Manila flooding

In 2009, Newsletters by burdick

Our power just came back on (10:15 p.m. Monday night, Manila time) so I am writing this as soon as I can in case it goes off again. It had come back on early this morning and was on for about 6 hours, then went off again until now. Just wanted to let you know that we are fine and have everything we need. That is not true for many in the church, however. The flooding that happened on Saturday and Sunday were the worst on record. Nearly 18 inches of rain fell in a 24 hour period! The Marikina and Pasig rivers overflowed their banks by more than 20 feet causing massive flooding to much of Marikina, Cainta, and Pasig areas of Metro Manila. Many other parts of Manila have been affected as well. The floodwaters have gone down now, and the people who have been affected are left to deal with a thick slime of mud on everthing. Some houses had seven feet of water in them. We visited several people from the church today and they were trying to clean up all the stuff that had been flooded. You can imagine that it’s pretty much a total loss. Many cars were totally swamped and have been ruined. We don’t know of anyone from the church that lost their lives, but we haven’t heard from some of the people in the hardest hit area, Provident Village of Marikina, which was surrounded by the Marikina River. Many of you know the Datu family. They escaped to the roofs of their two storey homes and were safe there until the water went down. But, they lost everything. Some people from the Santolan outreach who attend the church and are basically squatters lost their homes as well. There is nothing left. They have been staying in the church for the past few days. Pastor Tito and Marilyn’s house was flooded out and they are living in the church now too. The problem for most is no power, and trying to clean out their homes with a tiny hose of water before the mud dries and becomes impossible to remove. The church is collecting relief supplies and distributing them to the people, though many of those affected are the ones doing the distributing! We are thankful that we have been spared, and have only had to deal with the power outage. We were seperated from Danya for several hours on Saturday during the worst of the storm, but made it through and we all were together again Saturday night. Kim and I had taken Devri to a volleyball game at Faith Academy that morning. It was raining very hard at the time and had been since Friday night. The waters had not risen to their apex yet so we did not know what was coming. Danya wanted to sleep and since we were only going to be gone for an hour and Faith is so close, we left her by herself. When we tried to go home after they cancelled the game, we had to park the car because the water on Valley Golf road was too high. We parked the car and tried to walk, but everywhere we went to get across the now raging river coming down from Antipolo between us and our home was blocked! The water was raging too fast and too deep to cross. So, after hiking around for a couple hours trying to get home, soaking wet, cold and hungry, we made it back to the car, and it was dead! We walked back to Faith Academy and stayed in the dorms there. They had food and dry clothes and we were able to contact Danya. Some friends went down from the condos and picked her up. She spent the afternoon with them. We were finally able to get out about 4 p.m. The rains abated a little and the man from the dorms gave us a jump to get the car started. We picked Danya up and made it home safely by 5. The waters had now receded below the road and we could make it through. Much damage had been done, and a car that tried to go through that place on the road had been washed away and rolled over many times. It came to rest a hundred yards away. We didn’t see any bodies, but are sure there were some homes and people washed away in it. It was an incredible flash flood! We had to cancel all services on Sunday. I felt bad about doing it at first, but when I went out to Masinag market to send some text messages out and check on things, I could see that Marcos Hi-way was still totally flooded and there were no cars getting through. In fact, the roads going to Masinag market were total chaos! People were scrambling everywhere and no one was following the traffic laws. Apparently, all up and down Marcos Hi-way there was about 5 feet of water, from the Marikina river to Masinag! In fact, today when we drove down Marcos Hi-way, you could see where the water level had been. It was incredible! Mud and debris was everywhere. At the new SM Marikina mall, right next to the river, the parking basement had been totally flooded. The Marcos Hi-way bridge had also been overflowed! We could not believe how high the water had been. I haven’t heard the death toll lately, but I’m sure many people lost their lives in Marikina due to the fast rising flood waters and being unable to get out of their homes. It’s been a pretty weird time. We are thankful to be safe. People are starting to recover, but it will be a while. There will probably be epidemics of dengue fever, and of water-borne diseases, plus other diseases from all the filth and mud that will be flung into the air as it grows and dries–bacterial infections, etc.

I’m going to go ahead and send this now. The power just went off and then came back on again. I hope it stays on through the night. We will try to send more info later.┬áDon’t worry about us, just pray. We’ll be in touch as we are able.