Wednesday, 28 September 2011

September and Typhoons

Photo taken by Hushbox Manila's Kebo Brown
The month of September seems to bring in the killer typhoons in the Philippines. Milenyo (international code name Xangsang) was on September 28, 2006 and  responsible for 200 deaths. Ondoy (Ketsana) was on September 26, 2009 and brought the most rainfall at 455 milimiters, almost double that of the United States' Katrina at 250 milimeters of rain. The death toll passed the 300 mark.

And on the anniversary of the fateful Ondoy, came Pedring (Nesat), the 17th storm that hit the country. I must hand it to PAGASA's (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophsycial and Astromical Services) new administrator Nathaniel T. Servando. His office was relentless in giving updates when it was first spotted as a low pressure area to a Tropical Storm (TS) until it inensified into a  full blown Typhoon. I was in Malapascua's  Gato Island diving when  I read the TS and gale warnings on my twitter feed which I promptly shared with my fellow divers and boatmen.

Photo posted on Facebook
With the repeated updates in literally all media, Pedring claimed only 18 lives and the damage to infrastructure and agriculture pegged at P100.3 billion (ten times more than Ondoy's P10.45B cost). At home, power was restored at 7pm and unfortunately, I still don't have cable TV and internet connection.

As of today, another Tropical Storm codenamed Quiel (Nalgae) was spotted 1,400 kms east of northern Luzon and is expected to enter [to use PAGASA's parlance] Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this afternoon. According to the Department of Science and Technology undersecretary Graciano Yumul Jr. "it is likely to intensify into a powerful cyclone".   Oh well.. there are four more typhoons expected to enter PAR before yearend - these are codenamed Ramon, Sendong, Tisoy and Ursula.

To help Typhoon Pedring victims, contact:
Philippine Red Cross:  BDO Savings Account 453-0018647
Gawad Kalinga: needs food and water, call +631916 437-9941
UAA&P - food, clothes and medicine, drop off at the University located at Pearl Dive, pasig
Citizen's Disaster Response Center - Metrobank  Account 636-3-63600741-3

Some video clips of Pedring:

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