Saturday, September 26, 2009

Metro Manila submerged in flood waters as Typhoon surges towards Central Luzon

I was supposed to go to Baler in Aurora province only to find out that most of Makati were submerged in waist to neck-deep waters. If I went ahead of my plan to spend a night in Baler, my family and I would have come face-to-face with Typhoon Ondoy.

Pag-asa just spotted Ondoy 130 kilometers southeast of Baler. Just this morning, the storm touched landfall in Baler. It was about 5 am today when the storm began devastating Aurora and Quezon provinces. With winds packing just 85 kilometers per hour, Ondoy is not really a very strong typhoon. Its gustiness is just about 100 kilometers per hour. What amazed weather forecasters is the typhoon packs heavy rains that devastated most of Metro Manila.

Metro Manila, unlike La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, northern part of Quezon, Polillo Island, Camarines Norte and Rizal, was only under Signal no. 1. Yet, most areas, especially the financial district of Makati experienced, what others term as the "worst flooding ever in a century."

Signal No. 1 was raised over Isabela, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Sur, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Marinduque, Mindoro provinces, Lubang Island, southern part of Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, Burias Island, and Metro Manila.
Most affected by massive flooding which reached as high as neck-deep were the areas of Marikina, Las Pinas, Taguig, CAMANAVA, Quezon City, Muntinlupa and even the Philippines’ major financial district of Makati were severely affected by rushing flood waters.

Typhoon Ondoy is expected to worsen the southwest monsoon and bring more heavy rains over Central and Southern Luzon as well as the Visayas regions. In an interview over DZMM, Nathaniel Cruz, PAGASA’s chief weather forecaster said they predict that Ondoy will make landfall in Aurora province and touch Pangasinan at night time before heading to the South China sea.

PAGASA already advised the Philippine Coast Guard to prevent fishing boats and other small seacrafts from sailing in the affected areas. The advisory has left more than 1,000 passengers stranded in southern Luzon and Bicol ports.

PAGASA has also alerted the National Disaster Coordinating Council for possible flashfloods and landslides in the affected areas, partcularly in Laguna, Quezon, Zambales, Pampanga and Bataan provinces.

Flights were suspended at the Manila International Airports. Thirteen flights of Zest Air, SeaAir and PAL express to Caticlan, Basco Batanes, San Jose in Mindoro and Romblon were cancelled due to foul weather.