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Typhoons in the Philippines
The Philippines, a small archipelago in the Southeast Asia is included in the typhoon belt of the Pacific. Typically, typhoons visit regularly, averaging at 20 at most. One of them was a super typhoon, Megi, one of the strongest in the world.
The deadliest and strongest typhoons categorized by the Philippine weather bureau as super typhoons pass by during the September-December season. This coincidence is quite unfortunate because harvesting is many agricultural areas is also during this time of the year.
Typhoon Ondoy (International name: Ketsana)
In September of 2009, the Philippines was devastated by a typhoon locally named “Ondoy” (International name: Ketsana) which dumped four months worth of rain within 12 hours affecting many areas in Luzon specifically Metro Manila. Flash floods wrought havoc to this city causing 464 deaths and damaging properties worth millions. The accompanying flash floods caught many people especially in Metro Manila unprepared.
Ondoy submerged the capital and Metro Manila remained under flood waters, with communications and electricity affected for days or even weeks in some areas.
It was a horrible experience for city residents whose houses were under floodwaters for many days, some lost loved ones but it also became the opportunity for may people in the Philippines and across the globe to open their generous hearts and extend help to those badly affected by Ondoy.
The devastation has not only claimed many lives, it also revealed the government’s ill-preparedness and the lack of a concrete plan in the event of such disasters and this has prompted calls from different sectors fora more reliable and responsive disaster preparedness planning. The Ondoy experience made Christmas bleak for those who lost a family member.
Super Typhoon Juan (Megi)
A major part of Luzon faced the wrath of another super typhoon Juan (international name: Megi). With wind speed topping at 260 kph near the center, it brought destruction to property, animals and crops as it was already harvesting season in the rice agricultural areas.
Typhoon Juan caused many parts of Isabela, a province lying in the northeastern part of Luzon, isolated with many residents in need of water, food and medicine. The Philippine government exhausted all its resources in preparation to evacuate people living in the areas in time before typhoon hits land.
Typhoon Sendong (Intenational Name:Washi)
In the night of December 16, a few days before Christmas, heavy rains caused by Typhoon Sendong started pouring in the southern provinces in the Philippines. The residents, fast asleep at that time never expected the real nightmare to visit that night. Soon floodwaters rush down from the mountains down to the city carrying mud, logs and other debris. It easily swept houses, properties and claimed the lives of more that 1000 people with hundreds more missing. Most badly hit were Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan, and Negros areas.
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