Manila a "waterworld" after massive flooding; A million people impacted

By: Angela Fritz , 6:23 PM GMT on August 08, 2012

Share this Blog
7
+

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.

Angela

Road turns River (chandyman)
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.
Road turns River
Commuters cross a flooded intersection (chandyman)
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.
Commuters cross a flooded intersection
Knee-Deep (chandyman)
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.
Knee-Deep
Reprieve (Magician13)
A few streaks of stray sunlight pierce through the cloudy sky as the rains cease after 2 hours of relentless downpour. Camera: Nikon D3100 Exposure: 1/4 second Aperture: f/7.1 ISO: 100 Images in composite: 9 (1/2 EV apart) Images in panorama stitch: 9
Reprieve

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 16 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

15. auburn (Mod)
1:55 AM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting angelafritz:
Wow, definitely interesting. I hadn't thought of that!


I would think it would be used for irrigation and livestock as well as drinking water...
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 546 Comments: 50244
14. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
1:41 AM GMT on August 17, 2012
Wow, definitely interesting. I hadn't thought of that!
13. auburn (Mod)
12:25 AM GMT on August 17, 2012
Kinda off topic..but a good read just the same...

Interesting article on the effects of the drought ...

With the mighty Mississippi near its all-time low, the salty water has crept in as a wedge, Because salty water is denser than fresh, it tends to collect at lower depths,The wedge has been moving up the Mississippi since early this month, reaching mile marker 89
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 546 Comments: 50244
12. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
1:28 AM GMT on August 16, 2012
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


Very cool!

Just tweeted.
11. CaicosRetiredSailor
5:38 PM GMT on August 15, 2012
Check out this composed 360 panorama from Curiosity Rover on Mars

http://www.360cities.net/image/curiosity-rover-ma rtian-solar-day-2

Really great on the iPad.

More and even better to come, I am sure.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5984
10. 1900hurricane
8:25 PM GMT on August 14, 2012
I imagine this isn't helping things any...

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11566
9. spbloom
12:01 AM GMT on August 14, 2012
Yep, worse and worse.
Member Since: May 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 299
8. Bogon
10:10 AM GMT on August 13, 2012
Following links from spbloom in #5 above, here's an update, and here are some pictures.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 3445
7. ARiot
1:17 PM GMT on August 10, 2012
Inland farmers are suffering too.

My extended family has lost significant crops due to flooding up in the Cordilleras region of the RP.

The most immediate danger to human life there is not flood but frequent landslides, often caused by deforestation or overdevelopment of hillsides.

I think Manilla, is still the most densely populated city in the world at 111,576/square mile. It's hard for us to imagine flooding in an area so dense with people. Severe weather events along with AGW and its problems just amplify more rapidly in areas so dense.



Member Since: June 24, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 366
6. unknowncomic
2:58 AM GMT on August 10, 2012
That is unbelieveable Angela. Makes you appreciate how good we have it.
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1722
5. spbloom
6:04 AM GMT on August 09, 2012
Thanks, Angela, great post. Korea just now is a simialrly good subject, although there it's drought and flood. Hell and high water, as Joe Romm says.

I had a look at current editorials from a couple of Metro Manila newspapers (here and here) and oddly enough formal attribution doesn't seem to be of much interest to them.

It's worth noting, as one of the editorials does, that the PI in general and Manila in particular have seen much worse (in terms of fatalities, anyway) due to direct hits from tropical cyclones, the most recent of these just 8 months ago, but that this event is unique in the record for producing such a large quantity of rain without a TC passing over.

(PS: Could a bit of Troll-B-Gone be sprayed over at Ricky's? TIA.)
Member Since: May 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 299
4. Bogon
10:50 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Terra reforming.

How long can we keep calling it ‘terra’ before it needs renaming?
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 3445
3. LowerCal
8:48 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
Today we live in a more unstable, more Latent Heat, more WV available atmosphere than even 10 years ago.

This is not the atmosphere of my youth, nor my Fathers.

The AGW "X" Factor is in play.

Welcome to the continuing Terra forming of your Home Planet.

Terra unforming maybe?
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9137
2. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
7:32 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
A collection of more incredible photos from The Atlantic's photo blog "In Focus."
1. Patrap
6:26 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Today we live in a more unstable, more Latent Heat, more WV available atmosphere than even 10 years ago.

This is not the atmosphere of my youth, nor my Fathers.

The AGW "X" Factor is in play.

Welcome to the continuing Terra forming of your Home Planet.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125681

Viewing: 16 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page

About angelafritz

Atmospheric Scientist here at Weather Underground, with serious nerd love for tropical cyclones and climate change. Twitter: @WunderAngela

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
53 °F
Scattered Clouds