30 November 2006

Stormy 'Durian' Weekend

In countries like the US and those in Europe, weather talk is always a big deal on most people. Here in the Philippines, not too many people are concerned about the weather to talk about it endlessly. This morning, in spite of repeated warnings over TV and radio that a supertyphoon was coming, most people I've met just smiled or shrugged their shoulders when I asked if they were prepared for the impending disaster.

What explains the nonchalance and almost odd indifference?

I can think of several reasons --- a.) people here do not trust the local weather bureau anymore after a history of previous failed forecasts, b.) they feel hopeless because there's little they can do anyway, c.) years and years of experiencing tropical cyclones makes you 'immune' already and mere warnings don't scare you anymore.

The current supertyphoon, with international name DURIAN is the third supertyphoon to hit the country in a matter of several weeks. I think this is the first year when we have so many supertyphoons coming over. First, there was the disastrous Milenyo last September, then there was Chebi which thankfully weakened when it hit the northern mountain ranges of Sierra Madre, and finally, we now have this supertyphoon Durian.

Three supertyphoons in less than 3 months.....how lucky can we get? A supertyphoon is "equivalent to a category 4 or 5 hurricane."


The red lines above indicate the category 3 to 4 status of this supertyphoon. The typhoon won't hit Metro Manila directly, but will hit my home province of Batangas.

"Durian" is really a delicious fruit that grows in several southeast Asian countries including the Philippines. The word origin comes from the Malay word, 'duri' which means 'thorn.' We pray this typhoon won't cause us too much trouble.

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