City thus prompting the company to postpone our training for the night, one could hardly expect the sun to shine the morning after. But it did and everyone is grateful that the storm Pepeng (international name Parma) did not make landfall in Camarines Sur. For hardly anyone could imagine what would happen if it did especially since a lot of places were already flooded (Lake Buhi, and perhaps Bicol River, had already overflowed) when only the outer radius of Pepeng had hit the province.
And it seems that this parade of storms hasn’t yet ended for already another one – Melor, is brewing in the horizon. The good news, though, is that Melor would just enter the Philippine seas then head straight to Japan with Pepeng following at its wake. At least that was what I heard on the news and what I hope would be true. The country, especially Luzon, cannot bear another storm. Not after the devastation Ondoy has wrought, which after all the objective facts the media has supplied last week, still brings forth the personal stories of those stranded, traumatized and worst hit by nature’s wrath.
Reading an email which supplied the blog entry of a person about people who experienced the disaster first-hand, I came to realize the surge of flood waters in Provident Village and other surrounding areas could have been anything but the usual flood indeed. Such sudden influx of waters could only be the result if a huge water source had released water supplies it had been holding back. Normal flooding occurs whenever a body of water overflows to the land area surrounding it. This flood would constitute a steady rising water enough to at least forewarn people to do something rash about it. But if the flood waters came as a sudden surge leaving people with no time to save anything except themselves, then that means that a huge volume of water had been previously blocked then released all too suddenly. As such, my mom (and I cannot help but agree) speculates that probably one of the dams had a leak or suddenly released water. For how could it be that such rainfalls, no matter how heavy, could cause such severe floods in such a short matter of time?
Then again, the flood was further amplified by the blatant environmental disregard of most people, especially when it came to waste disposal. As what a lot of people blame for the devastation, the lack of proper waste management had been the cause of the wreck experienced by the Metro. In part, this is true and I hope a wake-up call had been served to everyone that nature cannot always be fooled.
It was also stated that the Laguna the Bay’s water levels had risen to levels that would really flood low lying places in the Metro. Authorities have even forewarned people, only now, that they should seek shelter in higher lands. Climate change had apparently hastened this process that is supposed to take years.
Still a lot were also outraged at the action the government had taken over the situation. A lot of the stranded people in Provident Village were apparently rescued through the personal efforts of friends (good thing they had rich friends who either had or could afford motor boats) since it would take hours before government rescue efforts could be made. And this particular writer was even irked that government units depicted his friend as the one from the government doing relief operations when it clearly wasn’t true.
Furthermore, PAGASA laments that they could have better warned the people of the impending disaster had they been able to predict the rainfall that Ondoy brought. And for this they would need an upgrade of their equipments which clearly demands some funds. Unfortunately, our government had misaligned budget appropriations and as such their request could not be granted even when they had made it several years ago.
The disaster had struck. We are left with its aftermath. Countless lives now need to be rehabilitated; restarted all over again. Lessons have been taught; the blaming game had begun. Disasters similar to what had just happened, and probably even worse, will strike again. This is an inevitable fact of being a tropical country facing the Pacific. Yet devastations from such natural disasters can be averted or properly addressed if only we would all learn to do our part.