Memories of Typhoon Ketsana (September 2009)

by squidooprincess2012

Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) brought greate damage to the Philippines and other neighboring countries. Here's an article that refreshes these memories.

It's been more than 3 years now, but the memories of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) are still fresh in the hearts and minds of Filipinos. It wasn't the first time that the Philippines was hit by a powerful storm, but when Typhoon Ketsana passed by the country last September 2009, it certainly stood out from the rest. It scarred the country badly that even until now, we can still feel its impact.

I created this article not only to remind people about the bitter memories the typhoon brought us, but also to make sure that we're always prepared for other calamities that are yet to come.

Ketsana's Wrath: A Personal Account

I remember those three days perfectly. It was September 25th, 2009, a Friday. I and my friends decided to have a drink to celebrate a friend's birthday. We didn't check the news, and we didn't care. After all, the Philippines is always visited by storms.

Around 11 in the evening, the wind started to howl and sway the coconut leaves back and forth. It also started to drizzle, but still, we didn't budge. We only left the bar when it started to get serious. That was around 2 in the morning.

When I arrived at home, our street was flooded, and the water was up to the ankle (or past that). But because the street where I live in always gets flooded everytime it rains hard, I wasn't worried. So I went to bed slightly drunk.

I slept until 5 in the afternoon of September 26th, but in between, I was awaken by random conversations of my neighbors. I could hear them talking about the flood, rain, and power blackout. But because I drank the night before, I was so tired and sleepy I couldn't get up.

When I got out of bed, it was dark. I knew that power was out, so instead of aiming for the switch, I lit up a candle and headed to the bathroom to take a quick shower. I still didn't have any idea of what was happening outside.

When I finished, I decided to go outside my unit and look for something good to eat. I lived on the 2nd floor, so that means I had to go down the stairs. But I got the ugliest surprise of my life when I saw that the floodwaters consumed the entire ground floor of our building. My first reaction was to check the skies and see if it's still raining. Luckily, the rain had stopped so I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to my room.

The Pear Episode

Now here's the problem: I didn't have anything to eat.

I looked around and found that on my table, there was a pear and 2 sachets of coffee. The water wasn't going anywhere, so clearly, I was going to be stuck there for the whole weekend. And as if that's not bad enough, power was out, so I had to worry about mosquitoes.

But I had to survive somehow. So to make sure that my stomach had at least something to pacify its growling, I ate the pear sparingly. Everytime I hear it roar, I would eat only a little. And to make sure that I can save energy, I didn't do something strenuous. I forced myself to sleep.

A Humbling Experience

On Monday, I woke up early to check the level of the water. Most of it was gone, but it was still up to the waist. I didn't want to skip work, so I put my work clothes and shoes in a bag, wrapped it in plastic, and then waded the water.

Along the way, I could see the damage that Typhoon Ketsana had done to my neighborhood. There were random household items floating in the water, and several cars hit each other.

When I reached the part where it was at least dry, I looked for a place where I could change my wet clothes. I saw a woman cleaning her cafe. She looked nice and approachable, so I asked if I could use her bathroom to change. She did not say no.

After I thanked the lady, I headed towards the bus stop, but there was no public transportation anywhere. I decided to walk, but when I started walking, there was an empty jeepney for hire. Quickly, I hopped in and sat nearest the entrance.

I stopped by my friend's house, took a quick shower there, told my pear story, and then headed to the office.

At the office, there weren't a lot of people who managed to come to work. And those who did had the same story and the same sentiment. But everyone was just happy no one got hurt.

Videos of Typhoon Ondoy

Some people don't like watching videos of past disasters. But for me, it's the opposite. I'm not a masochist. I just want to be reminded about my experience. Doing this helps keep my feet on the ground. Plus, it keeps me alert, awake, and prepared.

If you want to check out how high the floodwaters went and what kind of damage Typhoon Ketsana had brought us, check out these videos below. Look at all the cars and houses, and the people on the rooftops.

Top Emergency Gadgets for Hurricane, Storms...

As I lay on my bed in those days, I was thinking very hard of what to do in case the typhoon gets stronger. I was alone, so I had to plan well if I want to survive.

I didn't have electricity and food, and the only clean water I had was straight from the faucet, which can easily get contaminated by the floodwaters.

Good thing I had my cellphone with me, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before the battery gets drained.

Now, I know that I have to have a complete set of emergency gadgets so it would be easier to survive when disaster strikes.

What about you? Are you prepared? Here are some suggested gadgets.

Are you prepared for any type of disaster? Go over this list of emergency gadgets and complete what’s missing in your kit. Keep your family safe and secure.
Updated: 03/20/2013, squidooprincess2012
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