Archive for the ‘man and nature’ Category

Hundreds of dolphins disoriented in shallow Philippine waters

February 11, 2009

There’s a great deal of empathy that was elicited by the sight of hundreds of dolphins stranded in shallow waters of Orion and Pilar, Bataan, somewhere close to Manila Bay in the Philippines. For reasons that aren’t clear, the docile and friendly sea mammals were stranded on Tuesday, February 10, 2008, unable to swim back to deeper waters.

Fishermen and town folks from neighboring villages came in droves to help drive the melon-head dolphins, numbering about 200 to 300, back to sea. Admirably, the villagers followed the appeal of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to help and not harm the marooned animals.

“The unusual occurrence may have been triggered by a sea quake that could have damaged the dolphins’ eardrums and disoriented them, or the pod could have been following a sick or injured leader, Malcolm Sarmiento, director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said in a telephone interview.”—-AOL News/ AP (02/10/09, Marquez, B; Cerojano, C)

Though the group of agile air-breathing animals eventually made it to the open sea, there were three dolphins found dead. One was pregnant and one was a young baby. According to the animal doctor who examined the remains, two adult dolphins revealed fractured eardrums. (Photo Credit: Malaya) =0=

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Hundreds of dolphins disoriented in shallow Philippine waters

February 11, 2009

There’s a great deal of empathy that was elicited by the sight of hundreds of dolphins stranded in shallow waters of Orion and Pilar, Bataan, somewhere close to Manila Bay in the Philippines. For reasons that aren’t clear, the docile and friendly sea mammals were stranded on Tuesday, February 10, 2008, unable to swim back to deeper waters.

Fishermen and town folks from neighboring villages came in droves to help drive the melon-head dolphins, numbering about 200 to 300, back to sea. Admirably, the villagers followed the appeal of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to help and not harm the marooned animals.

“The unusual occurrence may have been triggered by a sea quake that could have damaged the dolphins’ eardrums and disoriented them, or the pod could have been following a sick or injured leader, Malcolm Sarmiento, director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said in a telephone interview.”—-AOL News/ AP (02/10/09, Marquez, B; Cerojano, C)

Though the group of agile air-breathing animals eventually made it to the open sea, there were three dolphins found dead. One was pregnant and one was a young baby. According to the animal doctor who examined the remains, two adult dolphins revealed fractured eardrums. (Photo Credit: Malaya) =0=

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Imminent eruption of Alaska’s Mount Redoubt reminds us of Mayon and Pinatubo

January 30, 2009

The snow-capped Mt. Redoubt in Anchorage, Alaska is showing signs of restiveness that makes eruption probable. Residents living close to the 10,200 foot volcano are on alert as they set aside gears and provisions for the imminent volcanic eruption. Having seen showers of ash and pyroclastic debris in the past, the people there prepare masks and goggles, the first line of defense to protect their eyesight and breathing.

This isn’t unfamiliar to our kababayans in Bicol where Mt. Mayon displays periodic volcanic activity which forces the evacuation of villagers from its slope and gulleys. The PhilVolcs and government officials coordinate with the community to avoid loss of life and property during such emergency.

Farther north in Luzon Island of the Philippines is Mt. Pinatubo also blows its top with tons of lava and subterranean debris shooting up in the air. Ash deposits and later lahar destroy towns along its path.

In June 1991, the Mount Pinatubo brought hardship and misery in the neighboring provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. The eruption forced indigenous tribesmen, the Aetas, to scamper from their mountain dwellings as volcanic debris rolled and covered lowland settlements, reaching as far as the environs of Manila. Pinatubo’s gigantic eruption destroyed crops and agriculture land, countless homes and villages making it one of the biggest eruptions in memory. (Photo Credits: Blastard; DiffusedPixel; US Geological Survey PD) =0=

Mount Mayon and Mount Pinatubo


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Some Floodings Explained: The Conflict Between Man and Nature

January 16, 2009


These recent days heavy floodings have been reported in some parts of the Philippines–Northern Samar, the Agusan provinces (flooding due to the swelling of Agusan River), Cagayan de Oro (flooding due to the overflowing of Cagayan River of its banks), Iligan City and Linamon in Lanao del Norte, Capiz and Cagayan provinces.

The rains might have been frequent but not really that strong. And flood-prone areas like Metro Manila and Central Luzon were generally spared this time. But all know that during the habagat (southwest monsoons) those areas are almost always flooded when the heavy rains come.

If one will notice all of these now-flooded areas lie to the north of the island to where they belong. The floodings were due to the overflowing of the banks of their rivers which all flow northward.

Funny that the reporter in Lanao del Norte charged that “storm surge” was the cause of the flooding. What he meant was the rivers cannot empty to the sea (causing it to rise) because there’s a surge coming from the sea. A sea surge, yes, but not a “storm surge” because there’s no storm.

This sea surge fuelled by the amihan (northwest moonsoon) is capping the flow to the sea of these northward-flowing rivers. That’s why the river banks are being breached. And also why flooding occurs in the upper reaches of the rivers.

This is one relationship that people must understand. A strong amihan produce a southward-flowing sea surge capping the northward-flowing rivers thereby slowing their capacity to empty to sea and this in turn cause the river to overflow its banks. During habagat, the relationship is reversed. Southward-flowing rivers are bottled up by the sea surge going north.

If tropical cyclones or typhoons are not all bad so do this phenomenon. Storms and typhoons are the primary elements the sea and oceans have in order to cleanse themselves. Sea surges and storm surges have the capability to push back river flows. It is known that Manila Bay sea water even enters the Laguna de Bay through the Pasig River and these cleanses the lake. Flooding and the entry of sea water does the same for rivers.

But herein lies the classic confrontation between man and nature. In the olden days man will simply just give way to nature. But with ever-burgeoning population pressures and urbanization man now occupy nature’s former path.

And so disasters occur.

[Photo credit:Agence France-Presse]