Manila Buried in Water

While fires rage across the US west, the Philippines and particularly the capital, Manila, is buried in water, again.

Aug. 20, 2013 file photo, office workers cross a flooded street using makeshift floats during heavy rain at the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines.AP/Aaron Favila

Aug. 20, 2013 file photo, office workers cross a flooded street using makeshift floats during heavy rain at the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines.AP/Aaron Favila

And again, much of the catastrophe seems to be from humans soiling their own nest.

  • Population growth, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, deforestation and even trash build-up combine to exacerbate the impact. It’s a trend experts expect to continue.
  • Much of Manila, once known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” was lost in heavy bombardment at the end of World War II. The haphazard, poorly planned urban reconstruction coupled with the 10-fold jump in population to nearly 12 million today has severely strained the city’s ability to cope with flooding.
  • Each year, about 20 typhoons hit the country, and they have become stronger over the past decade, said Edna Juanillo, head of the Philippine government weather agency’s climatology division. That prompted the agency about a decade ago to add a fourth category to public storm warning system for typhoons with sustained winds of more than 185 kilometers per hour (115 mph).
  • “It has not been concluded if this is caused by global warming and climate change, but we’ve been seeing more powerful tropical cyclones with winds of 150 kph and above in the last decade,” Juanillo said.
  • Four of the strongest typhoons that hit between 2008 and 2012 caused damage of $2.2 billion compared to $828 million for the four of the most devastating typhoons between 1990-1998.

PhilStar