On Travelling in (and Avoiding) Metro Manila Floods

4 minutes read

Manila's Floods aren't new - Taft Ave. circa 1910-1915, near the Philippine General Hospital </b>
(Photo: John TewellMichigan State University Special Collections, CC-BY 3.0)
Taft Ave. and Estrada, Manila (Photo: Archer's Eye)

Monsoon rains have yet again caused the Philippine capital and surrounding provinces to shut down, amidst torrential rains and severe flooding in various areas.

Apart from the loss of human life and property, the income losses are immense: businesses are closed, and children don’t get their education. From a pure GDP standpoint alone, a day of lost productivity amounts to P10.6 billion (computed from NSCB Statistics).

This already happened last year - so expect it to happen again. For those who have to brave the floodwaters, though, it would be wise to be advised.

Ondoy Flood Map

You can preempt having to fight through floodwaters by avoiding the red areas on the map. (Photo: NIGS, UPD)

Before you leave, it might be useful to avoid the known flood areas. Typhoon Ondoy caused one of the most severe flooding incidents in the metropolis, and people at the Volcano Tectonics Laboratory, National Institute of Geological Sciences, UP-Diliman created this Ondoy Flood Map using computer simulation software.

The full detailed and zoomable map can be viewed at their site: Nababaha.com. If you want to know how this was created, you can view their FAQ page.

This is useful in and of itself, but what if you need live data on floods? Well, the Department of Science and Technology’s has you covered with its…

Project NOAH (National Operational Assessments of Hazards)

Project NOAH (which sounds like a spy operation) is an interactive tool that allows you to view live rainfall and other weather data in any part of the Philippines. It can be useful but very involved. I recommend just turning on Rainfall Coutour (Overview) to view current rainfall stats, and Stream Gauges (Weather Stations) to determine the water levels and whether they are rising or falling in certain areas, as set up below:

Project NOAH by DOST enables you to access live rainfall and flooding information (Photo: DOST NOAH)

The full tool can be accessed at http://noah.dost.gov.ph. And of course, there’s also an smartphone app that you can use while on-the-go, for iPhone and Android.

There’s also a Project NOAH App for iOS and Android. (Photo: Project NOAH App)

On the road

So there you go, just some tools you may find useful. If you’re already on the road and driving in very strong rain, it might be wise to follow these tips and check the Official MMDA Twitter Account for flood updates (from my experience they’re the most updated).

I found the Hazard mapping that President Noynoy Aquino mentioned in his SONA, but I really didn’t find it very useful (see for yourself).

Thanks for reading! If you found this post useful, I’d appreciate it if you liked, shared, tweeted, or +1’d it on your preferred social networks. Stay safe and stay dry, folks!

Share your Thoughts