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The Worst Killer-typhoon in Albay, Philippines

by asianjade on 22/06/12 at 3:18 am

Typhoon Reming was the worst and most traumatic typhoon that ever hit the province of Albay, Philippines.

English: Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Worst Killer-Typhoon in Albay, Philippines

The day started like an ordinary rainy day on November 30, 2006. News of an incoming typhoon was met with the usual anxiety by the folks of our province. However Elba folks were so used to being visited by many typhoons yearly that we treated the news as something common. Albay is found at the southern part of the Philippines and is the home of the world’s most beautiful volcano, the majestic Mt. Mayon. Although many felt the usual apprehension about the threat of a coming natural calamity, many thought that typhoon Reming would not be strong basing from the mild rain that it brought during the morning.

While I was trying to cook for our lunch before noon, things started to look different. The rain fell as stormy torrents and the wind became very strong, so strong that I could see the branches and leaves of the coconut tree near our house violently swaying. I was getting more alarmed when I saw galvanized roofs from the nearby small building flying in the air.  I  and my 11-year old daughter started to panic when flood water entered our house. It reached our knees and in a matter of seconds, it reached our waists. There was a flash flood caused by the overflowing of the nearby river. My husband who at first thought that it was not a strong typhoon acceded to my pleas to vacate our house. We transferred to the nearby two-storey house of my brother where we remained for hours until the typhoon stopped. Had we not transferred, we could have drowned inside our house since the water became neck-deep.  The typhoon raged from three o’clock in the afternoon up to the early hours of the following day.

The news that greeted us the following day, December 1, shocked all of us. Hundreds perished in our province because of typhoon Reming. The nearby town park of Daraga was filled with human corpses. They were brought there for identity purposes by town officials. Many came to the park to search for missing relatives. For many days, the nearby town of Rawis smelled of rotten dead bodies. Many families who were trapped inside their shanty homes which were carried by the very strong flood perished. Big rocks and boulders rolled down from the slopes of Mt. Mayon, burying homes and people. Overnight, many became total orphans. Many lost their parents, siblings, wives,and children. For more than a month, there was no electricity in Legazpi City, our homeplace. Aids flowed from fellow Filipinos and from international agencies.

I have lived for fifty years in our province and have witnessed and experienced numerous typhoons. But none of them can compare to the damage and horror that was Reming. Almost six years after the tragedy, Albayanos are still recovering from the trauma caused by the typhoon. However, it also showed us one very important fact. It showed us that human love and compassion for fellowmen indeed exist. To us, survivors, we can’t thank these kind people enough for being there for us, during the most trying times of our lives.

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