Sep 27, 2009

Ondoy and an Inconvenient Truth

The neighborhood I grew up in has never experienced waist-deep flood - until yesterday. It has never experienced retaining walls collapse from floodwaters - until yesterday. Yesterday was when Typhoon Ondoy (a.k.a. Ketsana) hit the Philippines. As the day went on you would hear the same - neighborhoods getting hit by major floods like never before, completely unexpected.

Somewhere in Cainta, Rizal a dog gets rescued.
Photo from the Inquirer website.

The way PAGASA sums it up, Ondoy brought a month's worth of rain in just 6 hours. The last time Philippine rainfall reached this record level was 42 years ago. Back then it took 8 days of rain to accumulate.

San Mateo Rizal was one of the towns hit hardest by Ondoy.
Photo from the Inquirer.

8 days... versus yesterday's 6 hours... accumulating a month's worth of rain. Floods where it never flooded before. All these come to mind: Manila's drainage and garbage system, worldwide climate change and Al Gore freaking the hell out of me with his inconvenient truth.

For today, we just hope and pray no one else drowns or gets electrocuted. Red Cross needs volunteers. If you're in Manila and willing to lend a hand Call the Red Cross: Pasay 8542748 /4343751; LasPinas 8734873/4689688; Pasig 6350922; Alabang 8093132; Manila 5245787/5270864. Starting today, La Salle Greenhills is accepting donations for convenience food, powdered milk, blankets, clothes, cough and cold, fever medications, etc. Same with Victory Center in Greenhills and Victory Church in The Fort.

For the long term, it is time to face that inconvenient truth. Gore and those scientists are not shizzing with us!

School's out tomorrow for the entire National Capital Region. Some roads still impassable. Stay safe and dry. Hope all your loved one's are accounted for.


Cely said...

How sad it is (and sad isn't strong enough!) I'm thinking and praying for each of you and for all who were affected by it. Please, keep us updated!

God bless!

Nana said...

Definitely an inconvenient truth but something we have to face square on finally and act on ASAP. Our kids cannot inherit the Earth like this. We saw Marikina today and the devastation is unbelievable!

Barni said...

Hi Nons - actually not sure if I buy into Al Gore's theory in this instance. Lots of studies coming out that climate change simply happens without man's need to screw things up (hence, the Ice Age eons ago). I forget the statistic now, but supposedly human carbon emissions account for a miniscule percentage of global warming. LOUSY urban planning definitely springs to mind though, and I wonder if this much rainfall would have been as catastrophic in Switzerland or Canada.

Nona said...

Thanks for your concern and prayers Cely : )

And yes Nana... our kids cannot inherit a planet in peril!

That's why Barns... I am a believer of the Inconvenient Truth and supporter of the Kyoto Protocol (to evolve I think into the Copenhagen Agreement).

I find the evidence linking greenhouse gases to the unprecedented rise in global temperature really compelling. In fact, Europe with their much better drainage and garbage system has had to face a major 65% increase in FLOODS the past 10 years or so. Then there's Katrina, the Tsunamis, ice caps melting way too fast for comfort and then this weekend our KETSANA/ONDOY. Exactly the kinds of weather phenomena they described in An Inconvenient Truth.

This is one reason why I felt so invested in the last US election... because Obama promised a much more aggressive plan of action to lower greenhouse gases and support the EU and the Kyoto Protocol in this effort. As opposed to the republicans who made a major effort to "discredit the science" behind global warming. But the research has been backed up by some of the best scientists in different parts of the world - scientists with no political agenda or interest in big business...

BUT something can still be done. That Obama is in the White House and the US is now supporting the EU and the Kyoto Protocol is a big deal...

Sorry this is so long na : )

Barni said...

It's compelling all right. When I was working for the EU, I remember the Prodi Commission was so pissed off that the US (stupid Bush) refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

But I've since read material on the other side of the debate and now wonder if we're not simply speeding up the inevitable. Even if, I am, like you, freaked out by the outcome of it all.

Anonymous said...

"a month's worth of rain dumped in just 6 hours!!!" where is the scientific truth in that? Can the atmosphere really hold that amount of water and dump it in just 6 hours. C'mon, we should all go back to the basics of physics. Here is something scientific: "a month's worth of rain accumulated in dams dumped in just 6 hours". Whoever opened those dams must have a motive to do that. Motive number 1: he was instructed by those business minded people to protect the dams, let those peasants drown and not their investments. Motive number 2: he was one of the conspirators to revive the slowing loan business of the big banks. The big spenders are in Manila, after the flood damages, thay will be all lining up in the banks to get a loan. Conspiracy or not, hundred of lives were lost.

Nona said...

a month's worth of rain dumped in 6 hours... it is possible, just look at the size of cloud formations for typhoon ketsana/ondoy. And again... it is a symptom of global warming:

Thanks for sharing your views.