Tag Archives: typhoon

Tornado hits my neighborhood in New Manila, Quezon City

We were caught by surprise. We were preparing our late breakfast of toasted bread and sunny side-up eggs when suddenly, the winds outside roared angrily, as if crying out, warning us to take refuge. We hurriedly looked outside our kitchen windows and realized those are not ordinary winds…

We were shocked when we went outside to see the fallen trees and electric posts.

Indeed, we are witnessing the brunt of a buhawi (tornado). The angry wind was whirling and pulling and out of fear, JR and I grabbed each other and ran to our bedroom, thinking it was the only safe place where the glass windows are not open. We remember closing the windows last night. Just as we were about to go right inside, we saw that the third window (which we cannot even open before this day) was wide open and, therefore, there will be a danger that it can be pushed by the wind, breaking the glass in the process…so we stayed under the door frame, partially covering ourselves with the door, and prayed loudly, “Lord, please save us!”

We stood there, holding each other, the sounds of the winds and possibly, of roofs and falling trees all around us…All these happened in about ten to fifteen seconds. And then there was quiet.

We checked each other, hugged, and shouted, “Thank you, Lord! Thank you, angels, we are safe!” And then we checked our house. The eggs that JR were cooking are now with twigs and leaves from the trees outside. There were debris of dust, leaves, and twigs everywhere, even on our bed and pillows. My laptop was covered with big particles of dust and soil. All our picture frames on top of the refrigerator toppled over. The laundry area is a total mess although the protective wall (of steel and thick wire) remained intact. Splattered on the white walls up to the ceiling are debris of leaves and soil.

Outside our unit, we were met by the family who lives just next to ours. They, too, were still in shock. We exchanged stories about how we dealt with the tornado. They asked if the protective wall in our laundry area was also destroyed like what happened to theirs. Amazingly, we told them that it seemed ok.

Even in the middle of a disaster aftermath, we still kept our sense of humor. We told them how our breakfast eggs are now covered with twigs. Not to be outdone, they went to their unit and came out again and showed us what happened to their newly-cooked rice—now covered with leaves and twigs, too! Apparently, the winds blew away the cover of the rice cooker! I told them they can re-cook it as fried rice!

We checked the damages outside and were shocked to see the fallen trees in Poinsettia Street (which intersects our street). The old and lovely trees of the convent across our house fell over. A Meralco post fell on the street, too, as if defeated. A piece of a roof that flew from a house now hangs from a cable of an electric post. Looking up outside our veranda, we saw someone’s pair of pants hanging from the top of another electric post! (Photos of the tornado’s aftermath are below this post).

Back in our unit, we also wondered how the third window in our bedroom opened. Most of all we wondered why the glass windows did not break, not even one, when the roofs of our neighbors were blown away. Must be that the glasses are much stronger and safely secured than the roofs or…we were saved by our angels.

Indeed, there are mysteries that we cannot answer. We are still shaken–dealing with the aftermath of our own adrenalin rush—and somewhat tired, almost feverish, but we know we are safe. Thanks to our friends and families who sent concerned text messages, love, and prayers.

We share with you all this part of our journey as we also pray for the safety of other Filipinos who are still dealing with the floods and the aftermath of typhoon Falcon. I also take this chance to ask all of you to do a little deed like planting a tree when you have the chance. Global warming certainly affects atmospheric conditions and aggravates the impact of storms and weather disturbances so even the simple act of planting more trees will definitely mean a lot to many people particularly those who are living in risk- and flood-prone areas.

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Below are photos of the aftermath of the small tornado that hit New Manila, Quezon City. Photos taken through HTC Tattoo phone camera.

Street sign across our house. The convent across our house (their main gate is in Poinsettia St.) lost several of their well-loved trees.

Fallen Trees in Poinsettia Street

Another shot of the fallen trees outside the convent.

These are the trees that fell down near our house.

A Meralco electric post that fell near our house.

This piece of metal that hangs from an electric cable used to be part of the roof of a house near ours.

Pants blown away to an electric post. I wonder whose pair is this…

A tree branch now hangs from a cable near our veranda windows.

Our house was luckily spared although the laundry area was in a complete mess after the tornado. The next-door unit’s protective wall and grills in the laundry area were smashed though.

The picture frames on top of the refrigerator toppled over. We consider it another small miracle that nothing was broken despite the very fierce winds.

There were leaves and twigs everywhere our house after the tornado.

Our breakfast eggs were quite “seasoned” with twigs and soil debris.

Our neighbor showed their rice to us. The cover of the rice cooker was blown away and the debris of twigs, leaves, and soil literally covered the top of their steamed rice.

Media coverage teams went to check the damage and get footages. ABS-CBN reported live from the site, in the evening. This photo was taken from our veranda.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista also came to check the damages. Here, he is being interviewed by the media.

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Being more mindful of what we throw away

[Repost from my Facebook 'notes']

It’s been two days from the worst flood that I have ever seen in my life. And this time, I became a victim too. My husband and I are part of the government statistics: number of affected people of Typhoon Ondoy- 450,000.

It was all so sudden. The building manager and staff were banging on our glass doors, waking us up from our deep slumber. It was probably past 9:00 am, Saturday. We were trying to sleep some more because hubby celebrated his birthday the night before (I surprised him with a get-together with very few friends).

“Get all the things you can! The waters are rising…” They screamed at us.

Hubby and I didn’t really panic. We took a look outside and the water is still low, it hasn’t reached our front door yet…

We even had time to change into more decent looking clothes. Without any panic, we started putting things on higher places – table tops, on the bed, the higher cabinets…

Then the manager and staff started asking us, “Do you want us to carry your refrigerator up already? What about your TV…? There were already commotion outside…Hubby and I were still a bit unperturbed. We agreed anyway but we really didn’t think the water will reach that high. In fact, we thought out bed will be high enough…

And then suddenly, very suddenly, we just saw that the water is now knee-high…then perhaps just barely five minutes…it was already touching the drawers of my study table…just inches away from my laptop!

That’s probably the time we started to panic and see that the waters are indeed fast rising…and then when we were able to grab my laptop, printer and modem, we just realized it is real. This is happening. We can’t save anything much. When I ran out of our unit, the waters were already at my chest

I cannot even go back anymore because when I tried to, the waters were too strong for my small frame. I can’t swim. I didn’t think I’d want to give additional worry to all the people trying to save their possessions…so I just stayed by the staircase of the main building so the people who are helping us retrieve some of our things can pass on some stuffs to me and they can go back to our house.

It finally dawned that we can’t save much anymore. So the books and the documents had to go. The clothes too. Some others.

And then we were there huddled in the main lobby of the building which is on a mezzanine level. We can only wait for the waters to subside. Count our blessings, console each other that at least we are still alive. We hoped the rains will stop soon. We heard news about Marikina and can only send SMS to try to help contact AFP. We were worried about the others.

I couldn’t say thank you enough for the people who helped us. Our friends Jay, Ned, and their son Naki, who went to us the next day to bring us food and fresh set of clothes. The neighbors and staff who bravely waded through the murky waters to help us save some of our possessions…they are the angels that we most needed.

Now, it’s been two days and I still think about how this flood could happen.

I posted this comment in FB – Yes, the government should have an effective and working disaster response. However, we also are partly to be blamed because of how we abuse our environment. We throw dumps and garbages as if we own the world and that the world is unlimited. I felt the brunt. My house got submerged up to my chest level. I lost many things. I only hope our people will be more careful, to be more caring, to be more sensitive to the environment.

It will always be us who will suffer in the end. Please, let us be more conscious of what we throw away, they can eventually kill us. The stuffs we throw away will be the same ones that will clog our rivers and drainage systems.

Please do not let this kind of flood happen again.

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This is not a paid blog.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mary Anne Velas-Suarin