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Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 17:39 GMT
Philippines typhoon: Your reaction
Men carry a sick relative in Philippines
The President of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, has urged people to do all they can to help some 170,000 people stricken by severe flooding.

Typhoon Nanmadol hit the north-east coast on Thursday and was quickly followed by three other heavy storms. More than 1,000 people are dead or unaccounted for.

President Arroyo blamed illegal logging for leaving the landscape more prone to storm damage.

What is your reaction to the storms in Philippines? Did you, or your family or friends, witness the severe weather?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your comments:

Arroyo's promise is brave and important
Waimea Williams, Hawaii, USA
Arroyo's promise is brave and important. Will it be kept 6 months or a year from now, as soon as times get tough again?
Waimea Williams, Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

For every tree that is cut, 2 or 3 should be planted to replace it. Trees are natural protection from flash floods. Filipinos should expect and prepare for these typhoons. There are also environmental lessons to be learned from the series of hurricanes in Florida and the flooding in Haiti.
Manny Moraleda, Michigan USA

Yet another climate and weather disaster caused principally by the Northern Hemisphere spewing energy and particulates into our atmosphere. Just when are you folks going to take responsibility for your actions, and ration petrol and other fossil fuels?
Christopher Sawtell, Christchurch, NZ

In the Philippines, if you have money, you own the law and you own the land
Allan Ray Martinez, London, UK
I'm a Filipino working as a nurse in London. Flooding after a typhoon is a normal occurrence in the Philippines. Illegal logging has always been said to be the cause of these but it keeps on happening. The president said that she will punish the law-breakers but I doubt that will happen. In the Philippines, if you have money, you own the law and you own the land. Nothing can stop you. I bet that next year or even after six months, these illegal loggers would be back.
Allan Ray Martinez, London, UK

My sympathy goes out to those affected by the storms. It's very hard to stand up and fight when you have lost everything. It may look that way but there's always hope.
Russel Catibog, West Sussex, U.K.

Time and time again, we Filipinos never learn from the lessons of the past and from our mistakes!! Natural calamities like this happened time and time again!! Who to blame?? US!! From electing irresponsible & corrupt public officials to inept and ineffective enforcement of forestry laws to 'ghost' & failed forestry projects, this is the payback the we rightfully deserves! Now, wake up Philippines!!
Jose, Manila

The situation was aggravated by villages being built at the bottom or on these slopes
Boji, Manila, Philippines
I am a water engineer and a native of one of the afflicted provinces. In my work I have had the opportunity to travelling up and down my country's rainy eastern islands. I disagree that logging was the main culprit for the recent disaster. Most of the deaths were from landslides or mudflows, and it was the confluence of continued heavy rains saturating unstable geological formations such as gravel or deep layers of clay that caused the slides. Most of the landslides I saw were on forested but very steep slopes. Some have been logged long before and had been planted to coconuts and other crops for decades. The situation was aggravated by villages being built at the bottom or on these slopes. Others were built on sandbars at river mouths, and these sandbars function as the rivers' emergency weirs during heavy floods. Not that the people had much choice; these are the only reasonably flat sites in the hilly east coast of Luzon.

The misery was compounded by the landslides cutting off access to much of the disaster area. Some remote villages were connected to the towns only by rivers, and they were effectively cut off by the floods. The continuing bad weather also made it difficult for rescue and relief aircraft to operate for several days, especially as during these months the east coast of the country is prone to the northeast monsoon and its heavy seas, wind and rain, even without a typhoon. In other similar disasters across the archipelago over the years, logging was not or at least not solely to blame. There are other factors other than deforestation at play.
Boji, Manila, Philippines

People are rallying around with whatever they have to help others.
James Lewis, Cebu, Philippines
We live in Cebu some one hours flight south of the islands hit by the storms, its hard to imagine the problems there as we are drenched in sunshine here right now. The most noticeable effect is the wave of people seeking funds to send to the storm victims, its amazing how people are rallying around with what ever they have to help others when they are very poor themselves. I admire the spirit of the Filipinos and their determination to get back to normal as soon as possible.
James Lewis, Cebu Philippines

Behind the illegal logging reason is the economic debacle that faces the Philippines. Everyone involved is just trying to earn a living. This catastrophe exposes the miserable state of economics of the country and why more Filipinos seek their fortunes out of the country.
Jun dela Cruz, Toronto, Canada

When I was in Manila about 2 weeks ago the sign of typhoon was already telling. The news of death pilling up every day brought gloom not only in the Philippines but also throughout the world. Blaming illegal logging and politicians for lack of will would not stop future tragedy. What must we learn from this disaster and what actions must be taken to reduce number of casualties. Prayers alone would not solve things I am afraid.
Hisham, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Such logging had been going on for years, whether legal or illegal! The many thousands of tons of 'exotic' wood felled yearly in tropical and subtropical forests all around the world for the purpose of export have hardly any relationship to the relatively meagre amounts used as a local fuel resource (i.e. consumed in the literal sense of the word). The question is - who buys the wood in huge quantities and who buys furniture made from this 'exotic' wood? Well, of course the end-buyers are our own dearly beloved 'consumers' in Europe (which, by the way, does include the UK!)
Roger Oliver, Le Soler, France

Having lived in the Philippines for five years, I experienced the torrential weather and flooding even in the capital Manila. The weather will not change, but the government's war against illegal logging and the strengthening of relief operations and medical aid distribution will enhance its effectiveness in dealing with this annual threat.
Prashanth Parameswaran, Malaysia

This typhoon is another lesson to all Filipinos. Blame should not only given to public officials but to the people as well. Every Filipino should be active and responsive in participating in government projects to prevent illegal logging. This is a task for every Filipino to be vigilant in reporting illegal activities and help the officials in combating this problem. The environment is everyone's responsibility. It is up to the people how to conserve it so that the future generation will be able to capitalize on it. The natural resources is one of the factors that contribute to economic development.
Ersa Arriola, Pasig City

My heart goes out to those who have lost everything
Alex, Manila, Philippines
Having experienced the storms at first hand I would have to say that my family and I were lucky that Manila did not feel the worst of the typhoons. However, after seeing the worst hit areas my heart goes out to those who have lost everything. Yet again the government have said that illegal logging was to blame for landslides and that it would make the logging a punishable offence. Words come easy. It needs a substantial effort not only from the government and the people of the Philippines but from international agencies to get the country back on its feet so that standards of living can improve and the majority of Filipinos can step out of poverty and into the 21st century.
Alex, Manila, Philippines

My sympathy to the survivors of the typhoon and to the families of the victims. It is sad that the illegal logging made the situation much worse. I live in a logging area, and know what they are talking about. It is a very real problem, laying the land bare to flooding. Once again, my heart goes out to the people affected by this tragedy.
K C, Washington State, USA

Logging, illegal or legal, is only one of several problems that the Philippines has problems with. The weather is of course a major factor and something that people cannot control in most parts of the world. The Philippines is also a very weak economy and needs large scale investment and aid. Corruption is rife throughout the country from politicians in government to local councillors. The Philippines is a beautiful country and has some of the most friendly people you could ever want to meet in this world.
Chris Gibson, Leeds, England

Politicians stand on top of boxes and proclaim to the nation that this will never happen again
Rocky, Ottawa, Canada
Every time there is a typhoon based calamity in the Philippines, illegal logging is blamed and politicians stand on top of boxes and proclaim to the nation that this will never happen again and vow to enact new laws to stop the logging. How can the Philippine government claim it is illegal when 95% of the time the loggers have permits issued by national and provincial government. "Illegal logging" has been on going for about half a century, so stop blaming the illegal loggers and act now!
Rocky, Ottawa, Canada

If governments worldwide could be as friendly, caring and compassionate as I have always found the Philippine people to be - both abroad and in the Philippines - maybe such tragedies could be averted, or at least the loss of life averted. In the 21st century such loss of life is a stain on the international community. The Filipino government is hard pressed to serve the nation as it is. A helping hand from friendly allies is what is needed.
Keith, Expat in Sweden

The pictures that accompany bad news inevitably feature poor people and are only viewed by the rich. From Iraq to The Philippines the deaths of the poor are a statistic in modern times.
Keith Brisley, Ashford, Kent UK

Tonight she goes to bed unable to contact her family, the second time in as many weeks
Lisa, Hong Kong
The people of the Philippines are a fantastically resilient cheerful people who have endured the likes of this before. I live in Hong Kong and a member of our household is from the Philippines, tonight she goes to bed unable to contact her family, the second time in as many weeks after the storm. A humbling experience for me, who has been so absorbed in 'buying' things for the coming festive season.
Lisa, Hong Kong

Thankfully, my wife and her family were in Manila so were not affected too badly. But my heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones during the storms. Instead of our troops being sent out to the Gulf to fight senseless wars we should be sending them to places like the Philippines to help in the search and rescue and rebuilding operations. The Philippines are still a developing country and need all the help they can get. It's about time the west paid something back for all that they have taken out of the country over the centuries. The Spanish, Americans, Canadians and the British were keen to exploit these islands and their people over the years so where are they now when the country needs their help?
Doug Hilditch, Frome, Somerset

The government needs to provide them with a little help to break the poverty cycle
Rachel Kelly, Peterborough, Cambridgeshir
Growing up in the Philippines, I witnessed several typhoons and it is a very frightening and relentless experience. I have spoken to my family on the phone throughout last night and into this morning and they are reporting no damage to their houses and much to my relief everyone is safe and sound. They are fortunate to live in well built conventional houses with good foundations. It is the local people who continue to live shanty towns and self-built shacks (made from material found whilst scavenging in rubbish dumps) that have my greatest sympathy. Season after season people living in these conditions are the ones who are at the greatest risk and continually loose their lives.

Yes illegal logging makes an already risky situation worse but the years of corruption and the growing "class divide" that the local people have suffered (and continue to suffer) means that very few of them are in a position to get out of the shanty towns that they are born in to make a safer life for themselves and their families. The government needs to provide them with a little help to break the poverty cycle.
Rachel Kelly, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

This typhoon was very strong and very disastrous
Wayne, KL, Malaysia
This typhoon was very strong and very disastrous. I hope countries will lend support to help the Philippines. Philippines also a member is United Nation (UN). I think UN should send as much help as possible, and not just play a role in peacekeeping in troubled countries.
Wayne, KL, Malaysia

I have been living in the Philippines for the past ten years. The island that I live on is regularly battered by typhoons and I have seen first hand the damage that they do. The problems here are much deeper than just sending in relief supplies, though they are needed, they will only deal with the symptoms and not the causes of the problem. The problem is not only the weather but the system of governance. The poor are looked upon as commodities and the rich are untouchable. As long as this disparity continues the poor will keep on suffering unnecessary. I'm afraid the next disaster is just waiting to happen, its only a matter of time.
Boo, Apo Island Philippines

The Philippines has so much potential but sadly so much of the population is poor and without access to proper education. Corruption is the root of the Filipino problem..
Paul Hubbard, Manila, Philippines

I hope this lesson will finally teach us that those involve in illegal logging must be punished
Erick, Philippine
The fury of nature is unpredictable. The Philippines is used to such weather phenomenon but do we learn? No we do not. People still continue to destroy the forests. The rampant illegal logging in the mountains of Luzon had left nothing but small trees. I hope this lesson will finally teach us that those involve in illegal logging must be punished.
Erick, Philippines

Philippines clears up after storm
03 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Philippine storm's wake
02 Dec 04 |  In Pictures
Race to find Philippine survivors
01 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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