As usual, death and mayhem did not visit the well-off executives and politicians in the recent flash floods and landslide incidents that wrecked havoc all over the Philippines. It visited the poor and innocent rural dwellers who tried to eke out a living to subsist in their respective battles of life. It visited the blameless and deprived civilians who were unmindful of the real end of the present flooding impasse.
For the record, the Philippine archipelago has embraced the coming of heavy torrent in the very early part of 2011, fashioning yet another major-major headache to concerned authorities especially to President Noynoy Aquino. As of this writing, the disaster already claimed the lives of ten (10) people and dislodged more or less 260,000 citizens in Mindanao area (Region X and XI), not to mention the damaged agricultural lands, collapsed electrical lines and destroyed infrastructures like roads, bridges, churches and schools.
The same also happened in the Bicol region and Southern Leyte where houses in the depressed areas were crashed down killing several children and leaving other residents missing until now. The calamities also caused these affected areas to indefinitely suspend classes.
While PAG-ASA predicts that more and more rains will be pouring in the next few days, it is also expected that more and more damaged will be experienced; be it residential, agricultural, commercial and the likes. The peak season of the so-called La Niña will be from January to February of this year, according to PAG-ASA.
Undeniably, Floods are caused by a variety of factors, both natural and man-made. Some obvious causes of floods are heavy rains, melting snow and ice, and frequent storms within a short time duration. The common practice of humans to build homes and towns near rivers and other bodies of water (i.e., within natural floodplains) has contributed to the disastrous consequences of floods. In fact, floods have historically killed more people than any other form of natural disaster.
However, this corner picks massive illegal logging as the main culprit of the present flooding dilemma. Forest cover in the Philippines has decreased by 56 percent in the postwar period. For the past 50 years, the Philippines has lost 2.4 acres of hardwood forests every minute, leaving only 21 percent forest cover. That’s how fast deforestation happens in our beloved country. And deforestation is attributed mainly because several leaders in this country are cuddling illegal loggers, if not owning huge illegal logging businesses.
Whatever will happen in the coming years, hopefully death and mayhem will no longer be visiting the innocents and poor people. Hopefully it will rest stopover to the focal reasons why it happened. Hopefully it will visit the rich and powerful.