Thursday, December 21, 2006

Turning fear into better disaster response

It may take a long time for Bicolanos to shake off the trauma caused by super typhoon Reming. With so many lives lost and destruction so immense, it may be considered the worst disaster in the Philippines. May we all learn from Reming and turn the situation around for the better. Here's an article I wrote for the Inquirer...

By Andrea Trinidad-Echavez
Last updated 02:37am (Mla time) 12/21/2006

Published on Page A17 of the December 21, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

“TATAKBO na naman ba tayo,’Nay? (Are we going to run again, Mother?)” Inday Surapas’ 10-year-old son asks every time rain starts to fall.

“Takot na takot na kami tuwing umuulan (We have become very scared every time it rains),” said the 34-year-old mother of six, who lost one of her brothers when Supertyphoon “Reming” wrought havoc in Albay several weeks ago.

“We had already been warned,” Surapas admitted in Filipino. “But we didn’t expect the rains to be that bad. It never flooded before, not even during Typhoon ‘Milenyo.’”

And so on the fateful morning of Dec. 1, Surapas went on with her regular routine of selling vegetables at the public market in Daraga town, confident that “Reming” would just be like the other typhoons. (Read full story)

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