MANILA – The scenes of destruction caused by tropical storm Ondoy (international codename Ketsana) on Saturday were captured on videos and were posted on video-sharing Web site YouTube.
Many Youtube users shared their experiences during and after the Typhoon, which hit hardest on September 26, 2009 (Saturday).
Using her cellphone, Camille Magno filmed the actual rescue operation of a woman who was trapped on top of her sports utility vehicle as her car was being swept by floodwaters at the UERM Hospital in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
Hospital staff were seen scrambling to bring the woman to safety as the floodwaters continued to rise, sweeping away other vehicles parked outside the building.
The 9-hour deluge left many residents in Metro Manila, Rizal province, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Quezon stranded on the roofs of their homes, stuck in roads or workplaces, or with damaged homes and schools.
A Youtube video taken in Marikina City, uploaded by a user named ondoy 2609, shows dramatic photos of cars strewn on roads or positioned in unbelievable angles, dead animals lying in pools of water or hanging from electrical wires, and many houses smashed by the storm.
The video was meant to inspire those who were left relatively unscathed by the storm to help typhoon victims.
The area in front of the Marikina River was also badly damaged, as another Youtube video taken in Marikina City shows.
The city, located in the flood-prone Pasig-Marikina river basin, was one of the more badly damaged areas in Metropolitan Manila.
As of posting, there were 78 people reported dead in Marikina.
Similar scenes of damage was recorded in Heroes Hills Subdivision in Quezon City the morning after Typhoon Ondoy hit, in a video uploaded by a user named "Tolongges."
As he remarks in his video, "[Sports utility vehicles] and vans were clearly no match against a rampaging torrent."
Picking up the pieces
After the storm, some residents returned to their damaged homes to do major clean-ups.
In a Youtube video uploaded by "akopockeltots", residents in La Huerta Subdivision in Valenzuela City near the Tullahan river are seen digging through the mud and debris left behind by floodwaters.
The 22-year-old "akopockeltots" also recorded his journey from home to his school, then back to the Light Rail Transit amid torrential rains in a series of cellphone videos.
A young woman assesses the damage made to their posh house in San Mateo, Rizal in her Youtube video.
Scenes show upturned furniture and a thick layer of mud on their floors. However, they find some of their possessions remarkably unscathed by the floodwaters, like a heavy glass cabinet and her gadgets like an iPhone and laptop.
Others were not so lucky. Students and teachers at the Panamitan Elementary School lost their books, properties, and equipment to raging floodwaters that swamped Kawit, Cavite - as a Youtube video by Camille Butawan shows .
"The school classrooms and even the elevated principal's and guidance office did not escape from this calamity. Again, the future education of the pupils will be affected by this typhoon... People like you should care for the pupils of Panamitan by extending your helping hand to them," she said in her note.
Though weather reports say Typhoon Ondoy has left the country, and waters in some Manila areas and provinces have subsided, there are still residual floods.
About 80% of the city was submerged and some areas remained in more than knee-deep water on Monday.
Local television reported that some people remained stranded on the second floors of their homes.
A woman named Ave Marquez took a video of waist-deep water in Parkwood, Maybunga, Pasig when she came home, a day after the storm hit. She had to ride a makeshift raft manually pulled by a man to get home.
Another video, uploaded by a certain "Romy" from Manila, shows several trucks and cars stuck along a road in Nagtahan (near Malacanang) on late Sunday afternoon. The vehicles were hesitant to pass through high-level floodwaters.
The area of Pakil in Laguna, meanwhile, was still in knee-deep water on Sunday morning. A Youtube video uploaded by "BOKS Inc." shows children still splashing around and swimming in pools of water.
According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council's latest Situation Report, the storm affected 89,953 families and 451,683 people.
About 23,147 families and 115,990 people having to evacuate in 205 evacuation centers.
The report also states that 7,908 people have already been saved by rescue teams.
Overall, there are 100 reported deaths (with 56 people in Region 4-A alone), 32 missing, and 5 injured.
The estimated cost of damages to both infrastructure and agriculture is over P108.9 million.
Saturday's disaster saw Ondoy drop the heaviest rain in more than 40 years on Metro Manila and neigboring areas in Luzon. With reports from Agence France-Presse.