It is a scene we are no longer unfamiliar with, unfortunately. As Typhoon Mario itself was ravaging Northern Luzan, thanks to the southwest monsoon or “habagat,” found itself on the receiving end as well of the typhoon’s fury even though the metropolis was not in the typhoon’s direct path.
As a result, last September 19, parts of Metro Manila was submerged in flood water that rose as high as the chest, paralyzing the metropolis as a whole to a standstill that day.
Alarming as it may seem, it looks like it is going to be the new normal, thanks to climate change and the continued inaction of our authorities.
Interestingly, this occurred just a few days off the 5th anniversary of the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy which was the first typhoon in recent memory to manage to submerge the metropolis in rising floods. While Typhoon Mario did not manage to match or exceed the level of damage Ondoy wrought, the extent of Mario’s damage was enough for many to recall Ondoy.
One can say the metropolis was never the same after Ondoy as almost every year, intense flooding has been a problem almost every year, whether it’s brought about by a typhoon or a even just an intense southwest monsoon hitting us.
Yet after all these occurrences, we have yet to hear the government initiate massive measures to address this worsening issue. And by that, I do not mean relief operations or short-term initiatives. What is needed is a drastic, long-term solution that will help alleviate the suffering the metropolis is facing due to these heavy floods.
I suppose the authorities have at least an inkling of an idea as to what is needed to be done. Yet five years after Ondoy, there seems to be no clear solution in sight that they have made. Unfortunately, I think we all know the reason why.
Still, I hope this latest incident will force the government to get on its knees and work on these long-term solutions.
Then again, that is the same line I find myself repeating year after year. Sigh…