Manila– Yesterday’s torrential rains spawned by the southwest monsoon have surpassed the amount of rainfall during tropical storm Ondoy (international name Ketsana) in 2009 which inundated a half of Metro Manila and nearby areas.
About 50 percent of Metro Manila was flooded late Monday night, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
Due to the severe flooding, Malacañang invoked yesterday the “police power” of the state in suspending work in both the public and private sectors in the National Capital Region and 9 other provinces.
In Quezon City, eight people were killed while three others were injured in a landslide.
Three of the fatalities were identified as Jason Baylon, 16, JV Baylon, 20, and Gesser Joy Baylon, 7 (see Islands page 10).
According to the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Noah) of the state weather bureau Pagasa, the accumulated rainfall yesterday was placed at 472 mm in 22 hours or near the average rate of 504 mm of rainfall for August.
Pagasa said Ondoy’s record was at 455 mm in 24 hours. The accumulated rainfall for the 22-hour period was recorded from 4:45 p.m. Monday to 3 p.m. yesterday.
A red warning signal in Metro Manila remained hoisted due to continuous rains.
Heavy to intense rainfall (7.5-28.0mm/hr) was observed over Metro Manila for the past three hours, according to Pagasa’s bulletin issued at 3:30 p.m.
Due to the effect of the series of thunderstorms associated with the southwest monsoon, Luzon residents can expect heavy to intense rainfall (10-30mm/hr) with occasional torrential (more than 30mm/hr) within three hours, it said.
The southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm “Haikui” located 300 km northeast of Taiwan will continue to bring occasional to frequent rains over Luzon.
Moderate to heavy rains will be experienced in the provinces of Ilocos, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and National Capital region Tuesday until Wednesday.
A gradual improvement of weather condition was seen Thursday and onwards to the weekend, Pagasa said.
NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said the floods started to subside mid-morning yesterday but many areas in Metro Manila remained inundated.
Even Mandaluyong, which is on high ground, wasn’t spared he said.
“If you had gone around about 11 o’clock last night you would have seen it was about 50 per cent. It was like Water World,” Ramos said.
Still, he said the floods didn’t come close to those caused by Ondoy in 2009.
The La Mesa dam, which supplies water to the capital of 12 million people, spilled excess water for a second time early Tuesday into the rivers flowing into Quezon city, a middle-class Manila suburb, as well as the neighborhoods of Malabon, Valenzuela and Caloocan, where several villages were submerged.
Along the swollen Marikina River, police were deployed to move more than 5,000 residents away from the riverbanks in what Vice Mayor Jose Cadiz said was an enforced evacuation.
The operation started after the City Hall sounded the alarm bell.
The Philippine Stock Exchange in the financial district of Makati, which was also flooded, was closed Tuesday.
Also closed was the U.S. Embassy along Manila Bay in the historic old city, which was drenched out last week when a storm surge pushed the water over the seawall.
President Benigno Aquino III appealed to Filipinos for “a little cooperation” in the government’s rescue and evacuation efforts for their own safety as incessant rains pounded Metro Manila on Monday and Tuesday.
“There are some who don’t want to leave their rooftops, and the rescue services have to turn back because they refuse to be rescued. A little cooperation will be appreciated,” he told a media briefing at the NDRRMC.
In her Twitter account, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Business Process Outsourcing and call centers were told to suspend work.
Despite the rains, flight operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) remained normal yesterday. /Inquirer