Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adventure with Pepeng

It was Friday afternoon, October 2, when the PSU Administration declared that the classes will be suspended due to the incoming typhoon Pepeng. The typhoon passed the Philippines without inflicting any damage to Pangasinan but another typhoon formed in the Pacific pulling the typhoon Pepeng back to the country and the horrendous story of devastation of some towns of Pangasinan started.

Thursday, October 8, the rain poured like the ocean is being gushed into Pangasinan and the neighboring provinces. Water volume in dams increased rapidly thus the dam administrators were forced to release water in the night giving the provincial and local officials little time to prepare and inform the local people. The unexpected large volume of water destroyed some part of the dike thus flooding the area near the damaged section. As a result, a lot of properties and crops were destroyed… and some lives were lost.

Motorboats and big trucks were sent from nearby towns to rescue those who are stranded and trapped in their rooftops. Relief goods containing rice, noodles and sardines (some include sugar, coffee and water) are coming from NGOs and some individuals. Our local officials are doing dumb things like taking pictures of them while distributing relief goods thus delaying the distribution.

The water is now subsiding and the people are starting to point fingers on who’s to blame on the disaster that happened. A lot of them are accusing the administrators of San Roque Dam for releasing a large volume of water that the dike cannot sustain. The provincial government is now filing a case against San Roque Dam administrators for the late information dissemination of the release of the large volume of water. They said that it was the poor judgment of the San Roque Administration that caused the big damage; that they should not have accepted water from other dams and not waited for the water level of the dam to reach the critical level before releasing water; and that they should have warned the local officials earlier.

Knee-level floodwater also entered our house. We stayed overnight in the nearby Digitel building... (to be continued..)