Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Typhoon Pablo

Last year, typhoon Sendong came surging in on December 17 causing immense amount of flooding and taking the lives of thousands in Dumaguete and the surrounding area.  Remembering this tragedy, we were all on high alert when warnings for typhoon Pablo were forecast to hit Dumaguete around 3pm Tuesday, December 4.  On Monday night, grocery stores were packed with people stocking up on the essentials for the next few days.  On Tuesday, the rains started early in the morning, all classes were canceled, and most hunkered down in their homes with family to wait out the storm.  The strength of Pablo was estimated to be about twice as strong as Sendong; however, the force of the storm may have lost some of its power as it first hit the most southern island of the Philippines, Mindanao.  Pablo managed to come in strong with high winds blowing over many trees, ripping off roofs, and shorting out power for the entire region.  Luckily, Foundation University has a backup generator, so my house was not without power for more than an hour.  The rest of the city is still without power, and it could remain this way for a few days.  Some flooding occurred along the rivers, but nothing compared to last year's flood.  For the most part, reports of damage seem to be mild and I haven't heard of any injuries.  Today, many are cleaning up the debris left behind from Pablo and classes resume as usual.  I am glad for this.  

It is Thursday, two days after the typhoon and Dumaguete is back to normal.  Early this morning I saw the street lights were glowing, reassuring me that the power was functioning again, at least in the main part of the city.  Today, like every Thursday, the students and I make the rocky climb up to the construction site.  But because of the storm, we were blocked by a river rushing over the road as we were making our way to the site.  Across the river, there were residents who also were impacted by this; but they managed to take their chances by pushing their motorbikes through the forceful water.  Not wanting to take any risks with the students, we decided to turn back around and have a design coordination day at the school.

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