Yesterday, on the way home from the supermarket, the car radio was on and we were listening to updates about typhoon Reming (Durian). The news that it changed direction and would probably spare Metro Manila and Rizal was a relief. But reports saying that the typhoon was going towards the general direction of Quezon and Batangas provinces were disconcerting.
My husband had been to Quezon and Batangas several times after the disaster brought by tyhoon Milenyo. Hence, all those photos in I love photography!. In Quezon especially, people have not even fully recovered from Milenyo (Xangsane). The stories that his clients told made my hackles rise. There were areas in Quezon where the blackout lasted for an entire month. In fact, LPG-powered generators were sold out. Many small and medium-sized businesses opted for the additional expense rather than close shop while waiting for power to be restored.
I don’t know yet how badly hit Batangas and Quezon were. The latest reports on typhoon Reming are mostly about the Bicol area. The reported number of deaths varies. Some day 109, others say it’s 146, and some others say it’s as high as 200. Although Metro Manilans and residents of surrounding areas, including us here in Antipolo, hardly felt the effects of typhoon Reming, one thing is clear — the deaths and damage are of disastrous proportions and the hardest hit was the Bicol region. The number of deaths are expected to rise as more bodies are recovered.
Noel Rosal, mayor of Legazpi city, Albay province’s capital, visited Padang, where he said some victims had their clothes ripped off as they were swept away by the mudslide.
“It’s terrible,” he told The Associated Press by phone after visiting the village Friday. “Based on our interviews with residents and village officials, more than 100 were killed or missing.
“We now call this place a black desert,” he said, referring to the colour of the volcanic debris.
Mayon erupted in July, depositing millions of tons of rocks and volcanic ash on its slopes. Rains from succeeding typhoons that hit the area earlier may have loosened the materials.
Rosal said three of the five communities comprising the village of 1,400 people had been “wiped out” with only the roofs of several houses jutting out of the debris.
He said some boulders were as big as cars. [Canada.com]
I used to wonder why people would want to live at the foot of volcanoes. The constant threat of eruption alone should make one think hard before building a house and establishing a livelihood in such areas. Well, from what I’ve read, it appears that the soil at the foot of volcanoes is often very fertile and conducive for raising a number of crops. Now, they have neither houses nor crops.
It’s terrible but we can’t blame nature when it strikes. We can take precautions but we can’t fight nature.