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Philippines: 2.5 million persons affected by flooding

Photo from blog of Francesca in France

Photo from blog of Francesca in France

The number of flood casualties continues to rise in the Philippines: Almost 300 dead bodies. More than half a million individuals living in evacuation centers. And at least 2.5 million Filipinos affected by the flooding caused by Typhoon Ondoy which hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces last Saturday.

The latest disaster update from the government:

As of October 1, 2009, a total of 512,092 families or 2.5 million persons have been affected by Typhoon Ondoy. About 135,471 families or 686,000 persons are now staying in 726 evacuation centers. The total number of casualties is 324: 277 dead, 5 injured, 42 missing.

4,644 houses were damaged. There are 266 school buildings used as evacuation centers.

This video summarizes the deadly impact of Typhoon Ondoy in Metro Manila and nearby provinces

Bloggers are sharing their stories on how they survived Typhoon Ondoy. From SingleShutter.com:

What happened to our house was just unimaginable. It has never flooded in our subdivision, but today was a disaster. Started to flood in the street at 4pm. Soon water was coming out of the drains and the toilet! So the maid started moving the electronics to the 2nd floor. The computers, the camera equipment, the LCD TV, she caried them all by herself. The water continued to rise so she and our dog Yoshi went to the neighbor's house. They crossed the road while the water was chest deep. Yoshi was crying as they were crossing the street/river swimming.

Marikina Travel Buddy writes that many city hall employees of Marikina City were trapped in the government building

I passed by Marikina City Hall and it wasn’t spared from nature’s wrath. I remembered my friend who works at the City Hall texted me earlier saying that they are trapped at the second floor. Flood waters have occupied half of the first floor. A lot of important documents were affected and even the computers and servers that the City Hall was using are now under water.

Whiteboard mentions that cars were dragged away during the storm:

So there I was, no tv, no computer, my phone’s battery low signal blinking every 2 seconds. I learned from people who live nearby that villages in Marikina and Cainta are already under several feet of water. People were already on their rooftops waiting to be rescued. A relative who lives in Greenland said that they just parked the car a few minutes as they fetched their children in their home, a few minutes later they realized that the car has been dragged by the heavy water current and they had no idea where it went.

Anna was having lunch when floodwaters began to rise:

In Parañaque, half our village was submerged in murky water. In only a few minutes, water was already waist deep outside our gate! The water rose faster than we had imagined that we had to abruptly stop in the middle of our lunch to start lifting furniture and other equipments to higher spots. Thankfully, both our houses were spared with the flood only reaching our garage and stopping a mere three inches below our front door.

This video shows that even a popular shopping mall was flooded last weekend:

Like many flood victims, Pinoy Buzz is now focused on removing the mud and cleaning the house

Since Monday, my wife, her siblings, and a couple of friends have been hauling mud out of the house. Along with the mud, we had to haul out all of the books that had been turned into pulp, shoes that are now unuseable, electric gadgets filled with mud, and a host of other things which are now unrecognizable.

Dennis Villegas criticizes the slow response of government agencies to distress calls:

Typhoon Ondoy is a disaster that exposed many hidden weaknesses in the government's preparedness for a calamity of this magnitude. Hundreds of people were trapped on the roofs of their homes as the flood heightened to drown them. They hoped in their heart of hearts that a rescue team will somehow emerge from the total darkness and bring them safely to a safe ground. But no one came. While people sent messages of help in their soaked and dying cellphones pleading for help, the Arroyo government went on closed-door meetings and media interviews, where a single second may have been significant in saving lives…In this kind of disaster, every second lost and may mean lost lives.

Hundreds of people were trapped, but very few rubber boats arrived for rescue. Many died, and those who survived had to be sobered by the fact that a few more hours of rain would have certainly killed them, had not the rain somehow diminished in the night. They had to wait in the morning to be rescued, spending the night cold, wet, hungry—but alive.

This video shows a flooded Manila underpass:

Twitter users continue to inform rescuers about the assistance required by flood victims

elvinuy: Santolan Pasig littered w/ debris, #Ondoy rescue vehicles unable to pass, MMDA pls help clear roads.
Bigenya: RT @bratinella: Help for Theresa Teano and family – 30 sampaguita st town and country exec. village, antipolo rizal.
elvinuy: RT @cheng_carreon: Pls help. Firetrucks needed in Provident to help hose houses. If u know any fire stations that can help, pls reply

And various perspectives on the recent storm and flood tragedies are pouring in:

momtintinbabao: RT @imnickmendoza: we can be more pro-active this time.let's gather ideas about proper waste disposal so we can prevent flooding again..
miriamq: When adversity comes knocking on the door or calamities occur, some people immediately think they have done something wrong..
WomenVote_2010: Residents of Tumana, Marikina using the garbage left by #Ondoy to make money by selling them in junk shops.

Reflection of a flood victim survivor:

Times like this, one may say that “I lost everything.” In our case, WE REGAINED SOMETHING.

We regained the love and respect for and from each member of our family. We regained moments with each other, which we have frequently taken for granted…And because they are now living with us, we are now together as one family every single day, instead of twice or thrice a week. We’re even sharing wi-fi access at home and accessing FB all at the same time.

My Ate says her biggest realization is that she didn’t possess anything. Except for some valuables, she’s almost ready to get rid of everything in their house

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