Thursday, October 15, 2009

Every Passing Second is a Chance for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Redeem Herself by Turning The Philippines Around Now, Until the Next Ondoys or Ketsanas Hit the 'Pearl of the Orient' Unto Historical Oblivion

I am journalist Marc Guerrero, Filipino citizen of the world, holder of  diplomatic 'Hopenhagen' passport No 2505576438.

I and my colleagues in the media (in The Philippines and in more than 100 countries) at The Press for Help Project initiatives via are One with the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen (Dec 7-18 2009), with Al Gore, and with likeminded, likehearted and likespirited individuals and groups, specially the eight-pax BAD 2009 Team of Robin Beck, a co-changemaker at in Washington DC led-inspired by Ben Ratray, Heather Graham et al, who are moving and shaking the world with Blog Action Day (BAD) 2009: Climate Change, today, the 15th of October, a day after my 48th birthday. That's BAD for any political, business, civil society and religious leaders and followers who are on the wrong side of history (specially "those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent" - chief speechwriter Jon Favreau for 44th US President Barack Hussein Obama inaugural), and I think it's good for me and my next generations! See how 20,000 BAD Australian bloggers started in 2007

THE PHILIPPINE Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA as in "hope" in Tagalog) had assigned the name "Ondoy" to three tropical cyclones in Western Pacific from 2001. There was a second Ondoy in 2005, named internationally as tropical storm Temblin. Typhoon Ketsana - the third Ondoy - on the 26th of Sept 2009 (wedding day in Los Banos, Laguna, The Philippines, of my son's best man Lythus Lobo) was the strongest Ondoy to hit Metro Manila and the almost entire country.

Wikipedia described the worse Ondoy in the Philippine climate history since Bagyong Yoling in the late-1960s that flooded the whole of Central Luzon:

"Typhoon Ketsana (international designation: 0916, JTWC designation: 17W, PAGASA name: Ondoy) formed early on September 23 2009, about 860 km (535 mi) to the northwest of Palau. The depression remained weak and was downgraded to a low pressure area later that day by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The low pressure area then reintensified early the next day and was named as Tropical Depression Ondoy by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration as the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert on the depression. It was then reupgraded to a tropical depression by the JMA later that morning before the JTWC followed suit early on Sept 25, designating the depression as 17W. The intensification of Ondoy was hampered throughout Sept 25 by the system moving into an area of moderate vertical windshear and an upper level trough of pressure which was moving over the system. It was then upgraded to a Tropical Storm and named as Ketsana before passing over the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

"On Sept 24, PAGASA placed the provinces of Aurora, northern Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes under Public Storm Warning Signal  No 1 which meant that winds of 30–60 km/h were expected to affect the said areas within 36 hours. After the floods struck, some were critical of the government's failure to predict the scale of the disaster, or to lessen the damage it caused.[8]

"On Sept 24, Ketsana was estimated to be 330 km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes with a maintaining speed of 55 km/h at its center.[27] A day later, Ketsana was spotted 360 km southeast of Baler, Aurora with maximum winds of 65 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. PAG-ASA alerted public storm signal no. 2 into the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, and Polillo Island in Quezon.[28] On Sept 26, shortly before noon in PST (around 0400 UTC), Ketsana made its landfall at the border of Aurora and Quezon provinces, packed with maximum winds of 85 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 100 km/h.[29] At 2:00 PM PST (0600 UTC) that day, Ketsana approached Metro Manila and caused widespread flooding into the cities of Marikina, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Quezon, Makati, Pasay, Pasig, Antipolo, Taguig, Valenzuela and San Juan. Flooding also occured in nearby provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and other Southern Tagalog areas. Major roads were rendered impassable because of huge flood currents and clogged cars.[29] On the same hand, air flights were canceled because of heavy rains.
Earlier, power interruptions were reported in Camarines Norte and minor landslides occurred in Camarines Sur.[29] EDSA was closed because of heavy flooding."

Nearly 500 people lost their lives at the height of the storm. Thousands more were dying on the aftermath due to continuous flooding, unattended garbage collection, unrehabilitated public works and other woes. Damage to agriculture and infrastructure was estimated by Wikipedia at PhP4.9 billion. Combined Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin and other mainstream media accounts put the liabilities at P10 billion. NGOs were in a consensus that official and unofficial estimates could double in terms of lost business. 

I am still writing my blog action for climate change artcle in Manila now. Hang on. I'll be right back.


Writing on...

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