The dawn just passed. Camera shutters sped up to catch the scoop. Morning news broke down at the earliest time of the day as news anchors went mourning to report the lavishness of nature’s wrath.
“Sendong has just escaped out from the vicinity!”—a morning news reported with sly revelry! As the chanting went on, the victims and survivors yelled in a silent pandemonium grieving and begging a supplication. #Sendong left LOL (laughing out loud)!
On December 15, 2011, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that a tropical depression east of Mindanao entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR). “This tropical depression, named Sendong, maintained its strength as it moved to Northeastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas regions,” as reported.
Sendong continued to threaten Northeastern Mindanao and made its landfall on 16th December in the areas affected. However, on December 17th, it maintained its course towards the Sulu Sea and intensified its strength that ranged from 55 kph to 65 kph.
Sendong exited the area by moving westward in the West Philippine Sea at 8:00 PM on 18th December.
Areas Affected by Sendong
Selected areas of municipalities and barangays in Regions VI, VII, IX, X, and XI were lambasted by Sendong with floods, landslides, and sea mishaps. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) claimed that massive flooding occurred in the areas where Mandulog and Agus rivers overflowed.
Landslides in selected areas of Compostela Valley and Lanao del Sur were brought about by the overflow of Togoloan and Siguan rivers, NDRRMC further stated in their report. Also reported that a cargo ship owned by Kherl Lines loaded with Asia Brewery products and a pump boat owned by LGU Lazi, Siquijor sank because of strong winds and giant waves intensified by Sendong.
Effects, Casualties, and Cost of Damages
As claimed by the NDRRMC, the total number of affected population reached to 63,079 families. There were 51,083 families comprised the total number of population in the evacuation centers.
As of December 20, 2011, 6:00 AM, NDRRMC accounted 957 identified and unidentified dead bodies; 1,582 injured; 49 missing and only 432 rescued survivors in all affected regions.
Sendong has dramatically left affected areas a total of 10,345 partially and totally damaged houses and lost worth millions in agricultural damages not to mention damaged roads, bridges, power, and communications.
But what more important than the lives of the affected people at stake is incomprehensible and unspeakable in a plain language ever known to a mankind!
Reports claimed that a number of casualties were alarming. It further claimed that government should look into the mitigation aspect of areas with high exposure to disaster risk and employ prioritization of such.
However, by looking at this perspective, the Aquino government apparently failed in addressing it.
Since time immemorial, the Philippines is not only rich in natural resources but also abundant of natural calamities and disasters intensified by human malpractices and degradation to natural resources.
Ondoy and Reming must have been taught leaders some learnings and expectations in the future. More doable solutions or measures must have been worked out to at least minimize the damage and cost when exposed from this natural disaster’s risks.
Despite the deafening clamor to seriously address with a sense of urgency on issues of climate change, the Philippine leadership seemed to be complacent and rather be seen too serious in politicking for their own advantage.
It was desperately degrading to learn about Mr. Aquino at the onset of Sendong tragedy that he could rather afford to enjoy himself surrounded by celebrities and by those people who were categorically supported and backed him up all the way on his ‘inutile’ decisions and actuation before the public and the international communities.
Besides, Aquino government maybe too obviously busy achieving its plans and actions to run after the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her then administration allies.
Such political vindictiveness of that of Aquino administration has been causing outright neglect to some legitimate responsibilities for the welfare of the country.
What more do Filipinos expect from Aquino administration throughout his term? If Mr. Aquino’s administration will remain as such, then the country’s preparedness for future natural calamities would rather run stunted and desperate. ▲
 Sitrep No.11 Re: Effects of Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi). National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Update. As of December 20, 2011, 6:00 AM.
 Ibid., page 2.
 Ibid., pp. 3–4.
 Sitrep No 10 Re: Effects of Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi). Presidential Guidance Re-effects of Tropical Storm Sendong, December 17, 2011. Tab E. As of December 19, 2011, 6:00 PM.
Cagayan de Oro Carmen bridge, from unladkabayan.org
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