In all my 20-something years, I’ve never experienced this much rain. Of course, Ondoy’s (Typhoon Ketsana) still the barometer for devastation because the rainfall it brought was worth a month’s rain, and so it caused the worst flooding in our country’s history. You just have to google and see how much devastation it caused us. But we knew Ondoy’s not the last, and the past three days actually proved that. In fact, the amount of rain fall yesterday has exceeded the rain fall brought by Ondoy in 2009:
This is higher compared to the 455 mm, 24-hour accumulated rainfall during tropical storm Ondoy (international codename Ketsana) back in Sept 26, 2009, measured at the Pagasa Science Garden in Quezon City. (via Rappler.com)
Unlike Ondoy, these rains we’ve been experiencing are not caused by a particular typhoon, but by seasonal monsoon rains enhanced by the tropical storm “Haikui” in the Philippine sea. I just suddenly thought to myself, we’ll look back someday and won’t even find a name to remember this calamity by. A twitter user said it best: “This vicious calamity doesn’t even give us the morbid comfort of marking its name #justhabagat”
As I write this blog, we’re on to probably the third or fourth “batch” of flood due to non-stop rain. Yesterday the flood in our street reached past knee-level and almost entered our driveway, threatening the cars parked inside. Then this morning, rain finally stopped, the flood receded, and I thought that’s the end of the heavy/intense rain (RED warning). In fact, PAGASA stopped giving colored warnings this morning because the weather seemed to be getting better. But now, our street is flooded (12-16 inches) again and if the rain continues well into the night, we’ll have a repeat of last night’s almost Ondoy-like flooding.
I also just suddenly thought, I guess somehow I have to be thankful that I live in this generation because this calamity has showed me just how much impact social media has in today’s modern world. I love Twitter, especially, because of near real-time important and even life-saving information it provides me. My news feed is flooded with updates, pictures, videos, stories and everything I need to know about what’s happening around me. Not only that, but we can actually ask for help via twitter! People are being rescued via tweets and we can directly reach our government through twitter. I just can’t imagine not having a twitter account in this day and age when there are just so many benefits we can get out from it.
Anyway, I was discussing with a friend through Facebook the things we thought should be done to address our country’s flooding problem. As I said, Ondoy’s not the last and this problem’s not going to go away. Our country’s practically smack in the middle of the typhoon and calamity path (we’re located in the Pacific Ring of Fire) and at least 3 typhoons will visit us every year. (Last year we had 20, I think).
I said, one of the pressing issues our government must address is our garbage problem. That’s one major cause of flooding. Our canals are blocked because of tons of garbage. And at the heart of the problem is actually the people, specifically, the lack of discipline and respect! But then you go much deeper, and the root of the root of the problem is education! And Poverty’s not far behind! So where should we start?
(I looked from our balcony after finishing this blog. It took just three hours for the flood to reach knee-level again = equal to last night’s level. Sheeesh!)