Rescue work and relief supply distribution are both on the highest gear in the Visayas and parts of Mindanao as typhoon Odette slashed through the regions, leaving measureless sights of damage and misery, including at least 33 deaths.
The efforts have been hobbled by the lack of communication and typhoon debris blocking the roads in the regions, which have been preparing for at least hope and joy this Christmas.
Yet another piteous sight is that of thousands queuing up at gas and water refilling stations as food and potable water are fast running out.
Then we see some candidates at the national level taking advantage of this tragedy to perhaps raise their bar of acceptance before the electorate by asking some to “stop politicking” and join in the relief and rescue operations, with one immediately posting the candidate was heeding the call.
But another pointedly criticized the source of the call to himself stop using “political calamity” to gain some points – a manner he described as abominable, to which we agree.
If indeed people of their political stature would like to help the victims, they should just do what is necessary and not ask, in the form of a public call, other aspiring candidates to set aside politics in the meanwhile when many are crying for help.
The call alone and by itself is downright politicking.
And the other aspirant who quickly responded, faster than a thunderbolt, is as well politicking – as if, by some conclusion, those who do not respond with similar speed were ignoring the plight of those typhoon victims.
But wait. The other aspirants were in fact doing what they needed to do, their political coats and colors off before the pugnaciously worded call were even seen and read on social media.
Le’s face it, We need not tell adults what they should do in times of catastrophe. Thinking Filipinos are aware that such calls are unnecessary – with or without an election campaign rolling out in less than two months in this politically divided nation of 110 people.
More than making use of the situation to project a good image of a quick-to-the-rescue brand of people some are and making calls that would be frowned upon anyway, they should be thinking of what better things to do, given that the Philippines is a typhoon-prone archipelago when the typhoon is gone and only the sight of helpless victims would be jabbing their eyes.
The Philippines, in the world’s most cyclone-prone region, is just above the equator and faces the western Pacific, with little else to absorb the energy of storms before they hit land. Storms are fueled by the warm, tropical waters, which produce roughly 20 typhoons each year, with up to nine making landfall.
At least 60 percent of the country’s total land area, nearly 300,000 square kilometers, is vulnerable to natural hazards, in large part due to the archipelago’s location along both the path of the tropical storms brewing in the western Pacific and the Ring of Fire.
Also, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, increased frequency of extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and extreme rainfall.
Oceans and seas have a great influence on the weather of continental masses. A large portion of the solar energy reaching the sea surface is expended in the process of evaporation.
Experts say this water evaporated from the sea/ocean is carried up into the atmosphere and condenses, forming clouds from which all forms of precipitation result. Sometimes, intense cyclonic circulations occur which is what we call tropical cyclones.
Tropical cyclones, the non-frontal, synoptic-scale ones developing over tropical and sub-tropical waters at any level, are warm-core low-pressure systems associated with a spiral inflow of mass at the bottom level and spiral outflow at the top level.
They always form over oceans where sea surface temperature, also air temperatures are greater than 26°C. The air accumulates large amounts of sensible and latent heat as it spirals towards the center.
In the meantime, we call on politicians to stop making this cataclysm a forum to earn campaign points. (ai/mtvn)