A month before marking the third anniversary of a deadly typhoon that submerged Manila and neighboring cities in 2009, recurring images resonant of those flash on TV screens, yet this time it’s only the monsoon.
The sun wasn’t even out for an hour after last week’s typhoon left when the rain started to pour again. Road visibility became poor, traffic became worse. By midnight, a lot were stranded in their cars and offices. Suspension for classes for all students was announced last night (Monday) while government and private offices announced suspension of business at 10 a.m. of August 7. Some employees did not risk going to work as roads were impassable according to early morning reports. Several schools have already announced suspension for tomorrow.
Tens of thousands of families in hard-hit cities such as Manila, Quezon, Marikina, Malabon, Valenzuela and Caloocan are being evacuated and rescued from roofs. Officials are closely watching the rising level of the Marikina river, which reached 23 meters in 2009 and submerged two-story houses in nearby villages. As of 11:40 a.m., the river reached 20 meters. According to AP, the La Mesa dam, which supplies water to the capital city, reached spilling level, prompting the release of water which could flood areas in Quezon City.
Another recurring image from 2009 was the vigilance of Filipinos wishing help those in need, with social media playing a great role. Government offices used their Twitter accounts to update people and spread rescue hotlines. Individuals helped report those in need of rescue and missing persons. Public establishments such as malls and schools announced that they welcome stranded persons and evacuees for temporary shelters. Donation drives for families in need of food and clothes have already begun in earnest.