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Like Ondoy? Ulysses Rains, Floods Explained

Both storms submerged swaths of Metro Manila.
by Arianne Merez
Nov 13, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Riverside communities in Metro Manila on Thursday woke up to floods due to Typhoon Ulysees, so severe that it drew comparisons to Typhoon Ondoy's deluge a decade ago.

Like in 2009, Marikina City was worst hit as the eponymous river that runs through it overflowed. Murky floodwaters chased residents to their rooftops where they asked to be rescued by rubber boats.

Ulysses carried a third of Typhoon Ondoy's rainfall. Some 153 millimeters of rain was measured from late Wednesday to Thursday compared to 455 millimeters over 24 hours from Ondoy.

Jerome Ascano
Continue reading below ↓

"Relatively, mas maraming ulan ang dala ni Ondoy. Ang nangyari diyan [kay Ulysses] eh sunod-sunod na yung bagyo at ulan so nag-runoff na yung tubig," PAGASA weather forecaster Rene Paciente told Reportr.

Prior to Ulysses, the same general areas got heavy rains from Super Typhoon Rolly, and storms Quintana, Siony and Tonyo. Provinces were still reeling from the devastation left by succeeding storms when Ulysses struck.

Why the heavy flooding?

Unlike Ondoy which inundated nearly the entire Metro Manila, Ulysses only flooded portions of the capital region with Marikina City appearing to bear the brunt.

Some Ondoy survivors in Marikina said floods triggered by Ulysses were worse than what they experienced in 2009 -- which forecaster Paciente said can be attributed to other factors.

Jerome Ascano
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At the height of rains and floods on Thursday, Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro called for air assets to rescue trapped residents, saying boats would no longer suffice due to the rising waters.

"Isang dahilan diyan ay yung Marikina River mataas na ang tubig bago pa itong si Ulysses so kaunting ulan na lang ang kinailangan para mag-overflow siya,"Paciente said.

Rainwater from Marikina's bordering provinces such as Rizal also worsened the situation given that it serves as a catch basin, he added.


Where to Donate for Typhoon Ulysses Relief

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WATCH: Marikina Residents Rescued from Flooded Homes

Continue reading below ↓

While Ondoy dumped more rains, Ulysses is stronger according to PAGASA.

Why did Ondoy dump more rains? It's because, at the time that it happened, there was a southwest monsoon which caused more rainfall,  Paciente said. Ondoy also moved slower compared to Ulysses.

On average, the Philippines is battered by around 20 typhoons per year, which have worsened in recent years due to climate change.

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