a photo of our house
a photo of our house surrounded by floodwater

Note: I was supposed to publish this yesterday but the power in our area went out and was not able to get back until this morning, but I was not able to get online due to the many things that needs to be fixed and cleaned here at home. What's written in this account is but a minor thing compared to the extent and degree of damage that was done by the floods in other places. People who're willing to share their stories are more than welcomed to share theirs by commenting on this post with their personal account of the floods.

The term ‘most vulnerable and least prepared’ comes into mind as we experienced  48 hours of heavy precipitation. Although I must say that I should consider our family one of the lucky ones... This is the first time that it has gotten this high, I remember during my younger years that the floodwater surge at the back of our house didn’t go as high as 5 inches, but now it is over 3-feet already.

It is also ironic that this disaster should happen in between two big important climate meetings, the G20 summit in Pittsburgh and the UNFCCC intercessional meeting in Bangkok. - Amalie Obusan, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner.
We’ve spent most of the morning putting important stuff on top of tables and such, and then a few minutes later we’re forced to stack them higher up again. Cockroaches are everywhere because even their homes are already submerged in water. We had to turn off the electricity because the sockets are already underwater.

The whole morning we’re getting calls from our other relatives and friends saying that their houses are starting to get flooded as well. I have an aunt who lives in Antipolo, saying that her entire basement is already submerged and that the 1st floor of their house is already waist-deep in floodwater. My brother who lives in Makati also called to tell us that the first floor of their house is already underwater.

It took me half a day to get through the busy telephone lines to reach my girlfriend where I learned that the entire 1st floor of their house is already submerged in floodwaters that are still rising.

The PAGASA website where we are supposed to get info on the weather is down, probably due to the heavy volume of traffic that its getting at the moment. By noontime news broadcasts have yet to show television footages of the floods.

I’m writing this now hoping that by the time that the electricity is back I might upload this so that the world may read and see, that this is the first time that such flooding has happened in our house eversince we've moved here 24 years ago. Also to attest that this account is but one among the minor stories of people who expererienced the flooding, not to mention to speak about the ever increasing intensity and frequency of typhoons and storm surges that we have been experiencing here in the Philippines.

Climate experts say that unless decisive solutions are immediately put on the table, the worst is yet to come. Greenpeace is demanding industrialized countries, which account for most of the world’s carbon emissions - the greatest contributor to climate change - to take responsibility and show leadership towards genuine solutions in Copenhagen this December. Countries like the US are expected to commit to greater reductions in their carbon emissions and to put up a US$140 billion fund for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

True enough, what happened yesterday might very well be an omen of worst days ahead if no action is taken with serious urgency.

Climate change is real, science no longer denies that extreme weather events are directly linked to drastic changes in the oceans’ surface temperature.

Click here to read about Typhoon Ondoy

Chuck Baclagon