Friday, October 2, 2009


The word "disaster" has its roots in superstition; etymologically, it means, roughly, "bad star."

When our friend Renée Molina was here, she mentioned that the Philippines were being hammered by typhoon conditions. I hadn't seen reports of this in the major news vehicles (though I admit I hadn't bothered to look beyond my normal circle of online sources); the past few days have been more devoted to the earthquakes and tsunamis that have affected the Samoas and Indonesia.

But today, finally, I see that there's an article about the Philippines in a major news outlet. The devastation there is pretty extensive. If you haven't been following the news, and if you've been holding the folks in the Samoas and Indonesia in your thoughts, you might want to add the Philippines to your list.

NB: South Korea has its own typhoon problem every year. In my case, I was lucky to be living in Seoul: typhoons that hit Korea normally expend part of their energy when passing over Japan, which often acts as a storm baffle for Korea. And when typhoons do hit the peninsula with force, they almost never do any significant damage to Seoul, which is close to the northwestern coast of South Korea, next door to the port city of Incheon. The hardest-hit regions in South Korea are all along the southern coastline and along much of the eastern coastline as well.


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