Typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) in Iloilo

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overflow-y: hidden;”>Manila.  It was a big storm here, but only an inconvenience, long
blackout etc. The beach was littered with trees, stumps, all sorts of
debris washed down from Panay’s deforested mountains and I’m sure
thousands of tons of soil,making the sea dirty.
I feel so badly for the people of Manila, especially the poor who are
forced into living in the lowest, most dangerous places.  It’s trite
and politically incorrect to say this but I’m also repeatedly amazed
that, despite the horrible circumstances and prospects, Filipinos are
such decent people, always able to find something to be happy about.
With Ondoy, even fancier neighborhoods and middle class people were
affected.  Devastated Manila suburb Marikina was really trying to
upgrade itself.  It even had a system of bike lanes, unheard of in the
Philippines.  It’s a total ruin now.
There seems to be a pattern of places that had never been flood
flooding now.  That happened when Typhoon Frank hit Iloilo in 2008.
Posh subdivisions thought to be flood-proof were hit.  The rich move
out and leave the place to those who can’t afford to move.  Now the
same thing happened in Manila.  I’m afraid that this may be a
permanent and ever-worsening affect of climate change.  I hope our
land is high enough.  I just walked up there yesterday.  The road in
was a muddy mess. I don’t know if the Innova could make it in or out
but the lot was not flooded, just surrounded by very green rice
paddies.

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October 3, 2009. This is the NOAA satellite image of Typhoon Pepeng (Parma) as I type in Tigbauan, Iloilo,waiting to see how Parma will affect us.  For now the skies are dark and threatening, the wind rising and it’s raining. We live on the seashore in Tigbauan, behind a seawall, but perhaps only two meters above sea level. We were hardly affected by typhoon Ondoy-Ketsana  which devastated Manila.  Ketsana was a big storm here, but only an inconvenience, long blackout etc. The beach was littered with trees, stumps, all sorts of debris washed down from Panay’s deforested mountains and I’m sure thousands of tons of soil, making the sea dirty.  After seeing what Parma did to Manila, we have packed important documents and emergency gear and are ready to load them and ourselves into our van at the first sign of water rising around our building.  Then we’ll head for higher ground.

UPDATE Oct 3, 2009, 4:45 PM.  Some light showers earlier, but now the sun is out!

UPDATE Oct 4, 2009 8:00AM.  A little rain last night but this morning is calm and mostly sunny so we (and thankfully Manila) have escaped major problems from Pepeng/Parma.

Typhoon Frank Damage, Mouth of Sibalom River, Tigbauan, Iloilo, June 2008

I feel so badly for the people of Manila, especially the poor who are forced into living in the lowest, most dangerous places.  It’s trite and politically incorrect to say this, but I’m also repeatedly amazed that, despite the horrible circumstances and prospects, Filipinos are such decent people, always able to find something to be happy about.

With Ondoy, even fancier neighborhoods and middle class people were affected.  The devastated Manila suburb Marikina was really trying to upgrade itself.  It even had a system of bike lanes, unheard of in the Philippines.  It appears to be a total ruin now.

There seems to be a frightening pattern of places that had never been flooded, flooding now.  That happened when Typhoon Frank (Fengshen) hit Iloilo in 2008. We were in Iloilo City at the time. Posh subdivisions thought to be flood-proof were hit.  The rich move out and leave the place to those who can’t afford to move.  Now the same thing happened in Manila.  I’m afraid that this may be a permanent and ever-worsening affect of climate change which may make large parts of the Philippines uninhabitable.  Low-lying river front cities such as Manila and Iloilo (and many others) may be especially hard hit.  Perhaps hilly cities such as Cebu City will become even more attractive.

Comments (9) Write a comment

  1. Rick,

    In general typhoons come from the SW so the eastern shores of Luzon and other northerly islands are hard hit and lightly populated.

    Luzon is generally hard hit by typhoons whereas Mindanao has few. The Visayas have fewer typhoons than Luzon but more than Mindanao.

    Wherever you choose, be carefully in your choice of property or rental. Living on the shore or in flood prone areas raises the risks. I suggest finding your prospective neighborhood on Google Earth and checking its elevation relative to the surrounding terrain. This can help you choose a flood-free location.

    Bob

    Reply

  2. If a person is looking for a place to retire in the Philippines that is relatively safe from typhoons, would you recommend that they live on the west side of the mountains? I believe that typhoons only come in from the east (correct me if I’m wrong), so wouldn’t the mountains protect them from the typhoons?

    Reply

  3. Hi Bob and Carol,

    Glad to know you are safe. We were thinking of you yesterday as we were driving to Lake Chabot so I thought I’d say hello 🙂

    Thea

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  4. Pingback: Philippines: Typhoon disasters and climate change :: Elites TV

  5. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Philippines: Typhoon disasters and climate change

  6. happy to know you and Carol were spared, Bob… will write longer later. enjoy the sunny days…it’s blustery and much cooler here now. leaves haven’t changed yet..

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  7. what Ondoy did to the Philippines is really heartbreaking. we experienced flooding in Manila during the 60’s while still in college, but not this bad. knowing the resiliency of Filipinos, i know they will be up again and running with the help of friends, relatives, and support from other countries.

    hopefully, everybody and most especially the government officials and big business establishments all over the world shall take this worsening effect of climate change very seriously.

    Reply

  8. Hi Bob and Carol. It is a relief to know that Iloilo, yourselves and the others in your area did not suffer excessively. Hang in there andkeep living the good life. Ron

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  9. Hello Bob and Carol,
    Glad to hear you guys made it okay with the worst flooding
    ever in the Philippines. My cousins in Cainta Rizal were not so
    lucky, lost all their belongings from the flood including their
    vehicles just washed away, I still say to count their blessings
    as those are all just material things. My heart aches from all
    my country men and women crying for help with no one to
    run to esp the older folks that never had any to begin with.
    I hope and pray that the relief efforts from the other countries,
    US, Canada, Japan, China etc. would find them all.
    God bless and be safe to you both….Lady

    Reply

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