A sad period again for us Filipinos.
9 killed as heavy rains paralyze Metro Manila
By Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Torrential rains pounding the Philippine capital on Tuesday paralyzed traffic as waist-deep floods triggered evacuations of tens of thousands of residents and the government suspended work in offices and schools.
Malacanang immediately announced the suspension of classes and work in government offices in Metro Manila and nine provinces due to non-stop rains.
“Upon the recommendation of Pagasa and in view of the continuing inclement weather brought about by the southwest monsoon [Habagat], work in government offices and classes in college level in NCR [National Capital Region], provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal are hereby suspended today, 07August 2012,” the Palace said in its Memorandum Circular No. 33 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr.
The same directive, however, said that agencies “whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health services, preparedness/response to disasters and calamities, and/or the performance of vital public services shall continue with their operations and render the necessary services”.
Incessant downpours set off by the seasonal monsoon overflowed major dams and rivers in Manila and nine surrounding provinces and put authorities on alert. The death toll from last week’s Typhoon Saola, which battered Manila and the northern Philippines for several days, has climbed steadily to 51.
The head of the government’s rescue agency, Benito Ramos, said there were no immediate reports of new casualties early Tuesday after the rains pounded already saturated Manila for more than 24 hours.
Vehicles and even heavy trucks struggled to navigate water-clogged roads, where hundreds of thousands of commuters were stranded overnight. Many cars were stuck in the muddy waters.
The La Mesa dam, which supplies water to the capital of 12 million people, spilled excess water for a second time early Tuesday into the rivers flowing into Quezon city, a middle-class Manila suburb, as well as the neighborhoods of Malabon, Valenzuela and Caloocan, where several villages were submerged.
Along the swollen Marikina River, police were deployed to move more than 5,000 residents away from the riverbanks in what Vice Mayor Jose Cadiz said was an enforced evacuation. The operation started after the City Hall sounded the alarm bell.
The Philippine Stock Exchange in the financial district of Makati, which was also flooded, was closed Tuesday. Also closed was the U.S. Embassy along Manila Bay in the historic old city, which was drenched out last week when a storm surge pushed the water over the seawall.
“The embassy is closed today due to excessive flooding in the streets and concern for the safety of our employees and consular applicants,” Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. said in an announcement.
The military, which is involved in rescue work, canceled several events due to the flooding, including an awarding of bounties to tipsters who helped troops capture al-Qaida-linked militants.
In 2009, massive flooding spawned by a typhoon devastated Manila and the surrounding areas and killed hundreds of residents in rampaging flash floods. The state weather bureau said the current flooding was not as severe but warned of more rainy days ahead.
Typhoon Saola was the seventh of 20 typhoons and storms expected to batter the Philippines this year. (SOURCE)
Again, we are in the midst of trying times, where people die due to torrential rains (that doesn’t even count as a tropical storm) and flash floods. In spite these, a lot of government, NGOs and even private citizens are even risking their lives to help in the evacuation and relief efforts.
More than anything, we’d like to ask for your help — our friends in and outside the Philippines — to pray for our little country so that we may get past this.
May the families who lost their loved-ones find peace and serenity in their hearts, comforted by the fact that their loved-ones are now with God. May those who lost their homes and material possessions find the strength to start anew. May those who have too much find it in their hearts to share and donate to those who have so little.
This is depressing — ever since I was young, I have seen many episodes similar to these where people lose their belongings and worse, the life of their loved-ones due to nature’s wrath. Over and over again, may the people learn to respect mother nature and may the government learn to provide long-term solutions for incidents brought by natural calamities.
For now, we all have no choice but to stand up and move forward. For the kind souls who would like to help or volunteer in any of the ongoing relief efforts, you may contact any of the following:
UST disaster relief drive now open.
Needed: drinking water, instant noodles, canned goods, rice, clothes, footwear, pillows, blankets, sleeping mats, toiletries, and medicine. Drop-off points are the CSC office, Tan Yan Kee Student Center Lobby, or the Local Student Council Office. You may contact Agree Gonzales (09178460671).
- Mats, old tarps, food, clothes for forwarding to DSWD are being accepted at The Commissary at Whitespace.
- The P&P Tattoo branch in Makati will be accepting donations for forwarding to the GMA Kapuso Foundation. Address: Unit G8 45 Polaris St. Bel Air Soho Condominium Brgy. Poblacion Makati City.
- Santuario de San Antonio Parish now accepting relief goods at parish center rooms 1-4. Volunteers are also welcome. You may call or text 09205085396 if you need someone to pick up relief goods. This is part of the San Antonio Parish Church relief efforts. You may also drop off your donations yourself.
- Welovepost accepting donations and relief goods at 6F Coherco Corporate Center 116 VA Rufino St., Legaspi Village, Makati.
- Assumption College in San Lorenzo Village relief operations begin tomorrow (August 8). Needed: cash donations, canned goods, bottled water, rice, and blankets.
- The Angel Brigade is now accepting relief goods at the Frank Provost Bldg, 120 Jupiter St., BelAir Makati. Tel: 8970383 / 8970307.
- Colegio San Agustin Makati will start accepting donations tomorrow (August 8) starting 8:30am.
Donations are needed at the Concepcion Integrated School. Roughly 582 families have been accomodated there, no food the whole day according to a DepEd representative.
- La Salle Greenhills has started relief operations inside campus. Donations are being accepted at Gate 2 of the campus along Ortigas Avenue, according to a Facebook post. As of posting, only the following donations will be accepted: ready-to-eat food, water, and clothes.
- People may seek center in Greenhills Christian Fellowship. You can also contact their Crisis Reponse team (0917-5327525).
- The lower ground floor of Mega Mall A is a drop off point for donations, as spearheaded by Divine Lee.
- Donations for flood victims may be dropped off at the main gate of the Poveda campus.
- Donations may be dropped off at UA&P Pearl Drive, SM Megamall, CCF (Christ’s Commission Fellowship) 5/F St Francis Sq. Bldg.
- Don Bosco Technical College has opened its doors to Mandaluyong residents who have no place to stay. You may enter through Gate 3 along AT Reyes Street. Donations may also be brought to the Convent Building or the open gates of the school.
- Those in the Mandaluyong area may send relief goods, medicines, and other donations to the Solar TV office at the Worldwide Corporate Center along Shaw Blvd cor EDSA.
- De La Salle Zobel has started relief goods collection and distribution for Muntinlupa flood victims. Bring donations of rice, bottled water, canned goods, noodles, blankets, mats, and clothes. Donations may be dropped off at Gate 7. For more details contact Jayjay Jacinto at 09178597602.
People in the SM Mall of Asia may seek shelter inside the complex. The mall is open until further notice, according to a tweet.
- Relief goods (canned food, rice, blankets, clothes, medicine, etc.) may be dropped off at the Tanjuatco Law Office at the 11th floor of Taipan Place, Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Center in Pasig. Look for Jessie or Jossette, call 6370200.
- UA&P also accepting relief goods. Both Pearl Drive and Escriva drive entrances are open.
- The retreat house of Saint Paul College Pasig is now open for students and their families affected by heavy rains and flood.
- One Meralco Foundation is accepting donations in cash or in kind at the Meralco Center in Ortigas.
- Merville residents may donate clothes, blankets, toiletries, rice, grains, canned goods, noodles, and the like starting Wednesday (August 8) from 10am-5pm. Collection point is at OLBL Parish, San Lorenzo Ruiz Hall.
- In the Ateneo de Manila University Loyola Schools campus, some classrooms may be used by those in need of temporary shelter from the rain. Those with gate passes to the campus may park their cars at the P-1 parking area of the campus, according to an announcement from the university. (UPDATED note: No final word yet if the classrooms are open to the public.)
- Relief operations at Ateneo have also began. Food, water, and blankets may be dropped off at the lobby of Cervini Hall inside the Loyola Schools campus. As of posting, they will not be accepting clothes.
- Akbayanihan Relief Center now accepting donations. Food, water, clothes, and the like being accepted at the Akbayan headquarters in 36B Madasalin Street, Sikatuna Village. You may contact (02)4336933 / 09175381816 / 09064304315 if you want to volunteer.
- Relief goods are being accepted at the Mt. Carmel Parish in New Manila, where 500 evacuees are staying.
- The Mother of Divine Providence Parish in Payatas needs uncooked rice, canned goods, noodles, and clothes. Donations may be dropped off at San Juan, Evangelista Street, Campsite, Payatas.
- IskoOperation in UP Diliman will now accept donations. They’re also on the look-out for volunteers. Contact the USC-UPD or the college councils (09277571005 or 09065701029), according to USC-UPC Chairperson Heart Dino.
- Those living in the vicinity of Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City are being asked to help provide food and drinks to 400-500 evacuees staying in the Church. Food, water, dry clothes deeded.
- The P&P Tattoo branch in Eastwood will be accepting donations for forwarding to the GMA Kapuso Foundation. Address: Unit G1-C Eastwood Citywalk 1 Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, QC.
- The GK Command center for relief operations is at the HRD Training Center, Department of Agrarian Reform Compound in Quezon City. They will be accepting relief goods (rice, instant noodles, canned goods, bread, coffee, and sugar.)
- TulongKabataan is accepting flood relief aid at 89 K-7th Street, West Kamias, Quezon City.
- Lourdes Church on D. Tuazon, Quezon City now offering space and snacks for evacuees.
- Relief operations for the PALEA campsite and APECO farmers have begun at the Corinthian Hills clubhouse.
- Those stranded in or around UP Diliman can take shelter at the Yakal Dorm lobby, Magsaysay St. cor. Apacible.
- Donations needed at Miriam College High School. Needed: canned goods, bottled water.
- Donations may be dropped off at the Oracle Hotel in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.
- San Jose Seminary inside the Ateneo Loyola Schools campus now open for those affected by the rain and flood.
- Over 2,000 families being housed at Rosa L. Susano-Novalishes Elementary School. They’re in need of food and water, donate if you can.
- Beginning tomorrow, donations may be delivered to Moonleaf Maginhawa in Teacher’s Village.
- Bridget School in Quezon City is open to those who are stranded because of the rain and flood.
- Rock Ed now accepting rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, and water at Camp Aguinaldo. Text Roy at 09178017693. Pick-ups begin tomorrow.
- The UP College of Mass Communication invites people to bring relief goods and donations to Plaridel Hall for UP-wide operations.
- Xavier Schools will accept donations from August 9 to 15, 2012. Bring relief bags containing: 8 canned goods, 12 packs of instant noodles, 2 liters of water, and 2 kilos of rice.
- Those living in the Fort Bonifacio area may drop off their donations at the Enderun college. Those who want to help may contact Luz Cleofas of the Taguig DSWD (5423693, 09175637314), says director Lino Cayetano.