The Flood with no name…or many other names

The sun has come out, the rain stopped, but it doesn’t guarantee that it won’t come again. For many consecutive days, the rain continued to pour, day and night. It still rains now during the night, with sharp lightnings and loud thunders.

Once again, people experienced the flood coming through their homes and livelihood. Cleanup is ongoing for a lot of people. Everyone is safe in our family, and that’s the most important. Our home is safe, but our store got flooded again, three years ago, we also got affected by Ondoy. My uncle’s work area too as well as my cousin’s house. It’s like a replay of the events, only this time, the sun stayed hidden for days and it kept on raining. There was no typhoon, but the country was affected by the southwest monsoon and the shallow low pressure area (SLPA), strengthened by the typhoon Haikui which is not covered by the area of responsibility of the Philippines. News report said, the Philippines haas been hit with torrential rains, or nameless flood affect many people and vast areas of the country. Monday night the rain poured in. Water levels in the dams were rising, rivers and creeks were overflowing. The flood in the streets rendered it difficult for the vehicles to pass through. Alarms in the dams sounded which cued for the evacuation of residents. Classes and work were suspended, but then private work was just suspended for a day, even when the roads were still flooded. Like last time, the outcome is a major cleanup to be done for everyone, it took days for the water to subside and for the sun to peek in. Papers, boxes, steel metals, and other things were put out the sidewalk to let the sun dry them, many were thrown away and unusable now. It would be another round for massive clearing of floodwater, mud, and garbage.

Good thing the power was not out this time in our area, except for my grandmother’s house which until now has no electricity. We all stayed home during these time. I used this time to continue translating, read up on news update online since cable was out, watched DVDs with my sister and organize a few things, helped cook some meals.

Being trapped in our homes is not a bad thing. We got to spend time together and not worry yet of how much damage the flood could have caused our store. My parents got to play with our niece and I think that is a good distraction to temporarily get their minds off the flood. The water around us took a couple of days to subside, there was no way to go without risking getting drenched in floodwater. We just had groceries last Sunday which provided for our food supply. Seeing the damages in our store, dad chose to see it in a positive light, compared to other people, the damage we obtained was similar to last 2009, and others had worse cases where it was waist-deep or neck-deep. People lost a lot in this flood, even loved ones. “Ham-ham lo.” Dad would say in Fookien. This is also a good chance to clear some things that we were reluctant to throw away then. Some people take this opportunity to steal things and that happened to us yesterday, but dad said it’s nothing new. Some have been coming in pretending to ask about a product and then steal things. The events reminded us how the Japanese dealt with the grave calamity they experienced. They stood in orderly lines in the supermarket to buy what they need, in the evacuation centers, when food was being distributed they didn’t complain for the small amount they’d be getting and even gave up their share for others (that was just about two inches of rice roll and they had to share that), the prices of their products were reduced to accommodate the losses the people incurred.

Relief operations were up, schools suspended their classes to give way to these works. Rescue operations were put up by different groups. Our baranggay itself helped in the force evacuation of the people living near the creeks, and the firefighters helped in the clearing of the waters on the streets. Rehabilitation would take time. A lot of roads got damaged, so it is important to be careful when traveling nowadays, road repair works again and we’ve just been through that since the start of this year.  Hopefully, both the government and the people could work together in finding solutions to the flooding, like throwing our garbage responsively, and not expecting that someone else will clean it up for us. This is just a simple act that everyone can help do their part and when combined could contribute good to the environment.

 

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