Thursday, November 18, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
Aftermath of Typhoon Sisang in Bacon Nov. 1987
2006-07-13, Sorsogon, Philippines
Source: Bobby Labalan, Phil. Daily Inquirer
Nineteen years ago, Sorsogon was devastated by a super typhoon named “Sisang”. It was a major disaster in the Province of Sorsogon. Damages in properties cost million of pesos, but the saddest part is hundreds of Sorsoganons lost their lives in this historical catastrophe.
It is said that Sisang is the strongest typhoon that hit the Province, specially its capital, Sorsogon, Sorsogon. According to PAGASA, Sisang is ravaging with a wind of 180 kilometers per hour and a gustiness of 200 kph. Very true, because thousands of houses plus business establishments were destroyed by the said natural calamity. Typhoon Sisang hit the Sorsogon soil at around 7:00 pm and it last until dawn of the next day.
Strong winds, strong rain and it was believed that a tidal wave joined Sisang in destroying Sorsogon. The next day, Sorsogon was in a very worst scenario, that even Vincent van Goh can’t paint it on canvass. Men, women and children perished on that horrible natural disaster. According to the Sorsoganons, Sisang beat all the typhoons that hit the Province.
Life goes on to the people of Sorsogon after Sisang. Nineteen years had passed away, and typhoons still visit Sorsogon yearly, but not as strong as typhoon Sisang. Sorsoganons are so thankful that they were always spared to destructions of typhoons that hit the country yearly.
September 27, 2006 – Sorsogon was forecast (by PAGASA) to be hit by a Typhoon name “Milenyo”. Point of origin of this typhoon is somewhere in the Island of Borongan, Samar. Two days before the landfall, PAGASA released a whether bulletin about Milenyo’s track and strength. At first it started only at 60 kilometers per hour, but while it gets near to the province it became stronger and stronger.
Typhoon Milenyo hit Sorsogon soil, on September 26, 2006. On that day PAGASA forecasted that the typhoon is having a strong wind of 150 to 180 kilometers per hour near the center. At around 5:00 in the afternoon, the wind and the rain starts whipped the entire City of Sorsogon and the Province as well.
On my personal experience with typhoon Milenyo, were about to eat our dinner with my family at around 5:30 pm when we felt the strong winds that is bumping my doors and my G.I. roof. Rains are also trying to penetrate on my windows even it is closed. I tried to open up my transistor radio to hear the latest forecast, but to no avail because all the radio stations in the city are bar downed.
I looked outside (because it is not yet dark) and to my amazed how strong the typhoon is. Galvanized roofing’s from somewhere else are already flying like a magic carpet of Aladdin, branches of trees are detaching from its bark and even trees and Soreco post are falling down.
One thing that frightened me is when I saw that the water is starting to get in to my house. I looked once again outside and I found out that water from the roads are getting high because the drainage are all blocked by the dirt and leaves that fall downed. The water inside my house is below my knees. I expected the worst scenario that may happen so I decided immediately to transfer my family to my neighbor who has a two storey house (since my house is only the bungalow type.)
From the top of my lungs I called out my neighbor and asked permission if we can transfer to their house because the water inside my house is rising. Thank God they immediately say yes. The wind and the rain that time (around 5:30 pm) were so strong and trees are falling down and galvanized roofing’s are already flying.
I put a ladder on my concrete fence and one by one I escorted my children and my wife to transfer to the next house. When all my children are already inside my neighbor’s house, my wife and I goes back inside my house to secure all our belongings and put it on a high place for them not to be reach by water.
Milenyo’s fury gets stronger and stronger, the wind outside is whooping and it seems that a twister is accompanying the super typhoon. The wind last for almost four hours, it was around 9:30 pm when it reduces its strength, until finally it subsides at around 10:00 pm. I go out to go back to my house, thank God my roof are still intact, the water inside the house don’t get higher as I expected and my belongings are not wet by the rain water.
As early as 4:00 in the morning I went out again to our evacuation house to see the total damage of the typhoon. To my amazed…I’ve seen that scenario already nineteen years ago after typhoon Sisang. Trees are downed and uprooted, roofs of the houses are gone (thank God my roofs are still intact) galvanized iron scattered along the roads and some are being drag already by the so called scavengers and electric post almost bowed down to the ground.
After saying thank you to my ( “good Samaritan”) my neighbor we go back to our house to clean up all the mess that the typhoon brought us. My floor is filled with water and mud, so after taking breakfast we started cleaning and drying up the wet portion of my house and put back into places all our belongings.
I decided to go out to the city proper to document all the damages….so with my digital camera I went out. At city proper, worst scenarios are all in rows. I just keep my camera shoot and let my pictures describe the destructions, Sorsogon City has.
Among the most affected barangays in Sorsogon City are the Sirangan, were almost of the houses are washed out to the sea, Barangay Talisay, Sampaloc and Bulabog, but the entire City is devastated….i just say to myself…this is Sisang part II. According to PAGASA typhoon milenyo sustained a wind of 230-240 kilometer per hour, much stronger than typhoon sisang who have only 160 to 180 kph.
I started asking my colleagues in the Media Community about any casualties that are related to the typhoon, Thank God, casualties are very minimal (not like of Sisang) there are only few reported casualties in the City of Sorsogon. Sorsoganon had learned a lesson with typhoon Sisang, were thousands died because they don’t evacuate to a safer place specially those who are living in coastal barangays. Now, the people of Sorsogon learned the Disaster Preparedness so the moment PAGASA announces that there’s a storm coming, immediately they evacuated in a safer place….this is the reason why typhoon milenyo failed to claim more lives among the Sorsoganons.
Damages to the entire province was initially placed at P2.23 billion, of which P1.27 billion was accounted for by damaged houses. Agriculture suffered damage worth P234.21 million; school facilities, P51 million and infrastructure, P208 million.
The City remains without electric power. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited the City three days after the typhoon. President Arroyo instructed the governors, who are heads of their respective coordinating councils, to immediately prepare a post-calamity rehabilitation plan to include those who lost their livelihood.
The plan will be made the basis for the release of government assistance to affected families. (Source: Bobby Labalan, Phil.Daily Inquirer)
Every Sorsoganon had their own story to tell about their experienced with typhoon milenyo, but something we learned from this disaster, and that is “God still love and protect Sorsogon”. I’m so thankful that no losses of life like of that Sisang. Damage properties can be replaced, but not the life of every human being.
As of now, Sorsogon City (in particular) is jolted by a nightmare, but the Sorsoganons will pick up the pieces and will rise up once again and fulfill the vision of Mayor Sally A. Lee that Sorsoson will be a “Dream City”. “ Kaya mga kahimanwa ko…..LONG….ABANTE GUIHAPON KITA!
Photos of typhoon Sisang were taken by Annie's friend