On Typhoon Pablo

I would like to extend my condolences to the families of those who dies due to Typhoon Pablo’s wrath. May their souls rest in peace.

Last year, my city experienced Sendong. A lot of houses got carried away by the waters, a lot of people died, some are still missing and lots were injured. A lot of houses got flooded and a lot of people took shelter on schools, gyms and other evacuation centers. I was part of what you can call the Sendong survivors. Our house got flooded, we fought the strong current of the flash flood just to go to a safe place and wasn’t able to contract tetanus or leptospirosis. Sendong was one big nightmare and lesson to all of us. Never take storm signals lightly and always be prepared.

Pablo has already passed my city and I’m very glad. It was mentioned that Pablo was actually stronger than Sendong and that made me really worried. It wasn’t even one year yet when Sendong has devastated my city and now Pablo has came. Because a lot of people has already been traumatized by Sendong and the city government was already criticized regarding their unpreparedness for Sendong, the people has already stepped up.

This is my account about the three days of my  Typhon Pablo Experience.

October 3, 2012

I was at German Doctors Hospital for my Pedia Ward duty. My groupmates and I were talking about this typhoon. A lot of us already has prepared clothes and other important stuffs in case the need to evacuate is necessary. We reminisced our Sendong experiences and tried to incorporate it with this latest Typhoon. Then after a while, we heard that the city is already in Signal Number 1. I started to get worried because Sendong started its devastation when the city is at Signal Number 2.

During our post-conference, we asked our teacher if if the Signal Number would be 2 by tomorrow, should we have any duty? She just smiled and said we’ll just wait for any news. Then we all went home. Well, I bought a collar first for my dog so that we can easily out the leash on her when we need to evacuate fast.

Upon arriving home, my grandmother has already put a lot of things inside the cellophane then inside the balikbayan boxes. Thinking that we would have duty tomorrow, I started to make my requirements for the next day. However, an update from my school’s CSG and text from my teacher said that we won’t have any class for tomorrow as a precaution for the typhoon, that meant no duty. So I texted my groupmates then proceeded to help my grandma put stuffs in the plastic bag and put those on high places. We were actually anticipating that the river water would go higher and go inside the houses. In short, flood.

After all the preparations needed and that meant a lot of things already on top of chairs and tables, we ate our dinner. I never turned off our WiFi just so I can always read update about the Typhoon from my phone. I slept early because I was really tired. Around 10 or 11 in the evening, I was awaken by the sound of a jeepney or something backing. I just brushed it off thinking that it’s just my neighbors evacuating early.

October 4, 2012

The expected date that Pablo will unleash its powers. I did not have a good night sleep because I kept on waking up thinking that the flood can come any minute. Since I can’t sleep, I just read an update from my phone. Typhoon Pablo will be dangerous from 10 am to 4 pm.

Around 4 am, we experienced a power black out. Of course I panicked. During Sendong, there was also a black out then a flash flood. I immediately got up and went outside. All of us are already awake and at the edge. I bathed early just so I would feel fresh if we evacuate. Last minute preparation and my evacuating bag is ready.

My grandma said that a firetruck siren is the signal to evacuate. Around 8 am, the siren was heard. My grandma already was very ready to go, as well as me. We texted my dad but he said that we SHOULDN’T. We should wait for him. And we did, unwillingly. Where else could we go? When he arrived, it was like everything’s normal. Whatever.

Around 9 am, the rains started to get stronger, then became a slight drizzle. That was good. But what’s bad is that the wind is really strong. I think just one step higher and it can already uproot lots of trees. I was very nervous. Just seeing those trees sway and the river waves getting stronger and crashing on the sides did not help to ease me.. Even if it was really windy, I still ate my lunch…nervously. I sat by the door and watched the trees sway and took note of the river if it’s level gets higher. When I can’t take it anymore, I told my dad if we would evacuate and he said yes and we should prepare. I told my grandma and got ready.

Around 11 am, we left home. It was only  my tito and my dog who was left. They’ll be waiting for my tita either at home, at the waiting shed or at a safe house. I was at the back of the car and I can what’s really happening. The wind is trying to uproot the tress, a roof was flown to the streets and electric posts are not straight anymore. I was really shaken up by what I saw. My dad had actually passed by roads which are usually full of cars. However, at that ime, the road was really clear like no one dares to travel.

We reached the hotel we were booked. Actually, all of the hotels were booked. At least, the numerous hotels and inns and pension houses are now serving their purpose. The hotel we were booked at is not my type but I need to put up with it because this is where I can sleep properly. My grandma kept on going to the window at the hallway because she said that the Cagayan de Oro Rier is visible there. I got curious and watched the river. The river flow was very fast and the level is really high. Like another some meters and it will already touch the bridge.

At night time, we went out to go eat dinner. Divisoria is really silent because most establishments are close and their is no electricity. You can see leaves and branches everywhere. A lot of people are on the sides trying to seek solace far from the river. It’s a heartbreaking sight.

I kind of slept well that night.

October 5, 2012

Mr. Sun has finally shown! It’s a really happy time for all of us. Another good news, NO DEATH IN MY CITY! Thank goodness everyone is prepared and the government did a good job. I’m really happy. The road is back to normal. Some places still doesn’t have water.

We went home and was glad to find no flood. Thank God.

Because of these experiences, I have learned that we always should be prepared. Kudos to the city government being prepared and active during the typhoon. Congratulations Cagayan de Oro. It seems that we have all learned our lessons. Let’s keep on being ready, okay? :)

I would like to extend my condolences to the families of those who dies due to Typhoon Pablo’s wrath. May their souls rest in peace.

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