Monday, November 11, 2013

Send in the marines

Sheesh. If you listen to CNN, the people are "blaming" the gov't for not getting help to the Visayas. And they point out the looting too, without saying if it stealing needed supplies or if it is a major problem or just a few cases going on.

As FilAm blogger Belmont club points out, usually people help each other.

Yes. So not only did our relatives in San Lorenzo take shelter in Doy's house, but the maid and her family went there too. Our typhoon didn't get publicized: the earthquakes and the larger typhoon pushed it out of the headlines.

Yet although it was only a "signal 3", we lost much of the crop and a lot of buildings. NEJournal article reports on the crop and building loss.

Ironically, now everyone is worried about us, and we weren't hit by this latest typhoon...but when we were hit by "santi", and I was offline for two weeks, no one even noticed, because it was a "normal" typhoon and didn't make the headlines.


But the danger is not just collapsed building: It is the flooding and storm surge.

We almost lost our granddaughter because the bridge was under water and the roads (to go to her grandparent's house which was on that side of the river) were blocked with trees. So they decided to sleep at a gas station ten feet above the river level ...and then had to climb to the roof of the gas station store when the flood waters surged up. Our pickup truck was completely submerged. Several people were drowned in that small town.

Much of the Belmont club article is about concrete shelters, but the problem is that most larger buildings here are made with concrete blocks reinforced with steel rods and wires, because we are an earthquake prone zone. Yet the water level is high and if you build the building on clay, there is non guarantee that it won't have the roof torn off, the windows blown out, or the structure collapse due to the foundation crumbling.

But the real danger is flooding.

The storm surge was 20 plus feet in Tacloban.  That would mean you could drown on the second floor.

As for the usual complaints by western press:

Before you send in aid, you need for the winds to stop (which would be Saturday afternoon) and repairing the roads etc. Then you need to get there. Air planes are fast, but limited. Roads are blocked. The sea has to be calm and the port needs to be open, and the roads from the ports/airports need to be cleared.

That takes time. So the country folks will get help from each other, or will die. Luckily, these things happen all too frequently, so they help each other.

As for the US: The Marines are on their way...from Okinawa.

that means more helicopters (and the Osprey) that can help the local military to get aid to rural areas.

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