Tuesday, October 30, 2012

US preparedness for superstorm impresses Philippine senators

Norman Bordadora in the Philippine Inquirer: The onslaught of Hurricane Sandy showed even the most powerful nation on earth was no match to severe weather conditions caused by climate change, senators concerned with disaster risk reduction and management told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday.

Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change, indicated that Philippine officials could learn a thing or two about political will as shown by New York’s shutdown of its subway system and the mandatory evacuation of residents as the hurricane was about to hit.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan, chair of the Senate committee on public order, nonetheless, said the country has not been too far behind the US in terms of disaster response despite the disparity between the superpower’s superior capability with what’s available in the Philippines.

“Their sense of preparedness is amazing and the political will of their leaders like Mayor Bloomberg is laudable considering he closed down the subways, forcibly evacuated residents as he did in Hurricane Irene,” Legarda said when asked if Filipinos could learn anything from the US response to Sandy. “Even President Obama has been on national TV warning people to take it seriously,” Legarda told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a text message.

Legarda said the severity of the hurricane “can be an important campaign issue as it is for many parts of the world.” Americans would go to the polls early next month to again choose their President and other leaders for the next four years.

“That is why it is sad and uncanny that [Obama's rival] Mitt Romney mocks the climate change beliefs of President Obama as he did in a September speech when he cited healing the planet and leveling the ocean as if they were non-issues,” Legarda said….

This is a jpg photo of a NYC metro billboard warning of Hurricane Sandy

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