MANILA, Philippines – It was bedlam Tuesday, August 20, in Metro Manila as the region of 12 million people ground to a halt with relentless rain and floods immobilizing commuters, forcing evacuations and shutting down schools, offices and airports.
Bea Cupin reports.
Metro Manila is at a standstill.
The southwest monsoon and tropical storm Maring cause three days of non-stop rains and widespread flooding.
The high tide makes it worse.
The Metro Manila Development Authority tells motorists stay indoors.
Major junctures like Edsa-Magallanes Edsa-Taft and parts of C5 could not be passed by all types of vehicles.
Project Noah head Mahar Lagmay says this monsoon rainfall is unprecedented in the country’s history a view echoed by the Palace spokesman.
We saw an equivalent of one month of rainfall in one day the environmental situation is also getting worse.
MMDA Flood Control Information Center chief Ramon Santiago says Taft Avenue, Sucat Paranaque, Espana, and Sampaloc are also problematic.
Flood waters in parts of Espana boulevard in Manila are almost knee-deep.
Five areas in Manila are forcibly evacuated.
Las Pinas, with close to 7 thousand evacuees, is isolated from the rest of the Metro.
Las Pinas City councilor Mark Santos says the situation is “under control” but says evacuated families are already going back to their homes.
Those living in danger zones are told not to push their luck.
Yun pong mga nasa delikadong lugar, sana naman makinig kayo dahil taon-taon na meron tayong mga ganitong pangyayari, lagi nalang kayong pinapaalahanan. (Those in danger zones, please heed our call. This happens to us every year. We remind you every year.)
Interior secretary Mar Roxas promises to mobilize all government resources.
Sisiguraduhin natin na buong puwersa ng pamahalaan ay maparating natin sa pagliligtas ng ating mga kababayan. (The entire machinery of the government will be deployed to save our countrymen.)
A state of calamity is declared in Parañaque, Pateros in Taguig and Muntinlupa, where 7,500 families were affected by floods.
In Makati, flood waters rose to as high as 3 feet in some barangays, prompting the evacuation of at least 711 families from 7 barangays.
The major thoroughfares Zapote and Tramo in Las Piñas remain flooded.
At least 7,000 residents were brought to evacuation centers due to roads that had become impassable.
Families in 10 barangays in Pasig also had to flee their homes.
By afternoon, at least 40,000 Metro Manila residents were affected by flooding.
The MMDA confirms, fifty percent of Metro Manila was flooded Tuesday.
All work virtually stopped and airlines cancelled all domestic flights departing from Manila because roads leading to the area were flooded.
Bea Cupin, Rappler, Manila. – Rappler.com