The death toll from drowning and landslide caused by torrential monsoon rains keeps on rising as it numbered 19 yesterday, with over 700,000 residents evacuated from flooded areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.
Lives and properties are getting destroyed, not to mention that millions are getting sick and hungry, everyday as they are being displaced by the spreading floods.
It is very heartening that in times like this we see good Samaritans and feel the selflessness and magnanimity of big, wealthy organizations and corporations.
But, what is more inspiring is when you can see the poor sympathizing with the poor victims doing everything to alleviate their sufferings and the most unlikely persons to be giving, this time sharing what they have.
We have heard business establishments delivering and distributing bottled water, rice, noodles, sardines and other relief goods to disaster-stricken areas. An airline company has even conducted “humanitarian cargo flights,” airlifting medical equipment, medicines, chlorine tablets, flashlights, battery-operated radios, diapers, and other relief items to affected areas in Luzon for free.
As usual, television networks are always the first in engaging in relief operations, calling for donations and relief goods/items for flood victims, with network talents manning the hotlines for pledges and donations.
Well meaning volunteers help pack relief items, and many also used social media to provide updates, advisories and call the attention of rescuers on the plight of victims.
Doctors and nurses continue working without relief because of the flood and the surging patients.
There are many, many more good deeds done by professionals, civil servants and ordinary workers that remains untold – may God bless their souls.
And then you could also hear that a struggling banana vendor pushing his cart dropped the prices of his bananas just so people could have something to eat. When asked why he was doing it, he simply said: “minsan lang ako nakakatulong sa kapwa (I seldom help my fellow-being).
Then there is the story also about the 12,000 prisoners in Muntinlupa jail who gave up their meals so that the food could be donated to flood victims. Who would ever think that compassion would envelop their hearts?
But, what is intriguing, if not dismaying in all these despairing event is the deafening silence of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in the midst of the misery engulfing Luzon.
Note that I am not saying ‘the deafening silence of the Church’ because I consider the Church as the embodiment of the people and I could not complain what the people has done.
But what have the bishops done? Where are the voices of the Catholic hierarchy?
Just because we are not dealing with the issue of the RH bill that the plight of the flood victims are no longer important to them?
Where we expect them to be at the forefront instructing the priests to visit the victims in their parishes for spiritual uplift or asking for help or directly helping, you don’t see them, much less hear their voices. You don’t even know what, if ever, they have donated from their rich coffers.
But, I know where they are – in their cozy rooms, enjoying the comfort and the three square meals a day being served them by their helpers.
Sure, there is expediency in politics, but none whatsoever in humanitarian endeavor.
Below is latest update of the destruction done by the recent monster monsoon.
It has been billed as the storm with no name.
But the torrential monsoon rains that pounded Metro Manila and surrounding provinces beginning Sunday left 60 people dead and caused at least P1 billion in damage to agriculture in one region alone, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported on Friday.
More than half of the National Capital Region, home to 12 million people, went under water at the peak of the floods brought on by relentless monsoon rains.
About 2.4 million people in the metropolis and surrounding provinces were affected, forcing more than 360,000 to seek shelter in government-run evacuation centers.
The floods had largely subsided, allowing people to return to their homes, but water remained waist-deep across a huge area of rice-growing Central Luzon.
The death toll rose to 60 early Friday after casualty reports came in from more provinces, said Benito Ramos, executive director of the NDRRMC.
“The number of casualties has ballooned because the floods are receding and we are beginning to find bodies,” Ramos said.
Of the 60 dead, 11 died in landslides, 39 drowned, four were electrocuted, and two died of cardiac arrest. Four who remained unidentified died of still undetermined causes.