Saturday, October 03, 2009

Wrath of Ondoy

Most of us will probably mark the 26th day of September, 2009 as one of the most unforgettable days of their lives. I would be one of them. For most people, it would be their first-ever experience of a neck-deep, even higher, flooding in their areas, brought about by the heavy rainfall of might Typhoon Ondoy.

At first, I thought the typhoon was just an ordinary heavy rainfall that would end in 15-20 minutes. This Ondoy was real different. It did not stop raining from around 9am until 2 or 3 pm! The volume was so heavy it immediately caused flash floods all over Metro!

Probably you've already heard about many stories of tragedy and survival as it has been in the news, social networking and video-sharing sites for quite some time. It was really a typhoon we will never forget.

In my 27 years of existence, and in living in my house in Quezon City, never was a time when our indoors were flooded by a typhoon (categorically speaking, we've already been flooded when MWSS' aquaduct exploded some years ago). But last Saturday, I witnessed one of the heaviest precipitation yet in Ondoy. At around 11 am, water rose slowly and a little over 1pm, our house was already flooded thigh-deep. I though it was going to rise further so we decided to pack up our things in the car (I managed to bring the car to a higher ground, thus, not damaging the engine) and leave as soon as my dad arrives from work. We waited for him until finally, it was fortunate to see the water already subsiding.

This is what our house looked like 4-5 inches earlier:


Our garage looked like a river stream

Our neighbors outside decided to have a good time in the flood

Little did we know that my dad got stranded in KFC Congressional Avenue, with high-current flood which is breast- to neck-deep floods. It was also the first time that my dad experienced flooding in that area! The strong current prevented him from going home! But he managed to go home earlier than expected, with more than 7 hours travel time from his EDSA office (where normal travel time from office to home is 8 minutes). We traversed the breast-deep waters just to make sure that we were all doing okay. Our family was complete by 6:30pm, and the water subsided. Thank God.

My experience was nothing compared to that of my Tita Egie's. She lived in SSS Village in Fairview and the water went up to as much as 12-15 feet (thigh-deep at the 2nd floor)! Incidentally, they were about to leave the house when they caught up traffic in the Regalado and Commonwealth areas. They decided to come back and check on the house when they already saw their house with ample water! They tried to save as much appliances in the ground floor but it was too late! Water went in fast and high up to their second floor! Luckily they managed to escape via a neighbor's terrace. They managed to leave their house that day. When they came back the next day, they found their ground floor completely washed out and drenched in dirty water and mud. Furnitures destroyed, appliances all wet. Luckily, they all survived. Here are a few pictures of SSS Village post-flood:

Cars swept by flood as if they were just Matchbox toys

The Streets of SSS Village after the flood: Full of Trash

Destroyed roofs and walls

Look closer: there is a Pajero swept to this house's front door

We are still very thankfull that we got minimal damage. Plus we were all alive and healthy after the tragedy. My heart goes out to all the victims of Ondoy, which up to now are still in the evacuation centers because of the fear of another typhoon, Pepeng, and because their houses are still flooded up to this writing.

If you are able to read this, that means you have the capacity to do your share and give a little of yourself to the typhoon victims. There are a lot of groups taking the lead, all you have to do is give your share. This is already within our vicinity.

The wrath of Ondoy is a message (a big, hurtful, devastating message) that we Filipinos should take into heart. It is a message to our leaders: that climate change and environmental protection is now and will be the most pressing concern in the near future; that budgets meant for disasters and MEANT to be spent in disasters; that they should moderate their greed and spend the people's money in matters of their welfare and safety.

It is also a message to our countrymen: that it is about time that we change our current ways of life and give a little to preserve nature; that we as Filipinos start to unite and be as one family in helping each other and be with one another.

God bless the Philippines.


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