July 14, 2010

Wild Winds. Broken Branches.

When I was driving on the highway into Makati yesterday evening and saw gigantic tarpaulin billboards being brought down I knew we were in for a stormy night. At least a few times a year, Manila is in the direct path of a typhoon and close to midnight last night it was Basyang (internationally named Coson) that brought havoc to trees and darkness to the city.

We've experienced much worse typhoons, but it never fails to break my heart to see the damage to plants and trees. These first two photos show the street I live on at 7 am:

Metro Manila, July 14, 2010


I came back out on the street at noon and was amazed by how much had already been cleaned up just by the residents - or rather by their house-help. You can see even the kids chip in:


So I took my camera and went for a walk down the street. This is what I saw when I turned left at the next street:


These boys were pulling at a tree limb that was being hacked by a machete:


We had had no power since shortly after midnight, so at this point I thought perhaps one of the lines in our village (subdivision) was down:


Later I learned the entire city and even a large part of the Luzon province was powerless.

To break the monotony of being in a still home, not being able to work or play, we went to the nearby commercial area to have some lunch. Many more branches had been broken and even some trees had been uprooted entirely:


We did not venture far, but I would guess all over the city there were crews hard at work clearing the streets to make them drivable again. This crew was happy to take a small break to give me their brilliant smiles to let me know that life goes on:


And you know, it does. At 9 pm we got our power back. And for me it meant getting back to work.

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7 comments:

tapirgal said...

Francisca, that's quite a story and great photo-reporting. I hope your lush climate helps the wounds heal fast. I know how sad I felt inspecting our forest that blew down a few years ago. They are still cutting back trees along the highway that are now in danger of falling over into the road. I also rememeber as a child how much fun I had playing in a huge tree limb that fell a couple of times from a tree between our yard and the neighbors'. In your case, the kids barely had time to make hideouts before it was cleared away.

Francisca said...

Sheryl, you are so right that this climate heals the broken branches fast. Before this typhoon we could no longer see the devastation to plant life caused by Ondoy. Except of course that killer typhoon had many many more human casualties and those wounds don't heal at all. I have a couple of shots of kids playing in a tree that came down, but I had to limit my uploads... saved that one for another day. :-D

JM said...

That's awful, I've seen it on the news! Great coverage though. You take care, Francisca.

tapirgal said...

Francisca, a tree came down here today, too, but in this case the neighbors murdered it. It was on their property, so it's all legal, but it was very sad. I may post it tomorrow since only two days ago I posted the hollyhocks that were in front of it. They also took out the hollyhocks and other flowers and plants - presumably to make more parking spaces, but we'll see.

Louis la Vache said...

Mme la Vache responds "ni hao" - and looks forward to your Bridge post this coming Sunday!

Icy BC said...

That was quite a destruction! I'm glad you're ok, and even though they had to work through the mess, they look happy in the last picture..

Jacob said...

This is too scary and reminds me of what is maybe coming our way in terms of hurricanes. None yet, but the "experts" say we'll get more than the usual! Ugh!