Ulysses Aftermath: Floods, Calls for Rescue, Flashbacks of Ondoy

Ulysses crossed Central Luzon overnight.
This photo shows heavy rain falling in Marikina City at the height of Typhoon Ulysses.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

(UPDATE) Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) lashed Central Luzon overnight until early Thursday, triggering floods and calls for help on social media. In Metro Manila, rising water levels at the Marikina River level drew comparisons to Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana).

As of 6 a.m. the water level at the Marikina River was at 20.7 meters, according to the city's public information office. Mayor Marcelino Teodoro was quoted in news reports that the river peaked at 21.5 meters during Ondoy, though some accounts had it at 23 meters.

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"Nakakatakot dahil parang Ondoy rin ang karanasan namin dito," Teodoro told GMA News.

Ondoy struck in September 2009 and submerged large swaths of Metro Manila in what is considered the worst flooding in the capital in recent memory. Many of the flood warning systems in the metropolis today, including the Marikina River alerts, was borne out of Ondoy.

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Ondoy was a trending topic on Twitter alongside Montalban, a town in Rizal where social media users shared photos of washed up appliances in flooded homes.

There were knee-deep floods in EDSA-Shaw tunnel northbound before 5 a.m., the MMDA reported. There were also reports of power outages.

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Ulysses is the third typhoon in as many weeks. It made landfall in Patnanungan, Quezon late Wednesday and was over Nueva Ecija province before dawn, packing maximum sustained winds of 155 kph and 255 kph gusts.

About 50,000 people living in the typhoon's path were ordered to leave their homes in the Bicol Region, said Civil Defense spokesman Gremil Alexis Naz.

Swaths of Bicol remain without power and with only limited or no telecommunication services after Rolly -- the most powerful typhoon this year -- toppled power lines, destroyed houses and flooded roads.

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Weather bureau PAGASA also warned of storm surges several meters high along parts of the east coast and in the capital.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons every year, which typically wipe out harvests, homes and infrastructure, keeping millions of people perennially poor.

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