Luczon: Wet summer

THERE’S no reason to panic if one is prepared, but it’s still good to keep an eye on a new storm which is locally named as “Domeng” (international name: “Peipah”). As early as now, one can fix the schedules ahead and ample time to prepare should circumstances arise.

Domeng is the fourth weather disturbance to enter Mindanao this year, and ninth since “Sendong” in 2011, according to a report by Mindanews. With that three-year timetable, we have been anxious for at least nine times, and since then, we started to consider safety zones and outlining contingency plans if ever natural disasters strike.

We are learning the ropes to surviving natural calamities, however, it has become strenuous at times that we have to be like this every time there is an incoming weather disturbance like storms and tropical depressions, but as the term goes, “let’s not put our guards down.”

It is clear for everyone that our surroundings are very fragile, small drops of rain can now a cause for floods and landslides. But this is a reality we have to face: people in Mindanao should accept the fact that gone were the days that the island is typhoon-free.

With the climate changing, and populations rising, our children will be re-introduced to a new Mindanao that constantly deals with storms coming on its path and this is irreversible in the next hundreds of years.

Should we be bothered? When we look at our surroundings and if we still don’t see physical evidences that both the government and private sectors did something in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness, then maybe should be bothered.

The level of preparedness must not go lower even so the general situation is “okay.” We should start building communities that can withstand calamities and a system that can address the needs of those who will be affected by disasters.

Relying solely to “evacuations” in a storm signal number one may not help at all, but rather will become too costly and waste of time.

Come this week, let us hope that direction of the storm will change its course over time. But we have already witnessed how tropical depression “Agaton” did to northern Mindanao with continuous rains, how much more to “Domeng” which has a stronger wind force.

This is also the time we should look at how crucial government funds are in acquiring necessary technology upgrades as well as obtaining modern devices in response to natural disasters and the technology that forecasts and prevents such disasters to create huge damages on life and properties.

In so far as the rural communities are concerned, there are still those that lack the basic things in disaster risk management and response. That is why if only our officials are sensitive enough with these needs; they better start caring for the survival of the many from calamities than the survival of their personal pockets.

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