What an end to our Quit Coal ship tour in the Philippines… After talking about the effects of Climate Change on the Philippines for several weeks, I experienced them first hand with “Frank” or internationally better known as Typhoon Fengshen. The Rainbow Warrior left just in time from the island of Boracay where we had launched the “Save the Climate, save Boracay” initiative with local resorts. Just hours later the typhoon struck the island.
I have never seen such torrential rainfall, flooding and strong gales for 3 days. Stuck on the paradise island of Boracay – it seemed more like hell with no way to escape; no electricity, water or any kinds of communication with the outside world.
The locals assured me that this was nothing compared to a super typhoon.
Although typhoons hit the Philippines on a regular basis, they have changed their pathway due to climate change hitting the islands more frequently and intensely. Here
you can get a glimpse of the impacts.
I can tell you, that I am more than relieved that the storm is over. The sad irony is that the island of Panay with the City of Iloilo, where we have been protesting against the new coal fired power plant and pointing at the impacts of Climate Change, has been hit hardest. Greenpeace Southeast Asia is now looking if we can help with the rescue operations.
Climate Change often seems so far away to me, reduced to scientific numbers – this experience has definitely showed me that we cannot waste any more time until we act.