So much rain!!
The last few weeks have been ones of so much rain but the last few days have been ones of constant, torrential rain that have caused massive floods, damage to properties, destroyed some properties, injured people, killed people, damaged roads, wrecked cars and meant so many buildings have been turned into evacuation sites. The evacuation centres are any strong building really that aren’t flooding, from schools, to basketball courts, universities and even some of the malls have stayed open late to allow people some respite from the rain.
It started on Monday, heavy rains that went on for hours. Indeed, in a little respite
from the weather, we traveled to a mall for a dinner meeting and then myself, a friend and our volunteer went to see a movie. The film finished about 8.45 and we headed out to try to get a jeepnie home (local mode of transport), the queue was huge and there were no jeepnies in sight and it would have taken several hours so we headed to try to get a taxi. No taxi would take us as we live quite far from the mall and the roads were flooded. So we went and had a drink whilst trying to figure out a way home. In the end we went half way in a taxi, met Roy (we run the foundation together) and then got a jeepnie the rest of the way home as the jeeps are higher so they are more ok in flood water. However, on our way home, my phone also got stolen which was very annoying! We eventually got home and fell asleep to the sound of rain pounding on the roof. Waking up because of the rain, thunder and being cold a few times through the night, we woke in the morning to a flooded world. Many homes had been evacuated and many roads not passable. Our volunteer (Alice) was going home that day (Tuesday) and so had to leave very early to make sure she got to the airport on time and through the floods.
It was a long day as the rain pounded down all over the city and more and more people were being evacuated. There was a landslide not far from us in which a whole family were tragically killed, there was a landslide on Payatas dumpsite itself but thankfully that wasn’t big enough or injure anyone and the rivers rose. Some people had to swim to safety from their homes, others sat on rooftops waiting to be rescued.
There were so many people needed to be rescued and so many people coming into evacuation centres. On Tuesday evening, myself and Roy went to Cashew school (run by our sister charity ASCF, directed by friend and colleague Craig Burrows, whose being working hard and doing a great job to help those in need) to help with dinner and take a load of clothes for them. Then Tuesday night was another night of heavy rain and more flooding. It was worse in the Kasiglahan area which is the area our sister charity have their children’s home (Mango) and their elementary school (Papaya). The school became an evacuation site for people from Kasiglahan and the surrounding area. Several hundred people
were evacuated there!
On Wednesday, the morning came wet but the rain wasn’t so heavy. Roy and I went to Cashew again to help with breakfast and general bits and pieces then it was back home for a nap and to try to catch up on missed sleep because of the weather. Later on in the day, a friend bought round a load of donations from him and his family (thanks to all the Palami’s for those!) and so we went back to Cashew to hand out the food and clothes packages and then home again to do a bit of work. The rain started heavy again during that afternoon and then in the night it rained badly. However, apart from some heavy showers today (Thursday) it has been pretty dry so it’s been the beginning of the big clean up.
Many donations have been picked up and dropped off at various locations around Manila, hundreds of people are volunteering to help get relief packs to those who have been affected and the people are all really joining together to help each other. It’s amazing to see.
It’s the first time I have experienced floods like this and I wish I could have done more to help but hopefully in the next few days we will be able to help more with the big clean up and distribution of donations. However, it has also been amazing to see how people have joined together, regardless of status in society, to help each other to get through these floods. The number of in-kind donations has been incredible, big truck loads full to the various places that need it and people keep on giving. It will take a while to clean everything up and for people to get back to normal but these last few days have certainly shown how resilient and resourceful Filipinos can be!
Thank you everyone for your support and donations… no-one here couldn’t help these people to get through this if it wasn’t for you!
Please visit http://www.triplee.org.uk and click the donate button at the top if you wish to donate or email firstname.lastname@example.org (UK) or email@example.com (Philippines) for more ways to help or donate. With more heavy rain forecast, I suspect we will need the support! Thanks so much again for everyone’s kind messages, donations, prayers and support!