No one saw the deluge coming.
While Cagayan de Oro (CDO) is no stranger to flooding--Typhoon Sendong devastated the city in 2011-- no one was expecting a flood of this magnitude to hit CDO on Monday.
To Metro Manila residents watching the news and seeing photos and videos on social media, what happened was akin to Ondoy.
The massive flood was unexpected. In fact, just a day before Cagayan de Oro saw itself submerged, the city was in a festive mood. Residents were even celebrating the Sinulog Festival in honor of the Sto. Nino.
The forecast warned of light to moderate with occasional heavy rains over northern Mindanao. It also warned of possible flashfloods because two weather systems were affecting the region--a low pressure area, and a tail end of a cold front were forecast to bring rains.
But no one foresaw what was coming. The Iponan and Cagayan de Oro rivers reached critical level and a massive flood engulfed large parts of CDO. Roads became impassable and hundreds were stranded.
Around a thousand families had to be evacuated. The police and military were mobilized to rescue people stranded by the floods.
A day after the floods, CDO declared a state of calamity.
The CDO-City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office says a month's volume of rain fell on the city in just four hours.