You don’t have to be an expert to analyze what happened.
It has been a known fact that the Philippines’ forecasting center, PAGASA, had been poorly announcing important statements regarding this nation’s weather for the past i-don’t-know-how-long-has-it-been years. I’m afraid the streak continues even up to this year as we welcome the rainy season.
Last night, typhoon Basyang/Bashang (look, I didn’t even know the spelling of that damned storm) hit Metro Manila and its nearby provinces really hard. Its wind gusts soar up to more than 100 kilometers per hour – and the best part is that nobody of us expected it. PAGASA claimed that it will only hit Central Luzon towards the north-western route, when all the other international forecasting companies had been showing that the typhoon rock Manila head-on. It was such a shame that we, a disaster prone area, has such a disfunctional weather forecasting system.
The newly elected president, President Noynoy Aquino, even branded PAGASA’s forecasting as unacceptable. PAGASA defended that in order to produce the results that we expect of them, they would need about P1.8 billion of funds to upgrade their equipment. In my view, THAT is unacceptable.
Because of their forecasting, a lot of our citizens were caught off-guard, and some even lost their lives. It was such a sad and frustrating situation. This shouldn’t be happening. If this will continue to be the case, then we can just let the other countries forecast our weather. All those meaningless hassles and deaths – it’s just insane!
Even I felt the threat of the typhoon as early as morning yesterday, and eventually felt really scared at about 10 in the evening. Several minutes later, power was cut off. I knew something really bad was about to happen. Heck, we (my friends and I) were even telling each other that in that very moment, the world could end. Of course that could be an exaggeration, but nobody knows! When you saw that dark blue lightning sparkle and dominate a pale, red sky – you know you’re in trouble. And in trouble we really were. The winds were so strong, you can hear various objects flying and window panes smashing. The rain poured down like that of the peak moments of typhoon Ondoy – it was so heavy that droplets were leaking at the dorm (it was directly above my bed too). It was an unbelievably difficult scene to imagine – the storm took us by surprise in the middle of the night where the only light we could see are those from our phones and laptops. But I guess that wasn’t scary enough from the point of view of the others.
People lost their lives! I saw people evacuate at the peak of the storm because their lives are being torn away by Basyang. Waking up in the morning knowing that you lost someone you love – that must be the scariest, and i mean, SCARIEST, point of your life. And the cause? F***ed up forecasting. This is driving me nuts… Yes, I know that forecasting may not be perfect, and that winds change. But the fact that other sites have predicted it exactly as what happened, sigh… I just can’t take this anymore.
And remember, that was only the first typhoon of the rainy season. FIRST! We could be in for ten, twenty more! Nothing we can do here. Let’s just pray for the safety of our countrymen. That much is enough. Pray – it works!