What happened? Answered prayers, many Bicol residents said, recalling how people in the region swamped radio stations with messages urging prayers. Priests noted that attendance at Masses grew as “Mina” was reported to be approaching closer. When the typhoon changed course and spared Bicol, one priest said it was “sort of a miracle.”Answered prayers? A sort of miracle? But what should we make of the later headline: Mina death toll rises to 12 as storm leaves RP (but in Isabela, Northern Luzon and the Babuyan Islands). Shades of the oratio imperata (Prayer for Rain) that the Catholic Church also led the Faithful in besieging Heaven itself with supplications for, earlier in the year, when rumors spread in media of "drought." Hmm...seems to be working a lil too well, folks.
By the way, the naming of typhoons and other terrestrial storms can be a bit confusing because there are regional and local naming conventions in use all over the world. For example the Western Pacific regional names for the two storms mentioned above are "Hagibis" and "Mitag" which were actually contributed by the Philippines and Micronesia to a rotating list of names used by group of 14 participating countries. Meanwhile, the "Philippine region" names for the same storms are "Lando" and "Mina" respectively. The authoritative source for all the agreed upon names is the National Hurricane Center of the US National Oceanograhic and Atmospheric Administration, including Philippine region names.
FYI: For 2008, be advised that the Philippine region names that will be assigned to typhoons are Ambo, Butchoy, Cosme, Dindo, Enteng, Frank, Gener, Helen, Igme, Julian, Karen, Lawin, Marce, Nina, Ofel, Pablo, Quinta, Rolly, Siony, Tonyo, Unding, Violeta, Winnie, Yoyong, Zosimo.