Bracing for ‘Tisoy’

AS I was writing this yesterday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) was warning that typhoon “Kammuri” was poised to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

To be locally called “Tisoy”, it was moving at maximum winds of 150 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 185 km/h. It could intensify into a super typhoon – so called whenever its maximum winds exceed 220 km/h.

We can only hope and pray it would not grow as strong as typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”) which destroyed lives and homes in November 2013 with its maximum wind speed of 295 kph, and gustiness of 360 kph.

Otherwise, that could devastate the on-going 30th Southeast Asian Games being played in different cities of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila.

If it’s any consolation, nevertheless, there is always the possibility of a strong storm changing direction or “melting” down.

Levity aside, where’s Pastor Apollo Quiboloy? It’s in times like this that he could prove his “stopping power.”

Any other pastor or priest may simply interpret typhoons, earthquakes and other natural disasters as “acts of God” to shake people out of their complacency. They remind us that nobody is rich or powerful enough to rise above nature.

To quote the Bible (Ecclesiastes 9:11), “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”

Some Christians see natural disasters as “signs of the end of the world.” As written in Luke 21:25-26, “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

If truth be told, however, today’s natural disasters are repetitions of history, one of which was reported by an Australian broadsheet dated Jan. 12, 1898. It belatedly chronicled the “fearful destruction wrought in the Philippine Islands on Oct. 12, 1897.”

The “Googled” reprint of the report read: “It is estimated that 400 Europeans and 6,000 natives lost their lives, many being drowned by the rush of water, while others were killed by the violence of the wind. Several towns have been swept or blown away.

“The hurricane reached Leyte on Oct. 12, striking Tacloban, the capital, with terrific force, reduced it to ruins in less than half an hour. The bodies of 120 Europeans have been recovered from the fallen buildings. Four hundred natives were buried in the ruins.

“Thousands of natives were roaming about the devastated province seeking food and medical attendance. In many cases the corpses were mutilated as though they had fallen in battle, and the expressions of their faces were most agonizing.”

The report mentioned such other Leyte towns as Hermin, Weera and Loog as having suffered the most casualties.

Eerie to realize that the said incident seemed to have replicated itself in typhoon Yolanda that “erased” Tacloban and its neighboring towns more than a century later on November 8, 2013.

The old story debunks the environmentalists’ claim that present-day “climate change” is responsible for present-day natural disasters. 

Archeological sites from antiquity have shown evidence of thorough destructions due to earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions that kings and slaves alike were helpless against.

When will we ever learn? ([email protected]/PN)

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