Witnessing The Devastation On TV

I have been transfixed on our tv and internet since yesterday watching horrified the devastating effects Hurricane Sandy has brought in to the effects. A calamity so large that we can feel it all the way here in Chicago. Locals have been warned of the 20-30 foot waves in Lake Michigan and there was even a possibility of the Lakeshore Drive closing last night and today.

It is just eerie to me how the images of flood and people trying to traverse them brought back memories of Hurricane Katrina and how surreal it was for me at that time that such a scene could be happening to a first world, super power country like the US. I have seen too much of it from my country, even in my own hometown at one time were 8,000 lives perished in a flash flood. And now it has happened again, this time to the more affluent communities in the States. Nature really knows no socio-economic boundaries. But then of course, if you are rich you are bound to have a second, or a third home somewhere else untouched.

It’s a bit cloudy and chilly day here in Chicago and the mood has me reaching for comfort food. The kind of which we in the typhoon-power prone part of the Philippines reach for during power outages: instant pancit canton and sardines. We are quite seasoned “survivors” to storms and the inconveniences it brings that us kids at that time even welcome the excuse for a no-school-day and rare chance to don our sweaters. But of course, it was nothing like Hurricane Sandy, I would hate to think what storm as powerful as Sandy would bring to a poor and tiny country like the Philippines. It would take years for us to recover. Not to mention lives lost.

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3 Responses to Witnessing The Devastation On TV

  1. Loraine says:

    I hope it will not happen in the Philippines. it is less equip to handle such devastation. However, it is highly possible due to global warming. Storms are more powerful. I just don’t want to think about it…

  2. Ed says:

    I had quite the opposite view as you. I figured those in hurricane prone areas such as the Philippines would laugh at the likes of Hurricane Sandy. Was it a hurricane when it hit or had it already been downgraded to a tropical storm? I think the reason the devastation is so great is that the area just isn’t used to hurricanes and don’t know how to adequately prepare for them.

    Having been recently to New York City and New Jersey, I can say a lot of both those areas are barely above sea level but without the protective dikes that places like New Orleans and other places in the Gulf coast have. I think I have read that much of lower Manhatten is less than a dozen feet above sea level and that was the expected crest of the storm surge.

    Whatever the case, I am still amazed at the damage from a relatively small hurricane. Stuff like that would make me sit up and take notice if I am ever in the path of a relatively small hurricane and prepare for it even if I didn’t think it would amount to much.

    On a side note, my brother and his wife met Hurricane Sandy head on in the Bahamas while on vacation. They ended up spending most of their week inside eating and drinking well while watching breaking waves in their doorside swimming pool. Other than wet carpet and having to stay a day longer than planned to get a flight out, they survived no worse for the wear.

  3. geri says:

    I agree with you Lorraine, especially being a nation of islands and almost every city is situated near the coast.

    Ed, here is a list of Philippines strongest typhoons and their casualities: http://www.typhoon2000.ph/stormstats/12WorstPhilippineTyphoons.htm

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