Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Monday, 28 September 2009 18:47 UK

Eyewitness: Philippines floods

Flooded street in Manila. Photo: Pip Torio

The Philippines government says 240 people are now known to have died in severe flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana.

The country has appealed for foreign aid to deal with the disaster.

People in the Philippines have been sending their accounts of the floods and the chaos they have caused.


We have had a bad land slide in this area on the slopes of Mount Arayat which has killed about 17 people in their mountain village. I've been busy feeding neighbours who have been left with nothing. The damage is mostly on the roofs, many houses are full of water and plenty of trees were blown down. We also lost electricity for 36 hours due to trees falling down on the power supply lines.
Rev Dr William Burton, Magalang, Pampanga

Displaced people by the floods
About 450,000 people have been displaced

It was terrible, It was the worst flood I have seen in my life. I live in Meycauayan. Last Saturday for the first time the main road in front of my house turned into a raging river. My mother, sister, brother in law and two nephews aged eight and six had to be evacuated from their house because the water outside was over their heads. Although there is a second floor, they decided they could not risk getting trapped in the house. They were taken out of the house when the rescue team arrived. Luckily the house where I live stands on higher ground and is three stories so they arrived in my place at around 5 pm all soaked up and shivering. My mom's appliances and furniture were ruined but this can be replaced. The car was totally submerged in water with only the roof showing. It was cleaned now but has to be repaired. I just hope the insurance can cover all the cost. We are the lucky ones, our house is still standing, we are in relatively good health, electricity is back and so is the water supply. I just hope that the weather does not get bad this weekend
Amy Alarilla, Meycauayan City, Bulacan

I work in Makati and live in Paranque City, both of which are in Manila. I have never seen anything like the amount of rainfall which we had on Saturday. We are lucky that our house is on high ground, but the road outside was like a river and people's belongings were floating along it. The exits from our village were neck deep in water and walls were falling down. Our neighbours on lower ground floor lost everything. I made it into work on Monday but about 100 employees were unable to get in. Some were still trapped on roof tops, particularly in hard hit areas like Marikina. Some have lost their homes and will have to start from scratch. What is clear is that warnings were not heeded at the top level and as such the general populace was unprepared for this. The infrastructure here is incapable of dealing with a comparably minor downpour, let alone a natural disaster! International aid will help, but all of us here should try to act by helping those with whom we have day to day contact.
Ryan, Manila, Philippines

I was sent back to my house so I could survey the damage caused to it by the storm. The first floor was completely buried in mud and a lot of things were missing. Luckily, all of us were safe and no-one got hurt. Right now we are cleaning our house in a bid to get things back to normal. Our village, Provident Village, was completely inundated by mud. Scores of cars have been piled on top of each other and the roads are impassable. We are still without clean water and electricity. We hope things will get back to normal again soon.
Lovely Lansang, Marikina


We live in a small subdivision in Pasig, close by the Marikina River. The mayor is one of our neighbours. We were inundated by a surge of around six feet in around thirty minutes. Many of our neighbours have lost everything. I had to swim my family to a friend's house nearby. Their house was built six feet higher than the maximum projected flood level.
David Yates, Pasig City, Metro Manila

I was affected by the floods. It was terrible. However, we thank the Lord that our house was flooded by only five inches. What happened here was really terrible.
Jason, Quezon City, Philippines

In our office, very few people went to work. We have colleagues who lost their company cars, laptops, appliances, clothes - everything.
Berna, Pasig City, Metro Manila

We moved to Manila just two months ago with my, and then all this happens just after we settled in our rented home. We are now safe but we suffered significant loss, but we are grateful to be alive and consider ourselves fortunate compared to many others who lost loved ones and everything they have.
Den and Sam Enguillo,Philippines


We live in Cainta - the city declared by our mayor to be 100% under water. Our house is full of water and we are stranded here. The flood waters are now receding, but very slowly. The rain has stopped since last night, but a lot of areas in my town are still submerged in water. We cannot go out as the roads are still impassable. We are just waiting for things to get better.
Grace Gamez, Cainta

Flooded house
Grace Gamez is stranded in her flooded house in Cainta

I spent the night with mothers weeping over their children and relatives trapped on rooftops by floodwaters. These people have been on the rooftops for 24 hours without food and water, lashed by wind and rain. The mothers were at work when the flooding happened and they got stranded with me, unable to go home. Strange how I could have internet access during the disaster to describe this experience on Facebook, while the government struggles with a scarcity of rescue equipment.
Ramil Digal Gulle, Cavite

It is a really devastating situation. The flash floods made rivers overflow. We kept praying that the rain stops, not for us, but for our children. We didn't expect this kind of flash flood since our weather bureau announced that it's only signal two.
Marilou Cortez, Baliwag Bulacan

A seasonal rain turned into a killer cyclone
Radhakrishnan, Manila

People can no longer find a dry place for them to stay. Even people who live in high rise houses and buildings are in great turmoil. People have come together to help save one another, giving relief goods to neighbours and friends. Praise should also be given to some of the big business corporations and establishments for their donations and help to the needy.
Mario F. Linda, Taguig City

We are staying in Pasay City at the moment. There are floods outside our building. The water reaches my waist. It's really scary, a lot of people are stuck on roof tops where they had to stay all night. The water went inside houses and reached the second floor. We are lucky that we are staying on the fifth floor.
William Mills, Pasay

After 16 hours we were finally able to get supplies. We were not prepared for this. We were not given proper warning by the media and the government. Oddly enough we got most of our news from people on the net and on Facebook. As I was telling my family and friends about the situation in Manila they had no clue about what was going on. It took over 20 hours before any reports went to the international media. There are still people stranded awaiting rescue. The damage is devastating, many homes and businesses are ruined, family pets are missing and many lives have been taken.
Nico Puertollano, Luzon

Flooded underpass in Manila. Photo: Pip Torio
Pip Torio: 'It's the worst flooding in the history of Metro Manila'

The downpour of rain is unprecedented. The rain came without much warning. When we woke up in the morning, there was intermittent heavy rain and I thought that it is seasonal - indeed the rainfall throughout this year has been quite heavy, unlike during the last three years. When I looked at satellite images on the website I realised that the size of the floods is quite significant and I immediately alerted my family members to cancel all outdoor visits. Even at that time I didn't realise the rain would continue through out the day. The rain water reached two feet on the main streets. One of the largest shopping malls in Manila had the ground floor completely flooded. I couldn't drive, there was water everywhere. I learned that my colleague's house was completely immersed in water and the furniture and appliances were floating. Another of my colleagues ground floor was completely flooded because of blocked sewage. Luckily they had an upper floor and the family with young children could sleep the night there. It is clearly a disaster situation. Many people died and many areas are without power. Many lost their belongings and many houses were completely flooded. The city was clearly not prepared for this eventuality. No one expected this. A seasonal rain turned into a killer cyclone.
Radhakrishnan, Manila

The BBC and CNN weather forecasters predicted the size and intensity of this storm three days before it hit Luzon, and somehow the government of the Philippines missed it. They made no preparations nor did they inform the public of the possibility of such a disaster, only at noon on Saturday after seven hours of tremendous rainfall did they finally figure out that people were in danger, when hundreds of text messages flooded into local radio and TV stations. Says a lot about who is really watching out for the "people", and who are just feeding off the fat of the land.
Mark G. Budow, Manila

The onslaught began at 10am Saturday morning, the skies were so dark you would have thought it was 10pm. By 2pm my car disappeared. The water levels rose so fast I had to go upstairs. In a few hours the water had reached the top of the stairs. Fortunately it didn't rise further.
Nick Valler, Manila

Yesterday's storm was the worst I have ever experienced anywhere. I have been through the western monsoon in Mumbai, but it was nothing like this. It is very regional - some places are completely under water and others are clear. It depends on the state of the drainage in the area. My apartment is OK, but 200 metres away people are wading in water up to their chests. Our electricity is still working and we have clean water. We are the lucky ones.
Michael Lunt, Quezon

I am subscribed to a local warning text service of "breaking news" which sends me news updates. Almost every time the Iranian leader goes to the toilet, I get an update five minutes later. But yesterday I only got a text on the impassability of roads and harm to Metro Manila. Something goes wrong when "bad news" is reported in the Philippines. I also tend to think that the authorities try to amend data and statistics.
Eva , Manila


It's the worst flood in the Philippines so far. Even celebrities in their multimillion houses that are three stories high were flooded. They have awaited rescue while sitting on the rooftops of their houses. They could not see their cars because they have been completely submerged by the flood. The flood waters were reaching two stories high in many areas in Metro Manila.
Rex G. Racho, Cebu

A street in Manila
The flooding is the worst seen in Manila for 20 years

The lights went out at 12 noon local time. We had no electricity until 2200. The main roads are flooded and in the business district the underground pedestrian passes are completely full of water. I have been here two years and seen many typhoons but this one just kept raining and raining.
Marcus Downey, Mandaluyong City

I can't believe we weren't properly informed of this impending calamity. We had news of a storm the night before, but reports never indicated that Metro Manila would be affected. People did not have any information to prepare for this, and the government initially only had 13 boats to go around the area to save people on their rooftops. World, we need your help.
Katwo Puertollano, Quezon City, Metro Manila

There is no power here. Some of our neighbours are flooded and awaiting rescue on the roof of their houses. We are the fortunate ones as we have a good house. I fear that many poorer people will be dead as they have nothing to protect them. I am also worried because I work as a teacher; no teaching means no money for my family.
Sherwin, Metro Manila

My house is under water, so it's no use going home
Lansang, Marikina

I am currently seeking refuge in a shopping centre because of the strong rains and winds battering our country. The Marikina River has burst its banks, completely inundating many houses and roads. Many people are stuck either on their roofs or in the second storey of their houses due to the strong floods. The city is also without clean water and electricity. Right now, I am still in the shopping centre because the roads here are impassable. Moreover, my house is still underwater so it's no use to go back home. I praise the swift response of the Philippine government to the disaster. They immediately deployed rubber boats, emergency materials and aid to those affected by the storm. This also gave Filipinos the opportunity to help one another cope with the devastation the calamity caused.
Lovely Lansang, Marikina

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