Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Please Help Typhoon Ondoy Victims

Last Saturday, September 26, 2009, the Philippines was struck by Typhoon Ondoy. I went out that morning with my husband to go to our son's school to attend a talk and get our son's report card. My husband hesitated to go out because of the non-stop rain but I insisted that we push through upon confirming from the school that the talk was still set that day. Heavy downpour made it difficult for my husband to drive. We were already on the very street where my son's school is located when we were forced to stop because of unexpected flooding in the area. Cars ahead of us were turning back. Upon closer inspection, hubby realized that the water was too high; we had no choice but to go back. I was silently blaming myself for going out in the first place but hubby didn't blame me. We decided to go to the nearby mall to have lunch and buy some groceries. Hubby dropped me off near the entrance. He was drenched when he got inside the mall. The umbrella wasn't much help in deterring the rain because of the strong wind and rain.

After eating a quick lunch and buying groceries, we decided to go home. I assumed we would be home within 30 minutes or so. We weren't prepared for what came next. Traffic was horrendous! Vehicles along Star Tollway came to a halt. We were forced to find alternative routes going home. Flooded areas hindered us from going home. It was scary because there were some places in town with raging flood waters. Some vehicles that rushed in the flood got stuck as engines stalled. My husband was more careful and decided to wait for flood waters to subside a little before heading on. What I thought was a 30-minute drive home stretched to a 3-hour journey.

When we finally reached home, I was thankful that there was no flood in our village. I was so anxious to go inside the house to see my son that I dropped my umbrella. A sharp part of the umbrella's interior sliced my left ring finger. It was a little deep but fortunately didn't require stitching.

As I applied first aid, my 6-year old son gave me a tight hug. He said that he watched the people in the flood on TV and was worried we were trapped like them. It was only at that moment that I realized how serious things were in Manila and other nearby towns. I was shocked when I saw people on the roofs and tremendously deep flood waters engulfing homes and vehicles. I realized that we were blessed because my family was safe and dry. We had a little difficulty going home but that didn't compare to the sufferings experienced by other people. I was moved to tears as I saw families with small children drenched and helpless on top of their roofs. I watched in horror as a group of people were helplessly swept by the strong currents. I couldn't believe how devastated many areas were. Some people even lost their lives during typhoon Ondoy's fury.

I found out that the 5 to 6-hour downpour was equivalent to one month of rain. Experts say that it is a result of a global climate change. It's a scary fact that stares us right on the face. It is only one of nature's many warnings to us.

The typhoon left a trail of destruction, pain and suffering to many of my countrymen. The typhoon left many homeless. A lot of families are now temporarily housed in evacuation centers like schools and gymnasiums. Help have poured in from the government, local and international private sectors but more people are in dire need of help. Please open your hearts and help in whatever way you can.


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