Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Wrath of Typhoon Ondoy

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Tropical typhoon Ondoy wreaked havoc in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces last Saturday. In its tail end, Ondoy left most of Metropolitan Manila submerged in deep floods, hundreds of dead and missing, and thousands homeless. No other Philippine typhoon in recent history has caused more harm than typhoon Ondoy. It was almost like a deluge has fallen in the Philippines. Ondoy broke the record as the typhoon that made the worst flood in Philippine history.

It all started on a bleak Saturday morning with heavy rainfall that seemed there was no end to it. The Pag-asa reported that a total amount of 341 mm of rain had been poured in a period of six hours from 8 in the morning up to 2 in the afternoon. The unexpected amount of rainfall had caused massive flash flooding in Marikina, Quezon City, Manila, Pasig, Rizal province, Malabon, Navotas, and many other parts of the metro and the nearby provinces.

At present the human death toll is 246 and counting, hundreds missing, and thousands homeless, such as never before had been seen. In the wake of this terrible disaster, people sought refuge in barangay halls, covered basketball courts, and empty parking areas.

Typhoon Ondoy is a disaster that exposed many hidden weaknesses in the government's preparedness for a calamity of this magnitude. Hundreds of people were trapped on the roofs of their homes as the flood heightened to drown them. They hoped in their heart of hearts that a rescue team will somehow emerge from the total darkness and bring them safely to a safe ground. But no one came. While people sent messages of help in their soaked and dying cellphones pleading for help, the Arroyo government went on closed-door meetings and media interviews, where a single second may have been significant in saving lives. It was like making an emergency meeting of airplane pilots on how to save passengers while the plane was a few seconds from crashing. In this kind of disaster, every second lost and may mean lost lives.

Hundreds of people were trapped, but very few rubber boats arrived for rescue. Many died, and those who survived had to be sobered by the fact that a few more hours of rain would have certainly killed them, had not the rain somehow diminished in the night. They had to wait in the morning to be rescued, spending the night cold, wet, hungry---but alive.

But the wrath of this natural calamity has also brought out heroes out of ordinary men and women. In the face of this terrible disaster, the natural instinct to save others prevailed. Stories of heroism abound in this catastrophe and many of these heroes such as Muelmar Magallanes, Ralph Lee, Toto Poras, Jigger Poras, Rolly Ignacio, and many other anonymous people will forever be remembered by the people they saved. Many risked and sacrificed their own lives in order to save their fellow men.

After the flood has subsided, what remained is a landscape of devastation, destroyed homes, and shattered lives.

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A scene in Barangay Industrial Village in Marikina City

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Scene in Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City. A big fire hit this Barangay while typhoon Ondoy was raging on Saturday night.

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Flood in Avenida Rizal, Manila

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Far Eastern University, Quezon Boulevard, Manila

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Quezon Boulevard underpass in Quiapo totally submerged in deep flood

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Massive traffic congestion in Manila

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Intersection of Avenida Rizal and Recto Avenue

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The elderly evacuees in Cainta, Rizal waiting for the arrival of relief goods.

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The mass funeral for the typhoon dead in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City

30 comments:

witsandnuts said...

That second to the last photo is very moving. I hope you and your family are safe and warm.

Photo Cache said...

that quezon blvd photos really tell the story. how could that be filled with water when that's an underpass and it looks like a manmade lake or something.

i do hope you didn't suffer too much.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dennis, I have been a loyal fan of your blog for a while now... Ito na ang results ng mga past blog mo that me, you and others have been preaching. Basura, basura, basura… dumating na ang karma sa atin mga Filipino… I nagaw na ng nature ang dapat sa kanya. It’s supposed to be a river, now it’s a dumpster, It’s supposed to be a canal or sewer, now basurahan na… Your past blogs is a perfect example of what happen to Ondoy results. While, Willie R. and Joey D. are busy competing each other, Jingoy and P. Lacson are busy re-opening the past na wala naman kabuluhan… in a valuable time in the senate floor, at a tax payers expense, busy naman ang mga other pinoy sa pag sira ng our natural resources… grabe! While every other country is slowly progressing, we, on the other hand are slowly, ruining, our surroundings and community... Think of it, fellow Filipinos… Basura, kurakot, kanya kanya, walang paki alam, sira-an, patayan etc… If we don’t change, may darating pa na mas grabe…

Sidney said...

Impressive coverage... but I did not expect less from you.

You should have send your pictures to news agencies like CNN, Reuters or AFP.

It is a tragedy... it was already a very hard life for a lot of people and now they lost everything...

I hope you and your loved ones are alright. Take care.

rmada61 said...

Dennis,

These images are tragic but I thank you for sharing them with the world.

May God help our country and the people.

Reena said...

wow, grabe yung last photo. it's really a tragedy. i hope you're safe.

HalfCrazy said...

Damn, your photos are so wonderful it's like I'm also there.

I especially love the Quezon Boulevard photo - it's amazing how kids think it's a paradise!

What breaks my heart the most is the numerous coffins and their mourners.

You should really think about sending your photos to broadcasting companies.

ALiNe said...

:( umuulan nanaman

luna miranda said...

wow, you certainly did the rounds, Dennis. i didn't even step out of the house until Sunday evening. i saw a video footage of that fire in Tatalon---a fireman hosing down the fire while chest-deep in water. double whammy---binaha na, nasunugan pa.

i'm sure those who lost everything but the clothes on their backs have a lot to say. but let's not forget that we brought this upon ourselves. binalik sa atin ang basura na tinatapon natin kung saan-saan lang.

i agree with Sydney and the rest, you should send these photos to the news agencies.

Cza said...

nakakalungkot... =( I cried when I watched the news...I cried when I saw actual people in mud over at QC. Grabe tlaga... Is this Mother Nature's way of 'cleaning up' the environment? We should all do something about this already.

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

parang mahirap..pero kaya natin bumangon muli,, tulong tulong nalang...

Sardonyx said...

I've been waiting for your post these past few days, I knew you would post such magnificent photos like this. It's a heartbreaking scenes to see those victims of this Typhoon Ondoy. I happened to know Jigger Porras he's my classmate in high school ( I hope he's the same person you were talking too here). If he's from Proj 4 or IVS maybe he really is :-) I should thank him personally but (I don't have his cellphone number) for being a hero on this time of calamity. And I'm proud of him. I'm proud of you Dennis for bringing us closer to the Philippines through your (big) lens. I know there would be more coming up. Thanks for sharing and keep it up.

Sardonyx said...

I've been waiting for your post these past few days, I knew you would post such magnificent photos like this. It's a heartbreaking scenes to see those victims of this Typhoon Ondoy. I happened to know Jigger Porras he's my classmate in high school ( I hope he's the same person you were talking too here). If he's from Proj 4 or IVS maybe he really is :-) I should thank him personally but (I don't have his cellphone number) for being a hero on this time of calamity. And I'm proud of him. I'm proud of you Dennis for bringing us closer to the Philippines through your (big) lens. I know there would be more coming up. Thanks for sharing and keep it up.

the spool artist said...

I know how it feels. I was in Manila when the thick of things happened. I missed my flight and had to stay two more days. I'm back in Cambodia but typhoon Ketsana followed me here. For the first time, Cambodia experienced a typhoon... and its absolutely flooding here now.

Anonymous said...

very moving photos... sharing; take care...

docgelo said...

i took my premed in feu and i'm presently working in kalaw, manila so i am familiar with these places. it wasn't easy looking at your photos; they're truly depressing... but kudos to you for having such coverage. your posts always give way to social awareness.

i know there's no time for pointing fingers at anyone now but i expect all of us (not only government officials) already learn lessons as nature directly speaks to us big time.

proper garbage disposal, clearing of shanties at esteros and river beds, proper disaster planning at the community level will go a long way to prevent all these.

remember it wasn't raining when Noah built his ark.

syel said...

just as i thought that you would post about the recent tragedy in the country. it's so depressing and yet should be an eye opener to everyone. i hope that your family is safe.

The Pope said...

Bawat larawan ay makikitaan ng kalunos lunos na imaheng iniwan ng bagyong Ondoy. Bagama't ang dumaang unos ay naghatid na malalim na sugat sa puso ng ating mga kababayan ay buong tapang nilang hinarap ang bawa't hagupit ng pagsubok upang makatayong muli sa pagkakadapa para sa bagong umaga.

Maraming salamat sa pagbahagi ng mga larawan.

Steiny Beck said...

Dennis,

I just got a D40 yesterday. What kind of lenses did you use when you shoot those pics? By the way, great pics!

Thanks,

Of mice and men :-)

Retro Manila said...

That photo of the elderly evacuees and the mass funeral, I don't know what to say.

Anonymous said...

Pagkatapos nitong si Ondoy at pagkaaan ng isang buwan, humigit-kumulang, ay nakalimutan na uli ito.

Ang mga politikos sa pilipinas ay balik uli ang mga ito sa kurakutan, iyong walang pakialam na mga tao ay balik uli sa pagtapon nila ng mga basura sa mga ilog at kanal at dagat, iyong mga ganib ay patuloy uli ang gawi nila sa pagputol ng mga kahoy, ....

Sa madaling salita, ang karamihan ay balik uli sa dating gawi nila at patuloy rin uli ang pagsira nila sa kalikasan.

Siguro kung bigyan ng samples ang mga pilipino, halimbawa kaya ay barilin ang ilan kurakot at sumisira ng kalikasan sa Luneta, baka tumino ang mga pilipino at ayusin na ang bayan nila. Kung magkagayon, dumating man ang kalamidad na kagaya nitong si Ondoy ay hindi masyado tamaan ng husto ang mga tao..

ace said...

:,(

they're great captures, kuya dennis. but so sad that people in the upper regions have to suffer like this. i hope things will get better, and most of all that youre ok.

dodong flores said...

Very touching photos...

The scene is quite familiar to me as this is exactly the same sight I was seeing after the flood receded. Our place was also terribly hit by flood and some people in the neighborhood were dead or missing...

Up until now, the typhoon really traumatized me and my wife...

Nebz said...

Thanks for the photos. True, the photo of those elderlies queuing up to get donations is heart-wrenching. Mga bata at matatanda ang higit na nakakaawa sa ganitong mga sitwasyon.

My prayers go to them.

(Hope your family's okay, Dennis).

bertN said...

I do not know how you were able to go from place to place to take those photos given the flood situation and the consequent chaos. Kudos to you, maski na tino turture mo yung conscience namin LOL.

The faces of the elderly you captured with your camera made me loosen my thin and starving wallet to give again to a Pinas relief agency. It felt good though.

REDLAN said...

The typhoon ondoy remembered me of Frank last year. Despite sa nangyari, nakasmile pa rin ang mga pinoy sa photos except sa may mga patay. Maging trauma na ito sa mga tao. What I admired most and proud to be Pinoy is sa oras ng pangangailangan nag-iisa tayo.

tech blog said...

the photos are great, but the disaster is not great. geez. i hope we can cope. super traumatic experience.

ROMIWORKS® said...

SAD to see this but images ASTIGS!!!

Philippines Natural Disaster said...

It’s very sad. Lord hears for our prayer for these people who are victims, died and survives of this tragedy. Thank you for sharing ways to help those that are suffering due to the Typhoon.

Phils Calamities said...

Nice post. Thanks for sharing. I hope that preventative measures can be put in place soon. One thing that can be done which costs nothing is each individual take responsibility for their garbage and put it where it belongs instead of throwing it all over the streets, rivers, and everywhere else.