Atmospheric Scientist here at Weather Underground, with serious nerd love for tropical cyclones and climate change. Twitter: @WunderAngela
By: Angela Fritz , 6:23 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Manila is under water this week as a period of heavy rain in the Philippines is likely coming to an end. A state of calamity has been declared for the provinces impacted by the floods. The head of the country's disaster response agency said that at least 60% of the city of Manila is under water, and that "it was difficult to distinguish the sea from the flood waters." 1.2 million people live in the affected region, and 400,000 have evacuated to shelters or other safe ground. The country's emergency response organization released a report today that sums up the damage from the "Southwest Monsoon."
• 16 people have died, 9 of whom were victims of a single landslide
• 147 roads are impassable to all types of vehicles
• 7 dams are at critical levels or overflowing
• 535 homes have been damaged, 466 of these are totally destroyed
A personal weather station near Manila (which records rainfall, unlike many of the official stations in the region) has recorded 17.77 inches of rain since August 4th. Typical rainfall for the Manila area for the entire month of August (its rainiest month) is 15.7 inches. One of our WunderPhotographers in the Philippines reports: "Over 750mm of rainfall in the past 48 hours resulted in the overflowing of 5 dams, 4 major waterways and several creeks that submerged 60% of the Philippine capital in 1-15ft of floodwater."
The rain seems to have started with the passing of Typhoon Saola, which likely primed the region for the onslaught of rain they were about to receive from Tropical Cyclone Haikui. Neither cyclone made direct impact over the Philippines, but both storms enhanced the unfavorable flow over the region, drawing in moisture and triggering long lived rain and thunderstorm activity and enhancing the southwest monsoon. The Haikui rain event has persisted from August 4th until now, though local officials are optimistic that the rain will let up over the next day or two now that Haikui has made landfall in China. Model forecasts show the same—the heavy rain should taper off into more typical daily thunderstorm activity as the southwest flow weakens.
Infrared satellite imagery from August 6, 2012 at 18:00 UTC, showing the location of both Manila in the Philippines and Typhoon Haikui as it approaches China. Areas of red are high cloud tops and are where we would expect the heaviest rainfall.
More images from Philippines photographer Chandyman below.
Comments will take a few seconds to appear.