Hidalgo: Unusual natural phenomena happening now

I AM amazed reading the news feed posts this week. The first one happened on January 31, 2018. It mentioned the news about the "Super Blue Blood Moon." A super moon is 4 percent bigger than the usual size we see nearest to our earth. This time it is 14 percent brighter, thus the name, super; and blue moon because it's the second full moon in January. The red moon or the blood moon is visible where only the red spectrum of the sun is reflected by it and all the rest are not. The sun's spectrum is Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROYGBIV - the color of the rainbow).

The triple spectacular show of the moon is climaxed by a total lunar eclipse. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the shadow of our earth covers the whole full moon. The moon appears dark except the ring of light around it. This happens when the earth is between the sun and the full moon. Distances give this illusion. The sun is so far away from the earth and moon. Try to figure this out.

In connection with eclipses, I experienced a total solar eclipse in my lifetime. This happens when our earth's shadow covers the far away sun. At high noon the earth experiences night time; high noon becomes dark, we see the stars in the heavens, animals start to roost or rest. Kind of weird and eerie.

The second spectacular event is triggered by our own Mayon. I was fascinated by Mayon Volcano and its perfect cone. When our faculty at St. Scholastica's College, Manila had our free yearly trip to places of interest, we chose Albay to see Mayon. My treasured photo souvenir which I shot with my Kodak camera shows Mayon Volcano with its perfect cone. I waited long to clear the place of people and the clouds. There were rocks, some as big as a bus, and they told me these were expelled from the volcano. I saw the ruins of Cagsawa church half buried in the molten ash.

Mayon's unrest now made me read about the Pacific Ocean. The UN warns that the Pacific Ring of Fire will be very active these weeks. All volcanoes across Asia have the most potential for future destructive eruptions; some are presently dormant. All mentioned here are above sea levels.

Earthquakes of tectonic and volcanic origins are felt in Indonesia, Japan, Alaska and New Zealand and Russia. This group of islands and continent shave about 452 active and dormant volcanoes. All these places had experienced deadly eruption of volcanoes located in their countries. Alaska's Icebergs had been melted and had flooded lowland areas.

In my lifetime, I had the harrowing experience of a major eruption of a long dormant Mount Pinatubo in Pampanga. Enormous piles of ash and lahar deposits formed mountain-like land forms. We passed Santa Rita, Pampanga on streets paved for the vehicles to pass. I was told that towns buildings and homes were underneath these. One whole St. Scholastica’s School is there with all its buildings and facilities, pianos in the music department.

Surviving population of such places had to start from scratch making handicrafts from lahar. I keep one, an icon of Mama Mary given to me as a gift. Farmers seeing some plants from the lahar field studied how these plants grew and survive learned some lessons, too. I picked up a driftwood shaped like a escaping horse and made it into a table decor and captioned it - "the horse which survived the wrath of nature."

Near Mayon Volcano at present, I saw trucks hauling trucks of lahar ash and soil for building materials. They should be cautioned to wear face protectors so as not to inhale the irritants in the respiratory tracts.

Women are also made busy by creating handicrafts. Special attention should be given to children to go back to school. Special debriefing exercises must be given to heal the trauma caused by the disasters.

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