By Peter Clarete
THE havoc wrought by “Pablo” was tremendous but the damage in terms of physical and property injuries was minimal because of preparations, not only by the private citizens but this time by city hall itself. Private individuals and groups, whether formally organized or not, were again quick to extend help. City hall did its share, too.
The preparations were almost that thorough that the wrath of Pablo, while comparable to that of Sendong, did not inflict a deep wound on the battle-scarred Cagayan de Oro whose inhabitants, resilient as they have always been, could even crack jokes that Sendong told Pablo to go to Cagayan de Oro because it’s more fun there.
The impression many had about how Pablo was defeated by fun-loving Kagay-anons was that it was city hall’s crowning glory after its reputation of being unprepared when Sendong struck, forgetting the many Kagay-anons who went out of their way to help their fellowmen stay from harm’s way. But be that as it may, people who prefer to help rather than be honored did what was necessary under the circumstances––help disseminate information and evacuate those who were in danger zones.
Pablo did not level off the field. It merely showed city hall that their ineptness and gambling ways cost more than a thousand lives last year because they preferred to be unprepared, merely hoping that no harm will happen to their constituents.
Pablo is the yardstick by which unpreparedness of the master of disaster may be measured, and the gravity of his own inaction that cost lives. Pablo merely highlighted the unpreparedness of the city last year and taught everyone a lesson how preparation could have save hundreds of lives and probably millions in property value. Pablo was the proof that indeed no preparations were made by city hall last year.
And Pablo merely left a message that in subsequent super typhoons, preparations means lives and property saved. Again, Pablo merely left a convincing proof that no preparations were made for the arrival of Sendong last year.
It’s that simple, really.