When the news reports and images starting coming in, it became clear that people in other parts of Metro Manila were so badly affected by the typhoon (I didn't even know there was one) that they were scampering up to their rooftops to get away from flood waters.
Many parts of Marikina, Cainta, Antipolo and other parts of Rizal, as well as some areas in Pasig, Makati and Quezon City were underwater, rendering streets impassable, stalling vehicles and stranding thousands. By noon, people living in those areas were calling for assistance as flood waters had filled the first storeys of houses and were beginning to reach the second storey.
The rain brought about by typhoon "Ondoy" (international codename: Ketsana) resulted in the heaviest rainfall since 1967. "Though the Philippines is no stranger to floods, Saturday's downpours approached a record, with a month's worth of rain falling within six hours," stated a CNN news report.
Among appeals for assistance on a Facebook page of GMANews devoted to coordinating rescue operations in different areas were relatives of senior citizens, pregnant women, families with infants or toddlers, and individuals with serious conditions -- all stranded somewhere without food and/or water.
As the day progressed, the National Disaster Coordinating Council, the Red Cross, private citizens, government officials, NGOs, and volunteer search-and-rescue groups got to work. Dump trucks and pump boats were in demand as floods were too deep and currents too strong in some areas, warranting such modes of transporting people to safety.
As of this posting, thousands have been rescued and are being housed at evacuation centers. Some reportedly are still awaiting pick-up from their homes, most of which are situated in hard-to reach areas in Rizal. Flood waters in some villages have not subsided.
These photos show only glimpses of what has taken place in Manila yesterday and today. There is so much to be done in the next few weeks as thousands are left homeless, while some are faced with repairing major damage to their homes, motor vehicles, businesses. The good thing is that donations have started pouring in, people -- many of them private citizens -- have been giving their time and efforts to help out in some way.
Thank God for networking sites such as Facebook, communication has been facilitated. Even calls for help are passed on swiftly, information on donating is spread quickly. Please, help of any kind will go a long way and will be deeply appreciated. Here are some recommended modes of donation and places where donations (whether monetary or in kind) are accepted:
* For those abroad who would like to make cash donations for the floodvictims, you can do it through the website of Ayala Foundation USA: http://www.af-usa.org/donate_now_form.as
p . You can choose to donate to Caritas Manila, PNRC, or other charities.
* Friends in the US and Canada who wish to help in the rescue/relief operations may donate through the American Red Cross. Call 1-800-435-7669.
* Donate via Txtpower.org
* How to donate directly to the Philippine National Red Cross
* You may also deposit your donations directly to ABS-CBN Foundation's Banco de Oro account:
*Branch Name: BDO Mother Ignacia
Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.
Account #: 5630060113
* Relief goods can be sent to Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan, Manila (near Nagtahan Bridge) -- tel.no. (02) 563-9298/563-9308. Relief goods can also be brought to Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower, West Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City -- tel no. (02) 925-7931 to 40.
* TeamManila stores in Trinoma, SM Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air, and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods (canned goods, ready-to-drink milk, bottled water and clothes) for distribution by Veritas to displaced countrymen.
* Aquino volunteers: contact Jiggy Cruz who is organizing relief goods collection and distribution. Or call Ms. Clare Amador at mobile no 0928-5205508 or Jana Vicente at 0928-5205499 for more details regarding Noynoy Aquino/Mar Roxas relief efforts.
** Photos by Kathy Zablan, Jr Lo, Rod Dizon, and Savann Oeurm
ADDENDUM, Sept. 28, 6:45pm: I wanted to update the status of the situation in my country because some 5-6 hours ago, Yahoo news reported that nearly 60,000 flood victims were in evacuation centers. The latest report, which I read just now, puts the number at 115,000. Read the article here