EDITORIAL - Flood alert
(The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2015 - 10:00am

The storm warning signal is only the lowest at No. 1 in parts of Luzon, but weather forecasters say they expect Lando to dump unusually heavy rain in the affected areas. Storm surge alerts are up, and communities in Northern Luzon have been warned about landslides.

As weather disturbances such as Storm Ondoy have shown, torrential rains can be as destructive as powerful winds during typhoons. Last month an hour-long thunderstorm that spawned heavy rains and consequent flooding brought Metro Manila to a halt.

Ondoy and other incidents of severe flooding in recent years showed the weaknesses that must be addressed in dealing with natural calamities. The weather bureau’s capability to predict the amount of rainfall has been boosted, although forecasters say they still can’t issue accurate flood warnings quickly enough during thunderstorms. Additional rescue equipment has been procured and coordination has improved among agencies involved in disaster response.

But many natural drainage paths for rain remain blocked, and the effort to rid rivers and other waterways of garbage isn’t sustained. As recent heavy flooding has shown, evacuation facilities remain inadequate, which is one of the principal reasons why people prefer to stay at home rather than heed evacuation warnings.

Floods often knock out traffic lights. Local governments, police and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, now under a new manager, must make sure there will be personnel manning traffic during floods when they are most needed, even late in the night when the cargo trucks are out.

Trucks that can drive through heavy floods must be readied to ferry stranded passengers. This was SOP in Metro Manila during the Arroyo administration. For operators of public utilities, emergency teams must be on standby for rapid deployment to deal with disruptions in power and water supply as well as telecommunications services.

Weather forecasters have issued sufficient warnings about the approaching typhoon and the threat of torrential rainfall. The nation has had enough experience with destructive typhoons and floods and there is no excuse for weak preparedness.

ACIRC FLOODS HEAVY LANDO LUZON METRO MANILA METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY NORTHERN LUZON ONDOY STORM ONDOY WEATHER
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with