About Pedro Walpole

About the author: Pedro Walpole, S.J., is the Director of Research at the Institute of Environmental Science for Social Change in the Philippines and the Coordinator of Reconciliation with Creation for the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific. He holds a doctorate in land use change from King’s College in London. He is a practitioner in sustainable environment and community land-management in Southeast Asia.

About the diary: Published as Diary of a typhoon, December 2012 in the ESCC.org website, with the following introduction:

ESSCNews shares this write-up by Pedro Walpole when the Bendum community was caught during the onslaught of typhoon Pablo in early December 2012. This story is reprinted from APC

On 23 November 2012, a moderate atmospheric circulation developed over the Marshall Islands, part of the Micronesian island chain in the Northern Pacific region over 5,000 km to the east of the Philippines. By 9:00 pm on the 25th, both the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the Japan Meteorological Agency classified the system as a tropical depression. It reached tropical storm intensity by the following day, and was named Typhoon Bopha (Pablo in the Philippines).By 5:00 am, 4 December, the typhoon made landfall over Baganga, Davao Oriental as a category 5 Super Typhoon, with winds over 200 kph and a well-defined eye. Public storm warning signals were issued in Mindanao on 3 December. Storm signal 3 was raised over Bukidnon and schools and offices were closed.

By 5 December, over 800 people were declared missing, with 620 confirmed dead. More than 300,000 people were forced into evacuation centres as floods and landslides caused destruction across Mindanao.

The super typhoon’s eye passed directly through Bukidnon, moving up the Pulangi River and passing over Bendum. The following is Pedro Walpole’s account of Typhoon Bopha as he experienced it, together with the Pulangiyen community in Sitio Bendum.

The diary covers the period December 3-9, 2012.