- Posted August 3, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
- The Philippines held Automated Midterm Elections this Year 2013 -- Part 2
- The Philippines held Automated Midterm Elections this Year 2013 -- Part 1
- This Year's Automated Midterm Elections in the Philippines
- My Message To All The Girls And Women Who Are Aspiring And Striving To Get Education Right Now
- Education Would Give A Girl Or A Woman The Opportunity To Have A Stable Career And An Assurance Of Economic Well-Being In The Near Future
‘Storm Surge’ From Typhoon Gener (Saola) Brought Heavy Tons of Garbage to Roxas Boulevard and the Bay-Walk Area in Manila
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
It was yesterday morning, Thursday, when government officials, sanitation workers, and environmentalists from Manila could only shake their heads as the storm surge triggered by Typhoon “Gener” (international codename Saola) turned the recently repaired Manila Bay seawall into a dump. The pictures in this iReport were taken yesterday afternoon- at around 4 p.m. Yesterday, Aug. 3, 2012, Typhoon Gener had already left the Philippine area, technically speaking. The aftermath of such typhoon can be depicted in 5 words: floods, structural damages, evacuation sites for people who left extremely-flooded areas, loss of some lives, and the Manila bay-walk area being filled with garbage.
Last Wednesday, August 1, tons of garbage from the bay carpeted many portions of the bay-walk area creating an instant dumpsite right next to the US Embassy. Discarded plastic bottles and other recyclable plastic materials and tin containers were quick to disappear from the piles as enterprising waste collectors picked and even fished them out of the sea with their improvised net trap, an environmentalist group noted. The name of the environmentalist group is EcoWaste Coalition. Some of the group’s spokespersons were interviewed yesterday morning on national TV and told reporters that “waste-collectors were much ahead than government’s sanitation workers in picking up many garbage.” The waste-collectors would sell their catch to junk-shops in order to earn cash. The EcoWaste Coalition lamented the fact that despite the onslaught of typhoon Ondoy in 2009 and the just as devastating incidents of flooding after it, many Manila residents - from all walks of life - have yet to unlearn the bad habit of indiscriminate disposal. I was able to watch some spokespersons of the the EcoWaste Coalition making such statements on a local TV channel here in the Philippines.
“The sea sent back the garbage from the land as if telling off pig-headed people that whatever you throw away will return to you,” said Edwin Alejo, a coordinator of the green group EcoWaste Coalition. Yes, even if the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority had already cleaned up most of the garbage that had been brought to the bay-walk area, some more garbage were still being swept to the bay-walk area yesterday by strong waves from Manila Bay.
Gigantic waves generated by a “storm surge” pounded the 1.4-kilometer seawall which underwent a five-month repair earlier this year after it was severely damaged by Typhoon “Pedring” last year. Last Wednesday, Aug.1, Roxas Boulevard and the rest of the Manila coastline had been flooded by sea-waters due to the “storm surge.” TV news reports showed that a “storm surge” was like a mini-tsunami. Though the floods in the said area had already subsided yesterday, some garbage were still quite visible along the bay-walk area yesterday afternoon. I was able to take pictures of some of the garbage yesterday afternoon, at around 4 p.m. There were still some rains and strong winds yesterday, August 2, when I took pictures of the bay-walk area.
“Despite repeated campaigns against incorrect garbage disposal, residents especially those along the Manila Bay coastline and Metro Manila waterways have yet to kick this ugly habit out, “Alejo said.
Inspecting the seawall Thursday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino said, “ 48 trucks of garbage had been collected so far from bay-walk area, which went underwater due to Wednesday’s storm surge.” Such statement came from the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority when he was interviewed by a local TV station here in Metro Manila.
Also on Thursday, the Department of Public Works and Highways assured the public that “Typhon Gener did not cause any huge damage to the seawall’s main structure despite the tons of garbage that hit and covered it.”
The Manila City Engineering Office noted that the repairs had raised the seawall’s height by 16 inches, but the huge waves were really powerful and quite high. Some witnesses said that the splash rose higher than the coconut trees.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s chairman said he had resubmitted to the Department of Public Works a proposal to construct a “double-layered seawall” some 10 meters away from the existing wall, which he believes would be strong enough to withstand storm surges. The chairman hopes that such proposal would be taken seriously by the said government agency. He said that such idea was already done in other countries to prevent raging sea-waters from reaching the coastal cities and towns. Also, many environmentalists want the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to do something about the proper disposal of garbage along the coastal areas in Metro Manila. Many of such garbage were also washed away to far-way coastal areas in Central and Southern Luzon yesterday, as local news reports had shown.
Concerned citizens from Metro Manila are now appealing to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to construct a separate, 2-km breakwater on the bay to further cushion the assault of the waves before they could even hit the seawall. Many civil-society groups in Manila noted that the city seems unprepared when it comes to facing the threats of “storm surges” and tsunamis.
(NOTE: The statements that were made in this iReport came from actual personalities and groups who commented about the recent storm surge that took place in Manila Bay last Wednesday, August 1, 2012. I heard those statements from individuals and groups as they were being interviewed yesterday, August 2, 2012, on national TV by various reporters from local TV networks. I took a notebook and a pen to write down their comments and statements as they were being interviewed yesterday morning and last night while I was watching news. Today is Friday, August 3, 2012. I took the pictures yesterday afternoon at around 4 p.m. I wasn’t able to upload the photos last night because my internet connection was not working well the whole day yesterday. I posted this iReport to make people become more aware of the phenomena called “storm surge.” I think scientists from all over the world should study thoroughly what a “storm surge” is all about and examine it well if it’s really part and parcel of the ongoing effects of global warming. Also, I posted this iReport to show the fact that many people living in urban areas are not disposing their garbage properly. Improper garbage-disposal would have adverse effects against the environment. The government and the citizenry should work together to put up effective programs that would truly-ensure that all garbage would be disposed properly, so that we can protect the environment and maintain the Earth’s ecological balance.)