100s of deaths in September
The typhoons in recent memory that caused 100s of deaths happened in September.
Typhoon Ondoy happened on September 24, 2009. The resulting deaths climbed all the way to 464. Agricultural and infrastructure damages – 11 billion pesos.
Beautiful houses, still being amortized, were destroyed by rampaging floods. People had to go up their roofs to avoid getting drowned or being carried away by the murky water. Cars were floating like matchboxes. Trucks were strewn all over the roads, drowned. Everybody became equal— rich or poor, all were hapless victims of the devastation.
Not just values of properties that vanished into thin air. Even dreams.
One lawyer who had been handling cases in Antipolo, Rizal would often stop at that part of the mountain overlooking Metro Manila with all its high rises and the smog. One day, he mused, I will be a neighbor here of these multimillionaires.
On the base of that mountain is highly populated Marikina Valley which hosts Marcos Highway that snakes up to that mountain. On the southern side is Valley Golf Club surrounded by posh subdivisions.. All that expanse became an ocean during Typhoon Ondoy.
The lawyer bade goodbye to his illusion.
In the heels of that calamity or three days after, came Typhoon Pepeng to bring the gloom and hopelessness closer to Cordillerans. More than 200 perished, mostly at Little Kibungan, La Trinidad, Benguet, when a side of the mountain went down into houses so close to each other in the darkness of the night. The pain caused by that perhaps can be better understood from the blank stare of a father whose house was washed away by the slide and all of his family died. He was the only one left…. .. . . He must have muttered, where was God.
About nine years after, on September 15, 2018, Typhoon Ompong struck—127 died.
All of these typhoons happened on the latter part of September. We are there now.
While we cannot move for the postponement of any confirmed appointment with St. Peter, our best defense during calamities is to rely on ourselves. Prevention through precaution is best. A part of it is to remember simple items. A flashlight, a bottle of water, or a rope, or a battery operated radio, or a well charged and loaded cellphone are simple things that should be made handy any minute during this time of the year. These can mean the difference between surviving a deadly typhoon or a landslide, or crossing the great divide to meet your Maker.
So always beware of deadly September.**