By Ellen Tordesillas
What a joy to have two days of sunshine after several days of heavy rains.
Floodwaters are receding and relief goods can now be delivered to areas once inaccessible.
My friend, Marilyn Robles, was able to heave a sigh of relief when informed yesterday that upon the request of the director of Region 3 National Disaster Response Coordination Center, an Army truck from Camp Olivas in Pampanga had delivered food and water to her bedridden brother, retired Police General Ed Manaay, who was trapped during the height of the flood (water was neckdeep )in his home at Olivas subdivision, just behind the Philippine National Police Region 3 headquarters.
After the depressing rains, just to be able to dry out our laundry under the sun is a blessing much appreciated.
The weather bureau, Pagasa tells us not be complacent because two to three storms are expected this month. By tomorrow, we might be able to feel the effect of the low pressure area spotted in central Luzon and is expected to intensify into a storm, said Jori Loiz,Pagasa senior forecaster.
In fact about 12 more storms are expected this year.
That should give us time to clear the drainage and waterways that we have clogged with our garbage so that when the rains come again, the floods would not be as bad as the one we had last week.
We expect the Metro Mania Development Authority to have enough fuel for the pumping stations so as not to repeat the mistake that happened in Taguig when the pumping stations were not operational at the height of the monsoon rains because of lack of fuel. When finally they were able to buy fuel on Wednesday, the refueling truck could not pass through the flooded streets.
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino relieved Baltazar Melgar, the head of the MMDA's Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office for "laxity bordering on incompetence."
Melgar is crying "injustice" saying they have made the request for fuel long before the monsoon rains but was not acted on by Tolentino's office. He said he made another emergency requisition request Tuesday night.
Nobody knows what happened to those requisition requests.
Anyway, here are reminders from the "Disaster Preparedness and First Aid Handbook" distributed by the Senate Committee on Climate Change chaired by Sen. Loren Legarda:
What to do in case of typhoons:
- Stay indoors and keep calm.
- Monitor TV and radio reports.
- Secure your home.
- Trim trees near dwelling.
- Keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.
- Go to the nearest designated evacuation center if your house is in a flood-prone area.
- Have a flashlight and radio handy, with fresh batteries.
- Stock up on food, portable water, kerosene, batteries, and first-aid supplies.
- In case of flooding, turn off the main sources of electricity, gas and water in your home.
- Stack furniture above the expected flood level. Keep appliances, valuables, chemicals, toxic substances, and garbage beyond the reach of floodwaters.
- Avoid low-lying areas, riverbanks, creeks and coastal areas, slopes, cliffs and foothills. Rain can trigger landslides, rockslides or mudslides.
- Avoid wading through flooded areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
- Do not operate electrical equipment during a flood.
- Do not use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.