For those asking for news, updates and information on the severe flooding in Manila, here’s a post to update everyone. We’re ok! The area that we live in (The Fort) seems to be holding up well as it has a modern drainage system. The city has had about 30 inches of rain in the last 48 hours. This is on top of heavy rains, tropical storms and high tides which have battered the city for the last two weeks. The ground is saturated, rivers are overflowing and the inadequate drainage systems cannot even begin to cope.
Latham and I ventured out yesterday to Market Market to get some food. Although we got very wet (despite the raingear and umbrella) it wasn’t too bad on the streets. We did see one or two drain covers burst open from the water pressure as the drain was full. So I think that it has the potential to flood here if it rained long enough. Its actually just drizzling now, although there are still heavy rain clouds on the horizon over Makati….not sure what direction they are heading. Here’s a recent video of Makati flooding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQsu5-ZsXEA
Makati is the main business district and is considered an affluent area. Many embassy homes are located here, most of them in apartments. I haven’t heard from anyone housed in the villages, so I don’t know how houses are faring.
The coastal area where the Embassy is located is worse. The high tide comes in and adds massively to the flood levels. Robert says the flooding has been worse than the hurricane last September. I can’t find any pictures online from the last couple of days, but to show how the problem compounded, here’s an article from Aug 2 that shows the state of things before
the most recent set of heavy rains hit: http://www.france24.com/en/20120802-philippine-floods-persist-toll-rises-23
Elsewhere it is much worse. The northern part of the city, Quezon City, has the Mesa Dam which is the city’s main source of drinking water. The reservoir is right next to the largest university campus. All that area is seriously flooded and is now creating concerns for contaminated water. Also in the southern area of the city, Las Pinas, it is really bad with flooding levels up to the second floor. Our helper lives down there and she had cell phone reception at one point, texting me that they had moved up to the second floor of their home to avoid the water.
So for us the weather is just boring and a nuisance but the threat to lives and property elsewhere is very real. Hopefully rains will die down today as forecasted. Its going to take a long time for this city to dry out.