Saturday, September 26, 2009

Epic flood in Metro Manila caused by record rainfall

Andreo Calonzo in GMA News: The rainfall brought by tropical storm "Ondoy" to Metro Manila and nearby areas in a span of six hours on Saturday was the most in recorded history, surpassing the previous record for the metropolis in 1967, a weather bureau official said.

Nathaniel Cruz, weather services bureau head of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), told GMANews.TV that the total rainfall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday surpassed the highest 24-hour rainfall that the weather bureau recorded 42 years ago.

Cruz said the total rainfall from "Ondoy" in the first six hours of the storm, which measured 341 millimeters, broke the record for the highest 24-hour rainfall of 334 millimeters in metropolitan Manila recorded by Pagasa in June 1967. It was still raining at the time of this posting, as flood waters brought large portions of a mega city of over ten million to a virtual standstill. [See: Storm 'Ondoy' makes landfall, causes widespread flooding]

“We were able to break that record in a span of six hours. Today, we really experienced an extreme weather event," he said. Cruz also said the amount of rain caused by "Ondoy" in six hours is almost equal to the average monthly rainfall in Metro Manila, which he pegged at 392 millimeters. “This means our rainfall for six hours today is nearly equal to our average monthly rainfall," he explained. Cruz attributed the extreme rainfall caused by "Ondoy" to climate change…

Devastated rice fields of Iriga City, Camarines Sur, in 2008, shot by Sir Mervs, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

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