October 24, 2009 – Saturday
Typhoon Ramil appears to be moving North North East away from Luzon, so the signal warnings have all been removed. Yesterday Quirino was down to Signal 1, Isabela was reduced to signal 2 and Cagayan, closest to the typhoon, was signal 3. Our schools here were therefore closed while those in Quirino province were still open. Signal 2 triggers closure. Thankfully the weather system has moved away. We are approaching the end of typhoon season so we hope there will not be any more this year. In an average year 22 typhoons enter the Philippines area, some of which strike the mainland. 2009 was above average in having two that caused extensive damage, flooding and deaths.
In this part of Luzon, when there is heavy rain, it frequently causes landslides in the mountains. Piles of mud slip onto roads or the foundations of roads are undermined causing them to collapse. Poorer families living in makeshift shacks by the roadside in known danger zones are frequently swept away by torrents of rainwater gushing down mountainsides, never to be seen alive again.
Despite the dry conditions prevailing yesterday, when we drove over to Quirino yesterday we saw the aftermath of two crashes on the road involving large trucks. I have to say that such sights are regrettably not unusual here and given the impatient drivers you encounter overtaking dangerously it surprises me we don’t see a lot more.
There were only guard dogs at the wood carvers we had intended to visit so we went instead to another workshop for our double front door. They use pine or narra, the latter three times the price, so we looked through a photo album of their work and found a couple of designs that might do the job. We want to visit other workshops next time to compare the quality of their workmanship as well as prices.