A volcanic eruption is not a tragedy in itself. Tragedy strikes when people and animals get caught in it. But I heard most people who live in the vicinity of Taal volcano which erupted this week are safe because they managed to evacuate on time. Of course there could me more explosions that could be fatal to both humans and animals. There are reports of continued tremors and fissures occuring around the area. I read that this is a sign that a massive eruption could still happen and could be catastrophic. If that’s the case, then there could be tragic consequences.
A lot of members of the Opposition are calling the event a “tragedy” but, in my opinion, this is not comparable to the catastrophic outcome of the Mount Pinatubo eruption and the Haiyan supertyphoon. Yes, ashes have descended upon farms, houses, and roads and interrupted daily lives, but that is what happens when volcanoes erupt. The government is responding to the best of its ability and available resources. If we call every such occassion a “tragedy” the word will lose its meaning. The Philippines has been struck by deadly disasters many times in the past and these fit the definition of the word tragedy. Japan is hit by earthquakes more often than the Philippines but they don’t whine about it. They consider it part of their lives to remain in a constant state of preparedness.
Partisan members of the Opposition clearly had a political agenda when they scrambled to slap the “tragedy” label on this recent disaster. This is sloppy thinking and crass partisanism at best. When we criticised former President Noynoy Aquino over his slow response after Yolanda and the massacre of the #SAF44, it was after the fact. The Opposition today criticised and looked for President Rodrigo Duterte even while the natural occurrence was still just beginning to unfold and very little information was coming in as of that time. On the first day of the eruption, they were already judging him.
It seems to me like the Opposition is wishing for a tragedy to happen in the Philippines so they can blame Duterte. They want to paint every issue as being worse than it actually is. Too bad for them. The current government is evidently quicker to respond to emergency situations than the previous Aquino administration.
The loss of livelihood, injury and inconvenience that resulted in this recent phenomenon is a human tragedy, not the volcanic eruption per se. Filipinos should learn from this and from every natural disaster they experience and strive to be vigilant and better-prepared in the future.
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