Monday, September 28, 2009

Ondoy: The Tragedy and The Aftermath

Nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in just six hours over Metro Manila last Saturday, September 26, 2009, triggering the worst flood in nearly 40 years. The unexpectedly massive flood turned extensive areas of the metropolis virtually into a sea. Cars stood at a standstill, people were left stranded on rooftops, wide-spread blackouts were experienced all over and at least 100 people were killed, and many more are missing.

They say that death and tragedy are the greatest equalizers, and this is none more true than during the calamity last weekend. Families from various economic sectors were not spared from the flash floods entering their homes, many were forced to retreat to their roofs, until rescuers came. The moneyed inhabitants of Forbes Park and Dasmarinas Village, the middle class living in gated villages, as well as the squatters living near the "estero" had their homes violated by the sudden, uninvited gush of murky floodwater.

One person shared his testimony at church yesterday, testifiying how he had two vehicles with a combined worth of PHP ten million submerged in flood water. One of C's good buddy from La Salle who had just moved into a brand new nome in Loyola Grand Villas with her husband and young daughter found themselves homeless, although temporarily, as floodwater flowed into the house's first floor; destroying the new and expensive furniture.

Just as I was checking my inbox this morning, I received an email informing me that a grade two co-parent at my daughters' school was one of those unfortunate victims of the flash flood, as well. Details are not clear, but from what was relayed to me, as water quickly engulfed the vehicle he was in, he moved out and held on to a tree or lamp post; it was at the same time that a nearby wall or post got knocked out and fell on him, pinning him to his untimely death.

My own brother-in-law was stuck in the gridlocked area of Buendia, in the vicinity of the Cash and Carry from the early afternoon of Saturday up to the early morning of Sunday. Flood water had risen neck-deep rendering the road impassable to motorists. My sister-in-law, was likewise stuck in traffic. After not moving an inch for an two hours, she sensibly decided to head to their ancestral house to spend the night. Leaving her two young daughters, one still an infant, at home alone with just the yayas.

I saw many videos posted on YouYube taken during the typhoon; but none scared me more than this. The UERM students, who were stranded inside the campus, shot this video using a mobile phone. It scared me because of two things: first, seeing the dangerous extent of nature's wrath; second, that one of the spectator had the capacity to laugh while being witness to this harrowing event.




A slideshow taken also from YouTube that shows the many faces of the tragedy that is Ondoy.



A biblical passage to lift up our spirits during this depressing times.
Taken from the book of Psalms, chapter 40, verses 1 - 3:

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our GOD.


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