I just 5 minutes ago received this mailing list email from my friend JD, a retired US Marine, who lives in Baguio, Philippines. I’ve know JD for years and believe me, he is not a rumor monger nor a guy who is prone to panic:
Sunday (11 October 2009) 1330 hrs:
Seriously, here is where we are. ALL ROADS IN AND OUT are CLOSED!! There is a slight possibility one lane may open late Monday on Kennon Road only. I will assume no travel until late Tuesday or Wednesday.
Some panic buying has taken place, rice stock is nearly depleted. (to a Westerner this may sound like an inconvenience, to a Filipino, especially hungry Filipinos, no rice is a bad, bad thing).
Some bread available at SM mall, meat choice is VERY LIMITED and no poultry is left at all! Vegetables are limited and will probably spoil if not purchased in the next day or two. (Philly’s note. We already observed here in central Luzon (200 plus miles from Baguio) that there were nearly no fresh veggies left when we were at the supermarket here in Marilao more than 24 hours ago. This could prove to be a big problem).
There is no diesel fuel left anywhere. Most Jeepneys are shut down, some taxis are still running but transport for public is very limited. All schools at all levels are closed until Thursday.
City water pumps lost electricity, but hope to be delivering some water in areas where the water lines have not ruptured.
Globe broadband, PLDT and Digitel internet are not working. Smart Bro works in limited areas (I just got SmartBro USB to log on to the forum but may not have signal after I leave Red Lion to go home down Asin rd at KM 3).
In Baguio over a 2 day period over 2,300 mm of rain (for you in the Metrically challenged world, that is 90 plus inches … look up at the ceiling over your head as you are reading this.. from floor to ceiling in many US homes is this same dimension) dumped on us, an incredible 6.5 (more like 7.5 feet) feet in a 48 hour period that NO country or land mass could possibly handle. The devastation is going to be long lasting and a terrible cost in lives and agriculture will be borne by these farmers and families in the N. Luzon areas.
They opened Laoakan airfield to some relief supplies by air, but the real supply transports may not make it up here until wed or thurs. Just got word US Marine Amphibious group has flown many helicopters into La Union/Pangasinan for relief and rescue operations this afternoon. This will help the most desperately flooded victims down the hill.
Up here Paula Hall single handedly delivered emergency food and cash to the blind school where a terrible landslide has killed many people and wrecked Bowkaken road. Extraordinary woman that Paula!!
Most expats are trying to meet the needs of their distant families with cash transfers as we are all isolated from the rest of Luzon at this time. I encourage all outside of the Philippines to lend your support to those legitimate calls for help from the Red Cross, Unicef, VFW.
Down in LaUnion terrible flooding has engulfed La Union and over 90% of Pangasinan. Some VFW members are wiped out of their homes and lost their automobiles to flooding in Bauang and San Fernando.
We (VFW Post 9892 and Pup Tent 7 MOC) will meet next Monday and Tues. to assess what funds we have and what priority missions we will have. this is assuming travel for members will be possible to La Union from Baguio.
I will log in again when signal is available.
Thank you, John David. Believe me, faithful readers, this is the real deal. Mita and I are so lucky that we missed (by a few miles) being actually flooding. But aster the initial hoopla more than a week ago about the storm called Ondoy which devastated a lot of Manila, this second storm, Pepeng has been a little less publicized. People all over Luzon, many in areas that have never flooded are homeless, and as things sound may very soon be pretty hungry as well.
This is the culprit this last storm … notice the squiggly track line, going back and forth across Luzon for several days, refusing to leave and give flood waters a chance to recede.
Not many weeks back I published a post about Martha Stewart and Can Martha Teach You About Philippine Living? how she could teach you a bit about living in the Philippines. Martha is well known for her expression “It’s a Good Thing”.
Well this storm and the conditions here in the Philippines are definitely not a good ting right now. What can anyone do?
1. Bob posted a comprehensive post a couple days back about how to work through the American Red Cross. It’s here: Luzon Flooding
2. I posted this a few days ago, Free Money While You Fill A need a way to contribute directly into the bank account of the Philippine National Red Cross (and get a free money transfer to use for family and friends here as well).
3. If you feel that you can only contribute physical goods “in kind” as we call it here, then you can send to:
ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya
13 Examiner Street,
Quezon City, Philippines
011-632-413-2667 or 416-0387 and Look for Ms Girlie Aragon
In the end it matters not what you do, but that you do something.