For many areas, power interruption would also mean water interruption. This is because in some phases, like ours, motor pumps powered by electricity pump up water towards community overhead water tanks which in turn feed into the community homes. And so, for as long as there is no power, there's no water.
Free Water Source
So how did folks in our particular phase fare during the first waterless day?
Not too bad. Because word went out that there was a source of free water supply! This water supply turned out to be that water line that was broken by the fallen tree as mentioned in part 1 of this article. That broken water pipe was owned and maintained by the private water company distributing water to these phases.
Here's a couple of guys I saw walking with empty water containers. Well, they do look empty, right?
A few minutes later, here they are again, the same blokes, same water containers, but the containers now heavy and seemingly filled up!
This scene will be replayed many times during the day. Even the women would fetch water too, riding bikes, tricycles, cars or what have you.
Those two sacks on the foreground of the above photo contained the leaves blown away by the typhoon and collected by the kids.
Harvesting Rainwater for Emergencies
We had no radio and no telephone (with all the wires down), but I knew this power outage will take quite awhile after just assessing the extent of the typhoon's damage. The water cistern and tank still had water, but we had to conserve whatever water they had left. That water we boiled using a gas stove so we could have drinking water.
How about water for other uses, like bathing, dish washing, toilet flushing and so forth?
Well, we had rainwater. There was plenty of rain from the recent typhoon and with the rainwater barrel I made we'd have water for these other needs. Since the weather hasn't totally cleared up, I expected there was still some residual rain coming. The homemade rain harvesting gutters will be ready to collect rainwater.
With the convenient faucet in the rain barrel, we could easily fetch water into pails thanks to the elevated rainwater barrel platform. We then transferred water into pails in the bathroom and even this water jug with a tiny faucet or spigot.
We temporarily positioned this water jug by the sink and used rainwater for dishwashing. It was a bit cumbersome to use though having been accustomed to the faucet's position and height. But that was nothing compared to the difficulty of moving at night with lit candles and flashlights.
Our neighbors have started buying water from water haulers yet we were still confident of holding out for a couple of days more. We were ready for a long power outage. Thankfully, power was restored in our city on the third day, Friday, July 18, at 10 pm.