Tropical Storm Ondoy Devastates the Philippines

The Devastation Left By Tropical Storm Ketsana (locally called Ondoy)

On Saturday, September 26, 2009, the whole country was shocked to see on TV the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana (or Typhoon Ondoy). As early as Thursday, the usual warnings were already raised on the possibility of flood and other negative effects of the typhoon. However, few people could have actually predicted the resulting flash flood, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the death of almost 100 Filipinos in the various areas affected and the resulting damage to infrastructure and crops. This unexpectedness caught a lot of people unprepared, including government officials and agencies who were (and still are) criticized for their slowness in responding to the Filipinos who are in need.

Affected Areas

Tropical Storm Ondoy affected various parts in Luzon - Metro Manila (where the capital, Manila, is located), Central Luzon (Pampanga, Bulacan) and the Calabarzon area (Rizal, Quezon, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas). Metro Manila was the hardest hit with approximately 80% submerged in deep flood, affecting millions of people.

As of the writing of this hub, Tropical Storm Ondoy is said to be exiting the country. However, the destruction doesn't end there. The storm is said to have caused further damage in southern Mindanao through flash floods and power failures.

Extent of the Damage

Here are some facts and figures about the extend of the damage brought about by Tropical Storm Ondoy. Please note, however, that these figures are not yet final as the government and other concerned agencies have yet to assess the actual extent of the damage wrought by this typhoon:

  • Death toll is already 100 and still rising; with over 50% in the Calabarzon area and only 6% in the Metro Manila area. This, however, does not include certain areas in Metro Manila where the concerned government agencies are still gathering the said data. The media, however, has reported that they have already counted over 50 casualties in Metro Manila alone. UPDATE: Official death toll count is now 240. UPDATE #2: Death toll is already estimated to be around 377.
  • There are 32 persons still unaccounted for.
  • The typhoon dropped heavy rains (and strong winds) for 9 to 12 hours in the areas affected (rains were said to be the heaviest over the last 40 years and were actually said to be worse than Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA).
  • The heavy rains took their toll and caused massive floods. At their deepest level, these floods were said to be 6 meters or 20 feet deep. The result? Cars, low-level houses, rice fields and the streets were all deep in water.To make matters worse, landslides also occurred in several areas in Metro Manila.
  • Number of people said to be affected in Metro Manila alone - almost 450,000.
  • Estimated amount of damage to infrastructure, crops and properties - P110 million or over $2.0 million. UPDATE: The current damage is much more than the originally estimated amount. In Marikina alone, one of the hardest hit by the flood, the estimate cost to rebuilt the city is P1 billion or $20 million. UPDATE #2: Estimated damage is already up to P10 billion or $200 million.

More than the statistics / figures shown above, I'll never forget seeing my countrymen wading in neck-deep water carrying their prized possessions. Or a father holding his child's crib (which acted as a lifeboat for the sleeping baby) while walking along flooded streets. Or dead bodies being found on the streets once the flood subsided. These images stay with you even after you have turned off the TV and after the flood has subsided. This flood will always be remembered for it is the worst ever experienced by the country.

Unprepared Government

The flood took everybody by surprise, even the Philippine Government and the local government units as well. In the past, the country was used to taking care of one city or two or a province or two whenever a calamity such as this arises. But, with Tropical Storm Ondoy, more than 10 cities are affected and more than 5 provinces were devastated as well. The government's resources were just not enough to quickly deliver emergency measures or even rescue all the people who were stranded. Even until now, some people are still on top of their roofs while others still do not have any food to eat or water to drink.

The Bayanihan Spirit

Through all these, it is encouraging to see the Filipino's bayanihan (community) spirit rising again. Filipinos who were not affected by the flood rushed to the aid of their countrymen to help them. Private citizens volunteered the use of their rubber boats to save those who were stranded in the flood. Donations, in cash or in kind, are pouring from all over the country and even abroad to help out those in need. Individuals, private citizens became unsung heroes for their selfless acts to save their countrymen (see link). What the government lacked in terms of manpower and resources, the Filipinos are making up by contributing whatever they can. These are the times when you can really see how Filipinos (here and abroad) help each other in times of need. Even as I write and update this hub, Filipino communities from all over the world are mobilizing to give donations and aids to their countrymen.

Last Note

My husband, mother, niece and I are lucky enough that we do not live in the areas devastated by the floods. However, my siblings, aunts, nephews, nieces and in-laws are all in those areas. Communication was difficult but by the end of Sunday, we were able to hear from all of them and I'm just glad they are all okay. To the Filipino hubbers out there, here's hoping I will hear from you soon. Mabuhay!

General Update

With northern Philippines still trying to recover from this storm, another storm (Typhoon Pepeng) has already entered the Philippine area of responsibility. With maximum sustained winds of 130 kph and gustiness of up to 160 kph, the center is this typhoon is already 750 kms. east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar (as of 10:00 pm, Sept. 30) and is moving in the general location of northern Philippines. I hope it will not wreak the same havoc as Typhoon Ondoy!

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Comments 66 comments

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BadCo 7 years ago

My thoughts are with you and your neighbours plus all the Philippines and I hope the hubbers from the Philippines post here so we know they are ok. Look after yourself Emievil and deff keep us up to date with the latest news, I feel really bad for the families that have lost someone.

You take care ok x

GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 7 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

Great Hub emie good thing I did not write an article about "Ondoy" else wel'll be competiting in the same niche, timely hub. The deluge was indeed devastating many we're killed during the flashflood... and one thing more I saw some people getting swept away with the flood sorry state...

We are okay here how about you...

harrisdy profile image

harrisdy 7 years ago from Texas

bad news... but grea hub!

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks BC. We were lucky I guess but I just don't know if the same thing will happen here, I shudder at that thought.

GH, we're fine. All my siblings and close relatives are living in those areas (Laguna, MM and Bulacan) but I was able to contact all of them yesterday and they're all okay. They got flooded though but that's a lot better than hearing one of them injured, or worse.

Harris, hey hope you spread the word to other Pinoys there in NY. Thanks for reading.

GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 7 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

Good thing you are okay, BTW hehehe thanks for your support hehehe, I just read your email very late hehehehe... TC there always emie...

keira7 profile image

keira7 7 years ago

I had a lot of emotions when reading your hub. I am not going to comment a lot.(Still cant write properly)But francly its a very nice hub. Take care Emievil. and thank you.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

You're welcome GH and take care there too.

Thanks keira. Just knowing you've read my hub is enough for me.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

What an awful ordeal, Ernie! You did a very good job reporting this to us and do your country of birth a good service. Hats off to you!

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks dohn. Hope the ordeal ends soon for those people really affected.

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

The youtube footages we have seen of the flooding and seeing the hell our countrymen are suffering is too heartbreaking. I lived in Manila and have experienced typhoons, but not in this magnitude. Our Filipino community in Facebook are actively involved in gathering support and raising funds around the globe. I have a brother who lives in the Greenhills area, and could not get into his home that was flooded. My nephew had to rescue his in laws in Marikina who were trapped for 17 hours in the 2nd floor of their home without food. It was unexpected, and no one was prepared. The rest of our families are safe, thank God! But, if this is part of the climate change that they are saying, then the situation is very unsettling, and very scary. I'm glad you wrote this hub. Stay safe and dry!

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

I only can say God help you all. Thank you for writing this Hub in the midst of all this terrible happenings to make us aware of all the horror.

sarovai profile image

sarovai 7 years ago

Assimilating the Nature's play, let us try to give hope for whosoever affected.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks everyone for your comments.

IslandVoice, it is very scary. And not hearing at once if your family there is safe is even scarier. It got me thinking what will happen to us if it happens here. :( Thank you for the support of your Facebook group. If you need any help coordinating here, I'll look for the numbers and / or email addresses of those entities accepting donations and email them to you.

Hello, thanks for dropping by and for your prayers. Really appreciate them

Sarovai, thanks.

Go Angel profile image

Go Angel 7 years ago from The Philippines

Hi All! I just joined in and was hubbing my way along and I found you guys...:)

The scary thing about this particular storm was that it was the very first flash flood to hit the capital.Nothing of this sort has ever happened to Manila. Everyone was caught off and poor alike. Everyone was left helpless as water came rushing from out of nowhere. I remember stories from the Ormoc flash flood years ago and first hand experience as it happened to Iloilo just last year.

It is true, the city and it's people will be zombie-like weeks after. We do our best to help each other stand up again. Indeed, mabuhay is very apt to the Filipino spirit!

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Go Angel, I'm glad you're okay and welcome to Hubpages! That flood is really devastating. I was in Makati when supertyphoon Milenyo struck the capital. Although the damage it wrought then was really really bad, I don't think it was anything compared to this flood. The area damaged is just too big and the number of people affected too high. I hope we can recover from this. Good luck and I hope you find a good community here in Hubpages.

pierre 7 years ago

mga hayop mga politics kailan kailangan sila mga tao yung dumating ondoy. wala sila nagtago.

patrick 7 years ago

mga gusto tumakbo maging president at government natin wala kuwenta lalo dami nag hihirap. buti pa ABS at media na dyan sila tumutulong na dyan sila. gobyerno ntin bulok.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

My thoughts are with you. Regards, E.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Calm down Patrick. Just saw them in the news. They also helped people.

Lady_E, thanks.

sunshinegirl323 profile image

sunshinegirl323 7 years ago

Thank you for this news. My thoughts are with all those people. Great job getting the news out. Be safe.

articleposter profile image

articleposter 7 years ago

Thanks for posting.

RIP whoever affected

Mel Brown 7 years ago

Very informative hub. I'll pray for your relatives. My mother's family lives near manila. I believe everyone is ok.

KyonSOS23 profile image

KyonSOS23 7 years ago from Nabon

This while Philippine has new typhoon Parma.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks sunshinegirl, articleposter, Mel Brown and KyonSOS.

Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Saw the after effects on the news Emi ,my heart sighed and I felt so heavy for the people , young ,ill, elderly in shock and suffering. Thanks for reporting this news on a more realistic level.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

You're welcome EK. We're getting ready actually for a super typhoon. Hope my countrymen in Luzon are better prepared this time. Thanks for dropping by and reading my hub.

Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 7 years ago from Wv

I am so glad you are ok .. We were thinking of you all here on hubpages..

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Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Thank you for looking out and letting the community know what devastation that are going on there in the Philippines. My best wishes are going out to those who are in need.

Laurie Favelle profile image

Laurie Favelle 7 years ago from Canberra, Australia

Thanks for this hub. Its a rough time around the Pacific Rim at the moment. I note that Parma is about to arrive with more destruction. Good luck to all.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks Ms Chievous, Am I Dead, Yet and Laurie. The new typhoon fortunately did not pass through a lot of the areas previously affected. Hopefully, it will not cause as much of a damage as Ondoy.

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Pacal Votan 7 years ago

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your country and the Filipinos. It is good to know that the Bayanihan Spirit is high and that you and yours are safe.

Thank you for letting us know, emievil.

bobyjaya26 profile image

bobyjaya26 7 years ago from indonesia

I am very sorry for what happened to the region emi who died may they be given forgiveness for his sin of sins, and the left given fortitude for what happened, amen

yt55500900 profile image

yt55500900 7 years ago

Nice Hub !!!

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

You're welcome Pacan and thanks for leaving a comment.

Boby, thanks for the prayer.

Thanks YT.

bryguy1 profile image

bryguy1 7 years ago

My heart and prayers go out to all of those in the philippines and elsewhere who have suffered Emie. My fiancé is from Manila but she was able to escape the floods before they got too bad as their dorm caught fire at the beginning of the flooding forcing them to leave Manila for the province. Thank God they got out before the worst came and the dorm and the dorm was saved as well. You are all in my prayers. God Bless.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

That's good news bryguy1. Hope your fiancé is now okay. Thanks for your prayers.

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mith_moral 7 years ago

This was such a devastating storm. My husband's family lives in the Philippines and we have been fortunate enough not to lose any of our loved ones--though many had to keep moving to stay alive. I'm so glad you're okay. Thanks for keeping the world informed on what's been going on. You will be in my prayers.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks mith. That makes two of us who are fortunate not to lose a loved one =). Hope everybody are okay and recover quickly from these ordeals.

By the way, noticed your just two weeks here in Hubpages. Welcome Mith!

jimmyred profile image

jimmyred 7 years ago from Brisbane

So intense. Sorry to hear about everything that has happened...

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment jimmyred. Hope we'll all recover and soon.

magdielqr profile image

magdielqr 7 years ago

Thank you for this informative Hub.

hgsouth profile image

hgsouth 7 years ago

What a terrible state of affairs :( I hope everything gets cleaned up quickly. I donated to the Tsunami fund through SurfAid. So many natural disasters going on over there :(

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Magdielqr, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

hgsouth, yes, they seem to happen one after the other. First the typhoon, then the tsunami, then the earthquake =(. It's like nature is angry with us or something.

jem credit cards profile image

jem credit cards 7 years ago from United States

Wow Love the hub very informational. Its sad though.

johnruizborja profile image

johnruizborja 7 years ago from Philippines

we are in Mindanao and we're not affected by the typhoon. But our sympathy are with you guys. i hope everybody can move on from this sad experience.

meteoboy profile image

meteoboy 7 years ago from GREECE

I had heared about this disaster.I dont like to have a experience like this.Really our thoughts are with the people who suffer due to severe weather.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Jem, yes it's sad. Thanks.

I'm also in Mindanao John and I'm thankful we were spared. It's very hard for our countrymen to deal with this disaster. Hope we all recover from this and soon.

Thanks meteoboy for your kind words and sympathies. That kind of disaster, I will never wish on anyone. It was really hard for lots of people.

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Useful Knowledge 7 years ago

This is a sad situation. My heart goes out to all who had to expierience this horrible event.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks Useful Knowledge.

Filipino girls profile image

Filipino girls 7 years ago

i am english guy who live in phil ur inforamtion is really true.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks Filipino girls. Interesting name.

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Thanks for the very informative hub. My son is married to a Filipino girl and they have just built a home in the northern part of the Philippines. He took his little family with four children there to bless the new house. It was damaged a little from the latest typhoon and they had no electricity for the whole time they were there, but I was so grateful they were not hurt. So many people lost their lives. I prayed that they would be alright. I hope your country will be spared from these devastations in the future.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks for your prayers elayne001.

topgunjager profile image

topgunjager 7 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

it'll be nice if you can actually do something for these people instead of praying for them=)

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Do you have any suggestion in mind topgunjager?

topgunjager profile image

topgunjager 7 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

Donate food and clothes and money and maybe go out there and acutally do something. It's not going to rain food and clothes if you pray you know=)we always pray to god to help these disaster stricken people, what we fail to realize is "we are the help" praying for someone's misery to go away is not help, but I do believe your actions are. If I was god and you prayed to me when disasters like this happens, I'd be like " why the hell are you praying to me right now!? Go out there and help out!!!=)

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Uhm, I'm in Mindanao (I would guess you know how far that is) and I've already done some things to help out. Would not elaborate here but I think a lot of our contrymen, here and abroad (including you), are also doing their share. Thanks for your help, btw, it's much appreciated :).

William Tan Seng profile image

William Tan Seng 7 years ago

It was the ready sad news indeed. The good news was that the local and International organization have worked together to help those affected.

Have the nice day.

globaltechsource profile image

globaltechsource 7 years ago

please take a look at to support typhoon ondoy victims.This is a great article!

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Yes William. It was sad indeed but thank God we managed to help one another get through it. Thanks.

Thanks globaltechsource.

jacky 7 years ago

Nice Hub !!!

Lady Igoy 7 years ago

Ondoy ius for Manila and Southern Luzon. Parma is for Baguio-Benguet and Northern Luzan. What fates we have suffered. Hope we learn to be humble and God fearing. Most of all charitable to our fellowmen specially the underpriviledged,

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks Jacky.

Lady Igoy, it was a really sad time for us. Hope we learned our lessons from those trying times as well. Thanks for visiting my hub and leaving a comment.

jumpman profile image

jumpman 7 years ago

Nice hub!

nicole ymas 6 years ago

i hate your comments :D

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care123 5 years ago

i will never forget that day, i just hope and pray that it will not happen again specially here in luzon and all parts of the country.

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