Philippine Flood 2012: My Thoughts and What You Need to Know | BlogPh.net

Philippine Flood 2012: My Thoughts and What You Need to Know

With the Philippine flood (2012) devastating the nation today, my thoughts are for everyone who has been affected to be safe. But other than sympathy and empathy, there are important information we all need to know in relation to this catastrophe.

Red, Green, and Yellow Warning Signs

First on the list are red, green, and yellow warning signs. Last Monday (Aug. 6), red warning flag was issued by PAG ASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services) due to rain fall beyond heavy and intense. I didn’t exactly know what it means but I figured it’s something dangerous. Below red, other flag warnings signs include green and yellow. To understand what these means, see image below (click to enlarge image).




According to Kim Atienza earlier over at Kris TV (ABS-CBN show after the Umagang Kay Ganda – news and public affairs program in the morning), the perfect description for Yellow sign are heavy rainfall accompanied by thunder and lightning such as those we have experienced last summer. Green flag on the other hand is best described through that old adage “raining cats and dogs.” With this warning, areas affected should already be preparing what they need in case the need to evacuate comes. Items such as water, food which can be readily eaten like noodles and canned goods, medicine, warm clothing, blankets, and life vests or boats (if any) should be collected. Lastly, red warning is evident through endless sheets of rain. This calls for evacuation.

These warning signs are already used abroad particularly the U.S. for decades. It had only been implemented in the Philippines this year (2012) though; thus, not many people know about it. PAG ASA is at least more aggressive now when it comes to information dissemination after that major failure back during the onslaught of Ondoy in 2009. This government agency is utilizing social media including Facebook and Twitter to disseminate information. Although not everyone has social network site accounts, at least those who do can be able to pass the info on to everyone else they know.

How to Make Improvise Life Vests and Vessels

In case over the head floods do occur, you can prepare by making improvised life vests and even vessels. Jeans tied securely at the lower leg area for one can be used to stay afloat. Just fill the jeans with water by submerging it into the flood water with one quick and strong whip once you’ve tied the ends. Even if the waist area remains open, it won’t let air escape. It then becomes an instant floating mechanism.

You can also create makeshift life vests using plastic bottles. Tie a few empty bottles together securely and strap it onto your chest area. You can even make one for your pet animals. Small children can use a tub laundry basin as a boat. A raft can even be created out of wooden posts and logs. Other large wood as well as plastic containers may also be used for this purpose.

Record Breaking Rain Fall

According to reports, the rains during the past few days have actually already surpassed the record of Ondoy (international name Ketsana) back in 2009 – the typhoon which claimed the lives of 747 people and caused damage to properties amounting to $1.09 billion. But at least this isn’t even a typhoon so there are no strong winds. Problem is, the rain seemingly doesn’t stop and it has been raining for days.

So why has it been raining this long? It’s due to the typhoon Haikui which has been wrecking havoc in East China for the past weeks. The typhoon’s movement is slow, unlike other storms. Its presence attracts the north eastern winds in the Philippines; thereby, causing the monsoon rains we have been experiencing the past few days. So until Haikui leaves China, it’s going to remain rainy still. This same storm and the flood it caused the Philippines forced China to evacuate about 450,000 people.

Luckily for the southern areas of the Philippines, they’re not affected by this heavy rain downpour. Those in the Bicol area are even luckier as their location is quite strategic when we talk about storms, monsoon winds, and rain. Only Metro Manila and north as well as central Luzon are affected.

Dangerous Places to Live at

In relation to this seemingly non-stop raining, it is unfortunate that an entire family of 9 including three children (one is a one month old infant) died covered in mud when the rains triggered a landslide along the road in Quezon City where shanties abound. These same areas are some of the dangerous places to live at due to the possibility of landslides. The same applies to homes under bridges and near river banks.

We can’t say that flood prone areas are dangerous. It’s part of the geographical structure of the area. If they are low lying or near bodies of water, there should at least be an effective drainage system.
As for the areas which are really risky and are even against the law for anyone to reside at, the government should implement a forced relocation where they can safely be transferred elsewhere safe.

Pangasinan Floods

There are 4 towns and 31 barangays which are currently flooded in Pangasinan. Most of these towns are really flood prone places for as long as I can remember such as Dagupan, Calasiao, and Sta. Barbara. They do have drainage systems alright but apparently these are not enough or are not too effective against the so-called water basin of this province (being adjacent to the beach area).

At least, San Roque Dam officials are not as lax as they were back in Ondoy of 2009. Gates (at least 2) with only one meter up are being opened so as not to fill up the water reservoir with rain waters to the brim. That was their mistake back then. They allowed water to completely fill the dam before spilling it out, so all gates were fully opened when it literally covered the eastern part of the province as if it’s Water World. They said it was to prevent further damage to the dam. Saving the dam caused hundreds of people to die and properties amounting to millions to be washed out. I can’t imagine that even elevated SM City Rosales was flooded almost to the roof. I wished they would have sued the San Roque management and made them pay for a lapse of judgment which costs lives and properties. Anyway, that was part of the past and the same management seems to be more responsible now.

Google Resources related to the 2012 Philippines flood


The link above will help you find missing persons; see maps of affected areas; read related news or updates from various news media networks; find contact information for relevant government offices including national and local disaster coordinating councils; and school or work suspension information.

Be Safe

It’s still raining but it’s not as heavy as the past few days at least. I say to everyone “be safe” as safety is not something passive. You have to actively do something too.
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