Flooding in the Philippines

Morning News as of 10 August 2012, Friday Metro Manila, Philippines

Widespread flooding in the Philippines submerged of Metro Manila as of today, leaving many distressed residents marooned in the rooftops of their homes, waiting for rescue. The monsoon rains which inundated the rivers and most of the city streets, left thousands of city dwellers homeless.

In the outlying provinces, there was evacuation of entire barrios since the water level had reach more than two meters high, which made all streets impassable, except by cargo trucks and rubber boats.

The National Disaster Coordination Council of the government are in rescue mode status, by putting affected residents in emergency shelters, that are now teeming with people in need of help.

I was reading this commentary online, while sipping brewed coffee in my room. I am one of the few lucky ones, who lives in the metro, where the subdivision developer had the foresight to elevate the entire five acre subdivision by a few meters from the national road. On top of that, the subdivision management prescribed a building ordinance years ago, that the house foundation of all residential units, be raised to one meter above street level. When my parents constructed the family’s residential bungalow, they complained of the added cost of elevating the entire structure. There was no flooding in the area forty years ago, and they did not understand why the need to elevate. But that foresight by the developer, help saved this entire community from the onslaught of the floods, now experienced by most residents of Metro Manila and the outlying areas.

In the provinces, entire communities that were situated near the Laguna Lake area, was swamped with water that overflowed into the streets. The onset of the rampaging flash floods that rose to neck-deep levels, in a span of a few minutes, surprised a lot of people. The degree of devastation of entire communities, left everybody in a state of shock. This gripping situation led the barrio folks with no other recourse but to crawl up to their rooftops, to save themselves.

The problem of flooding had always gripped the entire nation, during the rainy months of May up to December. This is what is known as the rainy season, where typhoons in the Philippines are prevalent and monsoon rains wrecks havoc on the entire nation. The flooding this last one week however, was not due to typhoon, but of monsoon rains. The amount of rainfall and its ferocity, struck a raw nerve on the entire population. The devastation that it wrought was so much so, that it left closed to a million people affected, and relocated away from their homes.

The Filipinos are known to be a resilient race and have enormous endurance for great hardship. Nevertheless, this gripping scenario can not go on forever. There is now a clamor for the National Leadership to find ways on how to better address flooding in the Philippines, which continues to beset the country every year. I hope a workable solution is found soon to help alleviate the sufferings and misery of the entire nation.

Mary J. Gibson

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