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Small blessings

Despite its arrival being unseasonably late, Tropical Storm “Quinta” (international name: “Wukong”) left the Philippines relatively unscathed, leaving nine people dead and several others missing. Of course, every death is costly, and the floods in Iloilo have been awful, sending tens of thousands of Filipinos away from their homes, but Quinta could have done so much worse.

Posted: December 29th, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Rain and floods: managing the human footprint

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There was no storm over Manila in the second week of August. But why was there so much rain?  Why was the flooding so severe?   When it comes to tropical cyclones, the Philippines sits within the planet’s “ground zero.”  So, it is to be expected that these “generators” of violent weather will continue to [...]

Posted: August 16th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Still stunned, survivors of Sendong have yet to really mourn

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A visit to evacuation centers in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro left me with the overwhelming impression that most people are still stunned, that they still have to internalize the loss of their loved ones or are still holding out hope for their reappearance. They still have to really mourn, but that moment will come crashing on them very soon.

Posted: December 25th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Focusing on the essentials

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Judging from TV coverage of the aftermath of Storm “Sendong,” much of the relief work being carried out in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan—the two biggest cities affected by the floods and mudslides—is being done by the private sector. More specifically, by the TV networks reporting on the disaster. Notice that coverage of relief efforts focuses on the fund-raising, collection and distribution of water, food and other goods managed by each network’s CSR or corporate social responsibility arm.

Posted: December 23rd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Mitigation

Government officials have warned the people to brace themselves for more devastating storms, flooding and drought unless policies and programs are adopted to mitigate climate change. Science and Technology Undersecretary Graciano Yumul, for one, said that in the next 20 to 50 years the dry seasons would be drier and the wet seasons wetter. We [...]

Posted: October 4th, 2011 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Floods

Last Thursday saw a mini-reprise of the horrific “Ondoy” storm and floods of 2009. Many of the main streets were flooded, and some of the notorious areas like Marikina had water rising almost two stories high. The heavy rains fell during the rush hours, causing a traffic gridlock that in some instances took nearly 10 [...]

Posted: June 28th, 2011 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Perspective

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Frankly, I can’t understand the complaints about the way government has been handling the storms and floods of late. Let’s have some perspective on this. A couple of years ago, Ondoy ravaged Metro Manila. The event caught the residents of Metro Manila totally unprepared. Pagasa gave no warning of it. What seemed like just another [...]

Posted: June 27th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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