A mass evacuation is under way in parts of the Philippines as torrential rain and floods threaten to engulf the capital city, Manila.
World Vision is poised to respond as hundreds of thousands leave their homes in what could be the city’s worst inundation since Tropical Storm Ketsana struck three years ago, leaving the whole city and nearby provinces underwater.
The charity has mobilised it's emergency response team to assess the situation and coordinate with government agencies to conduct a coordinated response.
Disaster authorities estimate that more than a million people are affected and around 250,000 displaced. The number is set to increase by the hour as pelting rains and raging floods are expected to engulf the metropolis and neighbouring provinces in the next two days.
World Vision staff member Erwin Sisracon said: “Flood waters reached our street and it’s slowly rising up to the second level of our house. Some of our neighbours are already staying on their rooftops. If rains continue to pour we won’t have a choice but to do the same.”
Erwin’s family is just one of the hundreds of families that are helplessly trapped in their homes due to the flooding. Thousands more are expected to evacuate within the day.
Major roads are impassable. However, disaster relief manager Reynor Imperial announced that as soon as the flood significantly recedes, the response teams target to visit the affected areas of Malabon, Manila, Cavite and Zambales.
World Vision staff member Sally Gines said: “I wasn’t able to leave our house because I was scared of the floods. Now we don’t have electricity here in our place as we prepare our lugaw (porridge) good for 20 displaced families who have joined us after fleeing their homes due to rising floods.”
In Zambales, residents from the village of Bunhi have evacuated with the help of rescuers from the local government. People in the Cabangan village, one of World Vision assisted areas, cry for help while drenched by the cold rain,” shares World Vision programme officer Matthew Santos. Other flooded areas at critical level include Botolan, Baquilan, Bangan, Danac Bunga, Paco, Nacolcol, Capayawan, and Taugtog. Roads are rendered impassable.
7 August 2012