Metro Manila residents call for help as major roads become impassable
Just before noon Saturday, GMANews.TV was swamped with calls from residents and their loved ones affected by tropical storm 'Ondoy.' Several reports came from areas that had not experienced floods in the past.
Leah Centeno, a resident of the hilly Kamias district in Quezon City, pleaded for help as waters had reached chest level in their neighborhood and roads had become impassable to vehicles.
"Tulungan nyo kami! Hanggang dibdib na yung tubig, wala kaming second floor. Nalulunod na kami (Help us! Waters have already reached chest-level, we don't have a second floor. We are drowning here)," a frantic Centeno told GMANews.TV on the phone
A resident from Muñoz in the northern part of Quezon City said several residents have climbed on top of their roofs as the waters steadily rose hour by hour.
Heavy downpour drenched Manila as storm 'Ondoy' made landfall in Quezon province Saturday morning, bringing rains and gusty winds across a wide swathe of Luzon.
Even Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. was not spared by the rains. In an interview with QTV's Balitanghali Teodoro said he rode the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) to reach his office in Camp Aguinaldo along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), the main artery in Manila.
"Ako nga po nag-MRT papasok lang dito. Sa harapan po mismo ng Kampo Aguinaldo ga-beywang ang tubig (I even took the MRT to go to work. Right in front of Camp Aguinaldo, flood waters are waist-high), " Teodoro said.
Teodoro asked the Department of Transportation and Communications to keep the MRT operational, in order to help stranded commuters return to their homes. Teodoro also ordered all government troops to go out in the streets and rescue stranded passengers and residents.
Before noon Saturday, several parts of EDSA became impassable to motorists as heavy rains pounded Metro Manila.
On board a provincial bus bound for Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija, passenger Henry Cabural told GMANews.TV that the vehicle got stranded in front of Camp Aguinaldo halted when flood waters reached the driver's seat at around 10 a.m.
Together with 30 other passengers, "nag-decide kami na dito na lang sa loob ng bus maghintay (We just decided to wait inside the bus)," Cabural told GMANews.TV in a phone interview.
According to Cabural, only the roofs of small cars remain visible on the streets.
An initial report of the government's National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said at least 493 people in Metro Manila have been evacuated so far while 260 families in Rizal were affected by flooding. - Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.TV