More than 50 people were killed after tropical storm “Ondoy” (International Name: Ketsana) battered Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The storm triggered the worst flooding in the country in the past 40 years displacing 280,000 people in Manila and five other provinces, with more than 41,000 people in 92 evacuation centers. As of this writing, 1.2 million residents are still without power supply in the urban capital of the Philippines.
Social media sites were maximized not just to share information about the storm but also to report rescue efforts and emergency cases in disaster-struck areas. Joey Alarilla observes how the internet was used by Filipino netizens as the storm hits Metro Manila
I’m blogging this using a prepaid HSDPA USB modem as our condominium still has no electricity after several hours, yet I’m luckier than many of my countrymen, some of whom are still stranded on the road or even on the rooftops of their houses
Twitter and social networking sites such as Facebook have been the main means Filipino Internet users have kept pace with developments and shared information, such as the text numbers for disaster relief agencies and volunteer organizations now that voice networks are clogged.
The Rescue Info Hub Central features a spreadsheet document that has a list of addresses of flood victims who need to be rescued. A google map page was also created to monitor the flooded areas in Metro Manila and to direct authorities to villages where flood victims need assistance.
View Ondoy situation map for Metro Manila in a larger map
Filipinos also used Twitter and Plurk to monitor updates about the storm, In fact, “Ondoy” and “NDCC” (the government’s National Disaster Coordinating Council) became top-trending topics on Twitter last Saturday. A sample of Twitter posts:
pretzelgurl: my dad still stranded in their workplace in manggahan, pasig city. please send help
angeliesa: Was dismissed by prof. around noon. Walked and struggled on the flood. Got home around 8pm. Now my whole body is weak
janblando: My grandma's still stranded in her attic in Country Homes, Cainta. The flood on their street is down to waist deep but the current is strong
ValfrieClaisse: Oh my gosh! No electricity here since yesterday. Big and dirty flood had been invading the whole community.
dementia: There are plenty of donations coming in but what's really needed is a mode of transporting goods to victim
teeemeee: Flood has receeded in our parking lot but is still knee-waist high. It reached nearly chest high last night
ArmelEspiritu: I just got home after spending the night in my car. I had to relocate it somewhere where there's no flood to save it
Several videos were also uploaded on Youtube which showed the severe impact of the flooding in Metro Manila. First video: Flood in Makati City, the country’s financial center. Video uploaded by yugaabe
This video shows the overflowing waters of Marikina River. Video uploaded by Initiate360
Along Katipunan Avenue, a van fell into a submerged road.
Pedestrians try to cross a flooded street
Donations are still needed. There are various groups which receive donations for the flood victims.