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Sep 22, 2010
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The months of 2010 has been exceptionally humid, at times giving glimpses of hot days even in the midst of the rainy season.
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The month of September however has people recalling the harsh events of the previous year's Ondoy, with everybody acting on alert as if a full year's worth of aftershock is about to unfold once again.

It is actually a good thing: being on guard rather than traumatized.

September has indeed been showing shades of last year's weather, especially after a day-long rainfall happening this very Wednesday, September 22.

In the spirit of today's weather, here are 10 things to know about Philippine typhoons:

1. Bagyo is a place, not a storm

The term 'bagyo,' in fact, was derived from a 1911 storm where a record rainfall of 46 inches in a span of 24 hours conquered the city of Baguio.

The way Filipinos think, it actually makes a lot of sense: people now seriously disambiguate the word “flooded” with “na-Ondoy”.

2. September isn’t just Ondoy month
Why Pinoys start panicking every time the month of September arrives, we perfectly understand. September has always been the most active month for tropical cyclones in the Philippines, going all the way before it boils down by November.

3. Who gets to name all these typhoons?
These names are included in a list made by 17 East Asian nations and the United States affected by upcoming typhoons.

All tropical cyclones that affect our country however are named by PAG-ASA. They retain their own naming list, giving Asian typhoons two names.

4. Expect these typhoon names to hit us real hard soon
Casualties aren’t the only thing about typhoons getting nastier by the year. The 2010 list of typhoon names include Ompong, Paeng, Seniang, Queenie, and we’ll be damned if this is a mere coincidence, Venus.

5. How many typhoons have we had in 2010?
With the inclusion of the ongoing Typhoon Inday, the Philippines has endured nine typhoons so far this year. Typhoon Agaton is the sole typhoon from January to June, until Typhoons Basyang, Caloy, and Domeng kicked off in July.

6. Is PAG-ASA the sole weather institution we can rely on?
In plain words, the folks from PAG-ASA make the official declarations. There are however plenty of sites dedicated to monitoring Philippine weather, especially this time of year. Sites like www.visitpinas.com and www.typhoon2000.ph have typhoon watch sections.

7. The most fatal typhoon in Philippine history
November 1991 came Typhoon Uring, wreaking havoc of over 6,000 casualties in a span of 4-5 days. Tens of thousands were left homeless during the aftermath, still a far cry from the already-traumatic times Ondoy victims have been enduring since last year.
   
8. What is the deadliest typhoon in history?
More than 50,000 people lost their lives in the November 1970 Bhola cyclone that occurred in Bangladesh and India. The number of casualties was so epic it equaled casualties caused by earthquakes, namely the 1976 Tangshan and 2004 Indian Ocean quakes.

9. Blame America, China, for typhoons
Developing countries have long been citing rich nations responsible for the bulk of mankind’s greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere over the past two centuries that largely affect climate change. Our request: cut out on gas emissions.

10. What’s this series of storms pouring down on us recently?
That would be Typhoon Inday, a cyclone weather reports say was expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility this Monday, September 20. Another typhoon, called Malakas, is now moving toward Japan, which means today’s rainfall is not a major one.

Next: the most destructive typhoons in Philippine history


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WORDS BY MIKEY AGULTO
IMAGE FROM COLUMBIA PICTURES' 2012 (2009)

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