MANILA -- Floods and rising river waters chased hundreds out of their homes as heavy rains inundated vast swaths of Luzon on Saturday, in scenes reminiscent of Tropical Storm Ondoy 9 years ago.
The highest rainfall warning was raised over Metro Manila before midnight, with the downpours expected to persist in the coming days due to the southwest monsoon, according to weather bureau PAGASA.
In Marikina, one of the worst hit by Ondoy (international name: Ketsana), 4,159 families or 11,765 persons were evacuated as authorities kept watch over the Marikina River level.
"Parang Ondoy ang nangyayari sa ngayon dahil sa patuloy na lakas ng ulan na binubuhos sa ganitong kaiksing panahon," Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro told radio DZMM.
(It's like Ondoy because the heavy rains fell over a short period of time.)
Ondoy submerged large portions of the capital in September 2009, leaving 464 people killed. In 2012, monsoon rains brought flooding to 80 percent of the capital and killed at least 66 people.
People trapped in the second floor of their homes pleaded for rescue on social media.
The floods caused traffic jams and stranded commuters, with many still waiting for their rides home at nightfall.
Along Manila Bay, huge waves washed heaps of trash to the shore with most of the capital shrouded in darkness for most of the day due to the heavy rains.
A monsoon episode in mid-July caused the cancellation of work and classes, with rains over 2 days equal to a third of Ondoy's deluge.