Unity amidst the storms and calamities
Philippines is the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms, earthquakes and other calamities. Every year, around 20 typhoons ravage the country, leaving hundreds and thousands of people losing their lives and their families, properties and livelihood.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), we will expect five more typhoons before the end of the year. This means, more high winds and more rains.
Last week, Typhoon Ompong’s death toll reached 95 and at least 54 individuals are still missing. Most of the fatalities were from the Cordillera Administrative Region, were landslides occurred. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council confirmed that at least 1.4 million residents nationwide have been affected by the typhoon.
In November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Typhoon Yolanda has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people with more than a thousand missing, affecting 3 million families. It damaged 1 million houses, and 40 billion pesos worth of infrastructure and agriculture products. Greatly battered were Tacloban City and nearby provinces as the typhoon moved westward affecting them excessively.
Through the Philippine Government’s thrusts and initiatives, a law was passed in 2010, to address the disaster risk reduction. Known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Act, RA 10121 is instrumental in planning, allocating resources and managing the ill effects of calamities among the community members.
A year after that, the vision was formulated by the NDDRM Council on attaining a “Safer, Adaptive and disaster-resilient Filipino Communities towards sustainable development”.
Through the support of our stakeholders, especially the local and national governments, we could be more prepared in facing these calamities. Preparedness, adaptation and mitigation should always be the keys.
Everybody must be prepared to face any and all disasters and calamities. From having emergency kits to knowing safe zones and developing survival skills.
We must adapt as to Climate Change that is forecast to create supertyphoons. We must adapt, for example, by knowing the geohazard maps and relocate if we see that our houses are in an area that is prone to landslides or flooding or earthquake. We must yield to science.
The challenge is insurmountable, but we, Filipinos, have been used to these debacles that wreak havoc our country more often as we though it to be. In spite of all these, we are resilient and are bonded by great unity amidst these catastrophes.