It’s been raining hard since last Saturday, no thanks to typhoon “Egay” which dumped rains in the Metro until yesterday afternoon.
And just when I thought the weather will clear up today because the storm is supposed to have left the country, another episode of strong winds and afternoon showers greeted me on our way home. So I think I will sleep half-soundly tonight if there will be another set of heavy downpour.
Speaking of storms, there’s this book that I really, really like and it talks about the destruction of a storm that hit America ages ago. It’s from one of my favorite author, Erik Larson and the book’s title is Isaac’s Storm.
Here’s the gist of the book, lifted from RandomHouse.com:
Galveston, Texas, awakened on September 8, 1900, on its way to becoming the most prosperous city in the nation, brimming with activity, commerce, and confidence. The following morning, it was a city decimated and humbled by nature, its businesses and homes unrecognizable, its hope swept away by what is still the deadliest weather disaster in American history.
At the turn of the century, Isaac Cline was the chief weatherman for Texas — he was also the one man who could have saved Galveston. The morning the storm hit, he watched as huge ocean swells transfigured the usually calm seascape of the Gulf Coast of Texas, timing the arrival of each swell, noting its size and shape. What he had yet to realize was that he had stumbled upon the greatest storm ever to target America, one in which eight thousand men, women, and children were about to lose their lives — a figure more than twice that of the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and the Great San Francisco Earthquake.
Creepy isn’t it? But you have to read the book to get into the blow-by-blow account of Mr. Larson of how this hell of a storm turned Galvenston, Texas into a ghost town overnight.
Ever since I’ve read this book, I get goose bumps when there’s a storm in Manila (and that’s even before Ondoy). The images the book has painted in my mind always keep coming back so I am always in an alert mood when there’s a storm over.
That aside, the book has a great story and Mr. Larson, the ever-researcher that he is, will leave no fact unturned with his style of writing. That is the very thing that I like about him (I’ve read all his books, by the way).
Do get a copy and learn from America’s experience. When I was reading the book, it never crossed my mind that this could not possibly happen to the Philippines. It can happen to us, especially if urban planning and development will continue to be our legislators’ least priorities.
Read the book and I guarantee you that like me, you will never sleep soundly when there’s a heavy rain.