Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
In Australia, thousands are being advised to evacuate from their homes because of floods caused by heavy rains that have led to overflowing of rivers and waterways. Most affected, as of the latest reports is the state of New South Wales, where floodwaters have even affected Warragamba Dam, the source of drinking water for the city of Sydney, to rise to its full capacity. Some rivers in the northwest area are also flooding, and causing great concern among its officials.
In the United States, the Midwest and Southern areas were hit by powerful tornadoes on Friday, and, as of yesterday, the death toll had been placed at least 37. The deadly twisters uprooted trees, smashed houses and buildings throwing vehicles up and sending them crashing down like toy cars. Footages shown on TV illustrated the destruction and devastation, especially in areas like Ohio, and Indiana, and particularly Alabama in the south.
Also shown on TV and in pictures in the print media were the ruins of houses, with their construction materials piled up like kindling. Reports also said that, aside from the tornadoes, severe thunderstorms were also raging in the areas, adding more to the fears of residents who can still remember vividly the havoc wrought by the tornadoes last years that had claimed more than 500 victims in the country.
In the Philippines, we have not been spared from the wrath of Mother Nature. Only very recently, we had earthquakes and tropical storms that hit places closer to home, that is the other half of our own island, Negros Oriental. Until now, our government is still working on the problems of people displaced by quakes and landslides, and coping with the threat of more coming.
It is now very, very clear that the world is no longer what it used to be and that it has been ravaged by the abuses mankind has wrought on it. It is therefore time to realize that not only disaster alertness is what is needed, but, most of all, atonement for what we have been doing to our environment. Our scientists have identified the problems and have advised us what we need to do to restore what we have destroyed so recklessly all these years. This is no longer the time to be complacent, we have seen what the fury of nature can do, and our helplessness against it. Let us all wake up and act. Now.*