Wednesday, July 27, 2011


AFTER DEADLY TROPICAL STORM NOCK-TEN - More than 20 people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes after a tropical storm battered the Philippines for a third day.  The tropical storm Nock-Ten caused floods and landslides across the island of Luzon.  Power supplies were cut off in many areas on Tuesday, dozens of flights and ferries were cancelled, and schools and offices were closed. Forecasters say the storm should pass into the South China Sea on Thursday.  The storm hit Camarines Norte province earlier in the week with gusts of 56mph (90km/h).  A disaster-response official described it as the province’s worst flooding in five years.  Regional civil defence chief Rafaelito Alejandro said at least 20 people had died in Bicol region - most of whom had been buried in landslides.  He said floodwaters in many areas had now begun to recede.

The Associated Press news agency reported that other fatalities included a mother who was bitten by a poisonous snake that was swept into her home by a flashflood near the Albay provincial capital of Legazpi.  Officials fear that the death toll could rise, and many of the dead are likely to be fishermen who were out at sea when the storm hit.  Schools and offices began to reopen on Wednesday in Manila, as the storm’s path passed well north of the capital.  The Philippines is regularly hit by powerful storms during the typhoon season. Nock-Ten, named after a bird from Laos, is the tenth storm of the season.  Workers removed toppled trees, rocks and other debris blocking roads and firefighters hosed away mud from the streets.  Many domestic flights were canceled and about 1,600 ferry passengers stranded.

Heavy rains and floods battered the northeastern Philippines for a third day Wednesday as the death toll from a slow-moving storm rose to at least 24 with 9 others missing.  Waist-deep floodwaters swamped the houses of about half a million people, nearly half of the population of eastern Albay province, after Tropical Storm Nock-ten set off pounding rains since Monday and sent residents to seek shelter in churches and village halls.  Ordinary conditioned souls are always full of anxieties and material tribulations, but the devotees are forgetful of the miseries of material existence, since they always engage in the topics of the Lord.  

There are multifarious miseries in material existence - those pertaining to the body and the mind, those imposed by other living entities and those imposed by natural disturbances. But a sādhu is not disturbed by such miserable conditions because his mind is always filled with Krishna consciousness, and thus he does not like to talk about anything but the activities of the Lord. Mahārāja Ambarīsha did not speak of anything but the pastimes of the Lord. Vacāmsi vaikuntha-gunānuvarnane (Bhāg. 9.4.18).  He engaged his words only in glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Sādhus are always interested in hearing about the activities of the Lord or His devotees. Since they are filled with Krishna consciousness, they are forgetful of the material miseries.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam” - Canto 3: “The Status Quo”  
Chapter 25: “The Glories of Devotional Service”
Verse 23 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

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