We have become somewhat familiar with this kind of weather at the beginning of every year – gloomy skies, heavy rain, and sometimes, a typhoon or two.
Such is the case whenever the amihan, or the northwest wind, blows down on us, which lasts from October until June.
The shear line, that brings in the cold wind, was pushing the rain towards Negros Oriental, while a low pressure area in Mindanao was also pushing more rain upwards – toward us. We were sandwiched, and this kept the rains going for days.
The Banica and Ocoy rivers swelled in Dumaguete, and all the other rivers in Negros Oriental overflowed their banks, causing people living in danger zones along the rivers to panic.
While we have become familiar with this weather pattern at this time of the year, there are still people who continue to live along the riverbanks. They seem to have developed an immunity to the weather, even as they live with the threat of being rendered homeless.
To relocate them to safer grounds is easier said than done. They would rather have government spend hundreds of millions to put up dikes to protect them, and to keep them from having to move.
Incidentally, the putting up of dikes seems to be a favorite infrastructure project of many local government units. But we don’t see many of these infrastructure around anymore because they, too, were washed away by the floods.
Should we just stay as we are, and continue to live with the hazards around us? That appears to be choosing the path of least resistance, which is the path that always leads downhill.