The curse of the weatherman

News last night said that Typhoon Juaning is leaving the country, but its tail still causes moderate rains. School is back after the suspension yesterday. I agree to the suspension of classes. It’s better early than late. The Metro doesn’t suffer as much as other cities and provinces like Albay, Quezon, Legaspi, etc. but the streets are easily flooded.

One of my professors said that it’s the curse of PAG-ASA. Announcing no classes and the sun would shine brightly but when they didn’t suspend the class, the rain would pour very hard. Parents blame them whether they suspended the classes or not, depending on the appropriation of the case of rain or shine. It is difficult to wait on the decision as well as the one making the decision. Sometimes the weather bureau just pass the torch to the city government.

Watching the news of Taiwan stations, you’d be amazed at the announcements they make with specification of places that have classes and those that don’t, not leaving out the office workers where they also declare which areas have work or those that don’t. Labeling: 上课-不上课 OR上班-上班 for the respective areas。

Usually the news covers the suspension covered by DepEd (Department of Education) from pre-school to high school. In the tertiary level, the announcements are made by CHEd (Commission on Higher Education). But they have a rule that unless it’s Signal No.3, classes should go on in the collegiate level or the announcements are up to the school and parents. The thing is, the streets are easily flooded. Rain here equals flood. Even just about 20-30 minutes of rain, the streets will become flooded soon. The drainage systems are clogged with garbage thrown in the streets, and sometimes they couldn’t withstand the strong gush of water.

Also, university students, faculty and staffs, including office employees are not invincible human beings able to withstand the storms that lower levels cannot. They get stranded a lot of times on the road back home or spend the night in the office grounds. Some announcements take longer even when other schools have already dismissed their students. Many times, when we were still studying, classes will be suspended in the middle of the day where people have already had a hard time coming to school, braced the heavy rain, strong wind and flooded streets. Then when the suspension is announced, the people in the university have to go through it again, probably worse this time because the water level has increased. And in our experience, we are asked to leave the campus as soon as we can. I understand this because they wanted to let the students go home early, but chances are the ones who are going to fetch you are stranded as well; some public vehicles are unwilling to drive commuters to their destination especially during heavy rains. I remember finding shelter on a little restaurant at the side where we waited for our dad. When we were stranded during the Typhoon Falcon, we saw passengers being asked to go down the public utility vehicles and take another ride, if they can find one. It’s understandable too because the roads have become impassable. Also, I heard stories that students were asked to leave the campus. They had to go through the flood which was already close to the waist.

I saw news about the preparations made in Marikina City and it is commendable how they readied the rubber boats, continued watching the water level in the dam, made ocular visits in different areas to assure that residents are fine, having warning levels wherein residents will be asked to evacuate, public schools readied as evacuation centers.

Ondoy was a nightmare for the country. It became a drastic calamity because the dams released water and the flood rose so quickly.  Many people had first-hand experience of the flood rushing into their homes so fast that there was no time to move things in the house to safety. We just hope that this won’t happen again.

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