Press Release
December 19, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara expressed deep sympathy for the victims of the devastation caused by Typhoon 'Sendong' (International Name: Washi). As of Monday morning, casualties from the flash floods were said to have breached the 600 mark.

"We mourn with those who lost their loved ones in the floods and extend all the help we can muster," said Angara.

He stressed, "The magnitude of the devastation should only spur the entire nation to action. I call on everyone to lend a hand in ongoing efforts to help our brothers and sisters in Mindanao."

Angara lamented, "However, this isn't the first time we faced such a tragedy. The costs are too high for us not to use what we have learned from past experiences in better preparing ourselves for future typhoons."

The Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) noted reports that a joint weather monitoring mission between the US and Japan predicted that 'Sendong' would usher heavy rains similar to 'Ondoy' (International Name: Ketsana).

Analyzing satellite data gathered on 'Sendong,' the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) saw heavy rain falling at around 50 mm per hour. Rains from 'Ondoy' fell on Metro Manila at 56.83 mm per hour in September 2009.

In contrast, the national weather bureau PAGASA estimated only 10-25 mm per hour of rainfall from 'Sendong'.

"Clearly, we still need to improve our disaster management and risk reduction systems," said Angara. "Government must push for concerted effort not only in improving our forecasting technologies but also in seeking the help of other nations, whenever we lack the infrastructure and expertise."

Angara emphasized, "This is not the first time tragedy befell us; it may also not be the last. But we must at least give our people a fighting chance to survive."

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