EDITORIAL - Get them out of danger areas

The Freeman

Nowadays when heavy rainclouds start to gather overhead, people tend to get more nervous than usual. It’s no longer just a matter of the inconvenience of getting wet or stranded for hours, for some of us it may be a matter of life or death.

Massive flooding followed heavy rains the other evening. A look at photos and videos on social media will reveal how many areas were hit and hit really bad. Buses that were headed for northern Cebu looked like they were traversing rivers, there was that boy enjoying what looked to be a swimming pool but was actually a gym in Barangay Mabolo.

More disturbing were the videos of residents frantically trying to save their belonging from the rising floodwaters in their own house and that one of a man being swept away, seemingly into a crush of debris in the Kinalumsan River in Barangay Mambaling. He was lucky enough to survive.

Of course, it was not just Cebu City that suffered. Other areas outside of it like Minglanilla also saw their share of the deluge.

The need to prevent floods is now more urgent than ever because storms are getting stronger due to climate change. But this is old news and has been said again and again.

Now there is another pressing need; the need to convince people who are living in at-risk areas, especially those living near rivers, to clear out.

Right now there are many people living in areas that should be kept off-limits because of the risk of flooding. These are areas immediately next to rivers or other areas meant for the passage of water or overflows during heavy rains.

Sure, after a deluge endangers or wipes out a house or two or three in an area prone to flooding, people seem to get the point and clear out --but only for a while. After some time they return to live there again.

Preventing floods from occurring is one way to keep people safe, but there is only so much we can do against Mother Nature’s wrath, even with all our technological advances. She will always find a way, especially when that way is a path that has been available to her since long before man existed and built their dwellings there.


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