The Omnipotent Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) & Parma (Pepeng)

Posted in flood, typhoon with tags , , on October 23, 2009 by chrisbon09

Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) visited the Philippines on the afternoon of September 26, 2009. It was declared an over-all state of calamity in Metro Manila and other 25 provinces hit by the typhoon. Here comes Typhoon Pepeng (Parma) it brings more devastation to the country right after the tropical storm Ondoy caught everyone in the Philippines by a surprise.

Angry winds and driving rains did batter the areas and the effect was disastrous. The combined effects of continuous rainfall and storm surge were exacerbated by clogging of drainage systems, leading to rapid flooding in streets, landslides in mountainous areas, and flash floods along the Pasig and Marikina rivers. Many roads were already impassable due to uprooted trees and bridges had collapsed, while electricity has been cut off because the electricity poles and wires fell into the flood. The first 24 hours of landfall in NCR alone caught thousands stranded in the streets, office buildings, shopping malls, and residences, while simultaneously blocking major thoroughfares in the urban center and suburban peripheries.

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Right after the experiences we have gone through, the question is did we all learn our lessons? We learn or we didn’t learn one thing is for sure Typhoon Ondoy & Pepeng like any other natural disasters that hit our country had left us with unforgettable and painful experiences. But there are valuable lessons we should remember from all of them…lessons to keep us all going…

There are the things each family should prepare for before calamity happens. These things will help you prepare in the times of calamity.

Tips to observe with (or without) an impending typhoon:

• Dispose your garbage properly so it won’t clog the drainage and become the source of infection.
• Make sure that power lines are stable or firmly connected; shut down the main power if necessary.
• Boil your drinking water for two minutes or more; save sterilized water.
• Store foods that are not easy to perish.
• Complete vaccination for children.
• Prepare a “first aid kit”, fire extinguisher, flashlight or candle, and battery-operated radio.

In the event of an evacuation:

• Listen only to reports and reminders coming from the proper authorities.
• Calmly follow all the reminders during evacuation.
• Be careful not to step on open manholes and street gutter.
• Avoid the path near or leading to the river.
• Using a rope, head to the part where the current is coming from. Never loose your grip on the rope.

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In the aftermath Ketsana’s & Parma’s immediate impact, there is a high level of distress, anxiety, frustration, helplessness and insecurity. The anxiety and distress are attributed to the uncertainty of the internally displaced persons current condition. Many of them have expressed concern that they do not know how long they will stay in the evacuation centers and when they could go back to their homes. Others are even more distressed because their houses have been wiped out and they do not have any other place to go. This uncertainty and the lack of options available to them reportedly contribute to the stress they are experiencing.

The parents are concerned about their children’s welfare—specifically, health, as well as their education—which increases their overall anxiety. The children themselves expressed concern about their education, specifically on how they can go back to school when their books, school supplies and uniforms are all gone. The children, however, cope fairly well by playing inside the evacuation centers and socializing. On the other hand, it is the parents who appear most anxious about the situation, specifically how to provide for their families’ basic needs.

Signs of depression were observable in some internally displaced persons. Others have also expressed feelings of helplessness. The feeling of helplessness is exacerbated perhaps by the internally displaced persons lack of participation in relief distribution and camp management. Their sense of loss of control over their lives is aggravated by their lack of opportunity to participate in activities purportedly designed to protect their lives and well-being. Their dignity is also threatened as they become mere recipients of relief.

The frustration in many internally displaced persons is very evident. This is also manifested in the anger they exhibit as they speak of the issues in the evacuation centers, especially amongst fathers. This anger, unrecognized and unchecked, could lead to aggressive and violent behavior. The internally displaced persons link their frustration to several issues: (a) being asked to leave the evacuation centers and immediately return home—regardless of their fears; (b) people who are taking advantage of them; and (c) issues related to relief operations, e.g. chaotic, unsystematic distribution and lack of information and participation.

• Some survivors still in a state of shock, and seem unable to acknowledge what has occurred
• Some survivors are angry and aggressive and seem to need to blame someone
• Some survivors are sad and teary
• Many survivors are turning to religion, or spirituality, to accept what has happened to them
• Many survivors exhibit feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are evident
• Some survivors, particularly children, are showing resilience through play and laughter
• Some survivors appeared to have made the decision to move forward with their lives and are already trying to forget the experience

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What they say or encourage filipino’s to strive harder, they had teamwork optimistically to survive. In a way that, they would help each other in many ways. Some victims would just rely on miracles, donations, rescue, its not so bad. What they need is encouragement, the will to survive. Like a test of being able to withstand ourselves from a massive typhoon. Technically not a test but to endure and change ourselves from our short comings. In simple ways, what goes around comes around.

We witness the attitude of the Filipinos being generous. Helping each other in the times of calamity, donating something for needy. Sabi nga nila “Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan, kundi tayo-tayo lang din”. In times like this, if Filipinos will be as one it will make the country more progressive cause’ helping hand in hand will be a great future to all Filipinos.

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Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 by chrisbon09

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