MANILA, Philippines – Residents of Marikina City are forced to evacuate as water level in Marikina River breaches the 18-meter mark. Paterno Esmaquel reports.
(Watch Rappler's video report below.)
(The script of the video report follows.)
It’s almost 6 at night, and the Marikina River continues to rise. But some Marikina residents refuse to leave their houses, despite monsoon rain that floods Metro Manila again.
Annabelle Butualla doesn’t take any chances. She brings her family, including her sick two-year-old child, to the evacuation center.
ANNABELLE BITUALLA, MARIKINA RESIDENT: Natatakot kami, baka umabot ng gabi, baka umabot ng second floor. Nadala na kami nu'ng ni-rescue kami nu'ng habagat. (We're afraid, because when night comes, the flood might reach the second floor. We learned our lesson after being rescued during last year's monsoon.)
The scene is different in a house in Provident Village. Danding Punzalan says his family won’t evacuate. They say their house has a second floor anyway.
NANDING PUNZALAN, MARIKINA RESIDENT: Nandoon na ‘yung takot pero mahirap din naman sa evacuation center eh. Kasi sanay ka nang nasa sarili kang pamamahay kaysa mapupunta ka sa evacuation. Dito, si God na ang bahala kung anong mangyayari sa amin. Hindi naman kami nag-iisang mamamatay o mata-trap sa itaas ng bahay. (There’s fear of being out there, but life’s hard in an evacuation center. Here, God will decide our fate. We will not die alone neither will we get trapped on the roof.)
Like Bitualla, over 21,9000 persons evacuate in Marikina City. They’re among 600,000 persons affected by tropical storm Maring and the monsoon rain since Sunday.
PATERNO ESMAQUEL, REPORTING: To our right is a depressed community. This community began to evacuate its residents last Sunday. They experienced the worst of floods during tropical storm Ondoy in 2009 and they are afraid of a similar disaster happening again. Now to our left is a pretty rich community. This is where we find the La Vista, and Loyola Grand Villa Subdivisions. They also experienced the brunt of tropical storm Ondoy in 2009 with some of their houses flooded.
Some learned their lessons, but some clearly have not.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila.