Table Talk: Typhoons can happen anywhere this time PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 December 2011 13:18

BY Mike S Apostol

Indeed the much feared climate change predicted by many scientists in almost all countries is now happening. Throughout the world the climate change on our planet Earth has caused so many devastation and loss of lives. America is now experiencing devastating floods and fatal snow storms. Many countries in Europe, the Scandinavian countries, the Middle East nations are also experiencing extreme weather condition causing damages running hundreds of million dollars. Lately, Thailand was flooded for over a month right at the heart of her main city of Bangkok, almost driving away their foreign investors. Many decades ago, these are rare occurrences but today even in the desert of Sahara, many Arabs were surprised that rain fell in some parts of the desert also causing some areas to be flooded.
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In Mindanao, dubbed as typhoon free island, away from the path of cyclones is now a myth. Just recently, the cities of Cagayan De Oro and Iligan, in Northern Mindanao, were hit by a devastating flash flood killing hundreds of her residents, that funeral parlors in those cities refused to accept cadavers of victims not because they can’t pay their services but because funeral parlors cannot anymore cope with their embalming services and coffins are all sold out due to the hundreds of dead brought to their parlor in a single day. The death toll in that devastating flash flood may reach a thousand as hundreds are still missing and unaccounted for. Even the provincial government of Misamis Oriental and the cities of CDO and Iligan, two very progressive industrial cities before the floods hit them are now asking for help and donations from good Samaritans to help them with this disastrous predicament.
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We are all in sympathy to the families of victims and we are praying that they will be able to go on with their lives after this calamity. However, the national government must bear the brunt of the burden, since indirectly the government is responsible for the disaster for their laxity in implementing National Laws controlling logging and mining and for allowing the presence of illegal loggers and miners. What is ironic is, it is a national government agency that is tasked to implement logging and mining laws that reported forest denudation in the watersheds of Bukidnon and Lanao Norte  due to illegal logging caused rain water to flow into the cities since it cannot anymore absorb more rain. Well said than done, nobody can stop the wrath of nature, but, government with its enormous and awesome authority can do something to protect her population from the onslaught of nature.
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Zamboanga City must be wary because it has its history of flooding with the same cause and reason as Northern Mindanao. Many years back, the whole city was flooded and houses were submerged with brackish water from the swollen big rivers crisscrossing the city from Barangays Tumaga, Pasonanca and  Guiwan. Although there was not so much reported dead due to the floods during those times because the city’s population was not really too big as now but God forbid, if it happens again now, the death toll will be alarming, since there are too many shanties in the city. Just a couple of years ago, after a heavy rain for only 4 hours, Barangays San Roque and San Jose Gusu were flooded when the city water district opened its dam to prevent it from breaking for water over pressure and without warning or notice to the public. Many were hospitalized due to illness brought about by the dirty water from those rivers. San Roque public cemetery and the Catholic memorial park were also inundated alarming people from the vicinity because water from the cemetery was flowing into their homes. And all these flooding happened without a typhoon hitting Zamboanga City.
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Scoop: Is Zamboanga City ready for any calamity and emergency? The city government must now at least learn from the lessons of Typhoons Ondoy and Sendong. The topography of Zamboanga City is like Cagayan and Iligan cities, it is in between the mountains and the sea.