|Photo by Gerry Ruiz. Palo Leyte Flood last March 2011.|
The effects of climate change have been felt by our country throughout the past year, and we can only hope that such natural disasters like floods would be something we can prepare for when it happens again. Marikina, Cagayan de Oro, and Iligan were among the hardest hit, and even our beloved home Tacloban experienced the wrath of flood waters.
Since my return from Manila, we have experienced 3 major floods which entered our home. The first one caused our furniture to rot and the paint peel, and it happened before the first time we renovated our home. The second was last March when on a single day, the triple amount of the average monthly rainfall fell in Tacloban and neighboring towns. The first floor was flooded that we had to check-in at a hostel downtown for three days. We were lucky because in V & G Subdivision some parts had water neck-deep and they had to be evacuated. In Brgy. Nula-tula they had landslides. The third one was Just this December- during the time the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro were devastated.
My brothers and I decided to take action. I researched about anti-flood measures (mostly though were applied in Netherlands and similar low-lying areas) but the idea I believe may be adapted here. One such idea would be to put a barrier to prevent water from entering the house. Our 1st floor had been filled and raised almost a meter from the street level in 2009, but we are creating a concrete porch which also serves as a barrier to the flood water (can't explain in detail) and our laundry area which is in the back area will also have a barrier. In addition, we are building a new CR raised 1.5 meters above ground with its own septic tank. This will solve the problem of the other water closets inside the house which are rendered useless during floods. Our carport is also elevated. We planted additions to the existing trees in our lot: 2 mahogany trees, acacia, mango, java plum, santol, guyabano, tamarind, a handful tall woody shrubs, ornamentals, and ground covers.
Tacloban bay area is relatively well-protected, and the mountains are a distance away. We just hope and pray that such an occurrence won't happen, or at least be prepared.