By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau, Jojo Malig, ABS-CBNNews.com
August 20, 2013
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Floods could worsen in central and southern Luzon amid heavy rains spawned by the southwest monsoon or habagat, according to latest data from a joint US-Japanese scientific project.
Latest satellite and hydrological data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), a joint project between the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows the almost the entire central Luzon and an area in the Southern Tagalog
Region covered in red, which means a high potential for floods.
200,000 flee Metro Manila floods
Floods have have forced more than 200,000 people in Metro Manila to flee their homes on Tuesday, as the relentless monsoon rains, which have killed eight people, submerged more than half of Manila.
Streets turned into rivers with water rising above two meters (seven feet) in some parts of the megacity of 12 million people, while vast areas of neighboring farming regions on the main island of Luzon were also inundated.
“I was crying when I saw my house being filled with water,” said Edita Selda, 68, a sidewalk vendor who was forced to evacuate from her home in a shantytown along a major river in Manila that burst its banks.
“I chained the door shut so our belongings wouldn’t be washed away. But… the water is moving so fast.”
More than 200,000 people have sought shelter in evacuation centres, the head of the Philippine Red Cross, Gwendolyn Peng, told ABS-CBN television.
While no one was reported killed in Manila, five more people were confirmed to have drowned in flooded farming provinces to the north, according to the government’s disaster management council.
Among them were a one-year-old baby and a 64-year-old man, both of whom drowned in the rural province of Pampanga about an hour’s drive north of Manila.
This brought the confirmed death toll from two days of flooding across Luzon to eight.
The state weather agency said the rain would continue into Wednesday, raising the prospect of another day of paralysis in Manila. – with a report from Agence France-Presse
Throughout Tuesday, tropical storm Maring wreaked havoc throughout parts of Metro Manila but the inconvenience was also felt across the ocean.
With the Ninoy Aquino International Airport shut down due to severe weather, many incoming and outbound flights were canceled or delayed, including flights coming from the US.
Philippine Airlines Flight PR 103 from Los Angeles was scheduled to leave at 10:50 Monday night.
However, it did not leave until shortly after 1 a.m., delayed for nearly 2 and a half hours, giving travelers time to check on their families back in the Philippines.
The local Philippine consulate said as of Monday night local time, they had not yet received any orders from the Department of Foreign affairs regarding an appeal for relief.
The news is too familiar for the local Filipino community. For the past five years, they have always been eager to rush to the aid of Filipinos in distress and are ready to begin fundraising efforts if needed.
”We’re going to find a way, not just Fil-ams here in Carson but the entire South Bay Los Angeles area. We’re going to find a way to help our kababayans who are unfortunately in harm’s way again,” Fred Docdocil of South Bay Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, said.
As of Monday night, not only Philippine-bound flights were delayed but so were US-bound flights from Manila.