Saturday, October 1, 2011

Typhoon Quiel Approaches

Typhoon Quiel on its westward track
Last weekend we cancelled plans to take the visiting team to the village of Can-eo due to sickness and  landslides caused by heavy rains.  Fortunately, the sickness has passed.  Unfortunately, landslides take a bit longer to clear.

Tuesday the fury of Typhoon Pedring bore down on Bontoc.  Pedring added to the landslides and the 3 roads that connect Bontoc with anywhere else were all closed due to landslides and the more treacherous road washouts.  The road to Baguio has been made passable and taking buses or jeepneys to other places is possible if you are willing to hike past the slide/washout and transfer to another bus.

You would think a 2nd story apartment would not experience flooding, but Pedring's winds drove the rain through the windows and I spent several hours moving from one room to another mopping up water with our travel towels (aka imitation auto chamois).  Before the wind died down, with Alayna's help I had mopped up 8 or 9 buckets of water.  My thighs are still a little sore from all of the squatting.

We are thankful that we were only without electricity for 28 hours instead of the 8 days we have experienced due to typhoons in the past.  Phone service was also out for more than a day.  After 4 days, internet was restored.  The bigger problem is that the municipal water supply is now out.  As I understand it, nobody throughout Bontoc has municipal water.

We are facing the passage of two typhoons:  Quiel today (right now) and Ramon tomorrow.  This double punch following the already soil-saturating rains of the past week caused the team to cancel their plans for ministering in Sadanga this weekend.  So far this morning, there has been moderate to heavy rain but minimal wind.

This morning I tucked plastic shopping bags into the widest gaps of our windows hoping to avoid the flooding we had due to Typhoon Pedring.  Hopefully the bags will reduce how much water comes through - but we are keeping the cardboard boxes and such sitting on chairs until this is over.  Hooray for tile floors!

As for water, yesterday we paid to have our tank filled and every available bucket is currently full.  Rain collection is on my mind, but there is not an easy way of doing that currently.