Looking Back at Ondoy


Andreas Klippe no responses September 26, 2019

It has been ten years since Typhoon Ketsana (locally named Ondoy) ravaged the Philippines. It left in its wake fatalities, destroyed homes and livelihoods, and immeasurable emotional trauma to victims. Urban centers were especially hit hard. Will we be able to say that we are prepared for more intense storms or are we leaving ourselves vulnerable to similar outcomes?

Ondoy anniversary featured image

A Decade Before

On September 23, 2009, a tropical depression entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility which the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) named Ondoy. The Philippine wet season was in full swing. Habagat or the Southwest monsoon was already hammering the country with torrential rains and strong winds, thus the arrival of a new tropical depression raised no alarms. PAGASA warned people that Ondoy and habagat combined would intensify rainfall, but as it was not a tropical storm yet, people turned a blind eye to it.

In three days time, September 26, 2009, Ondoy would make landfall in Aurora Province. Unexpected amounts of rain fell all over the island of Luzon. A month’s amount of precipitation fell in the span of one day.

Ondoy anniversary featured image
The aftermath of Ondoy revealed one of the root causes of the floods: trash. (Photo by: Michelle Martinez)

Flooding was expected, but it also showed us the glaring root of the problem. Evacuees were wading in floods carrying deplorable amounts of trash and waste. Plastic and other non-biodegradable garbage were swimming in up to 23 meters of flood. It is no surprise that after the storm, victims also suffered from outbreaks of leptospirosis.

After Ondoy had passed the country, it left with $246 million in damages to infrastructure and agriculture.

A Decade After

Ondoy damages
Despite better waste disposal efforts, trash remains a problem in the Philippines as it was named 3rd largest contributor to ocean plastic waste. (Photo by: Christopher Ng)

The Philippines has since recovered from the heartbreak of Ondoy. Laws for better disaster protection and preparedness were enacted. In true bayanihan fashion, communities have educated and organized themselves to keep each other safe. But most of all, it moved lawmakers and local government units (LGUs) to act on waste disposal and management.

Today, the damage of Ondoy and its aftermath could easily be revisited through the internet. We will still find the videos of SUVs and other vehicles being swept away like toys or of people stranded on roofs of multi-level buildings.

There is no reason for the same images to be repeated in the future. We now have access to better ways of flood control. While the government can take action in setting up for preparedness and disaster response, it will still be up to us to ensure our safety.

We can continue to address the root causes that led to the worsening of Ondoy’s effects. Better waste disposal techniques can help everyone prevent worse floods and, most of all, help battle climate change.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now that survivors have been able to pick up and improve their lives, where do we go from here? Do you think we can truly say we are now flood-ready? How do you prepare yourself and your family for future storms? Let us hear from you! Share your stories by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page.

Information can be your first step to being flood-ready. For more articles like this, sign up for our newsletter.

Andreas Klippe

About author

Andreas Klippe is founder of the Asian Center for Flood Control located in Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines.

How do you stay safe during a flood?

Protect your properties from flood damage by just learning from our simple yet effective tips.

Sign up now for FLOOD SPECIALIST weekly newsletter.

Your privacy is SAFE with us and will never be sold, rented, or shared to anyone – EVER!

Connect with Us

World Trusted Flood Control Solutions

Facebook Feed

Flood Control Asia

1) Your house is flooded? 2) Your warehouse or fabrication site is flooded? 3) Your Governemental building is flooded? 4) Your Commercial building is flooded? Flood Control Asia RS Corporation, located in the Philippines, can help you in Asia with its German Flood Control Technology. More than 22,000 systems have been installed world-wide in 28 countries. The flood prevention products are manufactured and specified to extremely high standards, which means that they provide dependable and guaranteed flood protection. Flood Control Asia RS Corp. works with architects and consultants all over the world and our clients include government agencies, utility companies, commercial businesses, retail chains, and nuclear power stations. Do not take any risk especially regarding the climate change: Protect your assets against flooding.
Flood Control Asia
Flood Control Asia
Category 5 #TyphoonHagibis lashed #Japan this past weekend causing severe rains & high flooding. Several casualties have been reported. Rescue ops ongoing.
Flood Control Asia
Flood Control Asia
Flood Control Asia
Look: Monster Typhoon Hagibis on its way to pummeled parts of Japan and Tokyo and is expected to unleash a record-breaking rainfall over the weekend.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency says that the typhoon will likely to maintain its large storm zone and its powerful strength as it nears Tokai and Kanto region on Saturday.

Weather officials are strictly advising the public to be on alert on the life-threatening impact of this typhoon.

#Hagibis #monstertyphoon #massivetyphoon #violentwinds #recordbreakingrainfall #savejapan #Japan
Flood Control Asia
Flood Control Asia
LOOK: A Bill that mandates the harvesting of rainwater in Metro Manila was filed in Congress. If passed, the law may help solve its flooding woes.

#MetroManila #RainwaterHarvesting #manilaflood #baha

Recent posts

Ondoy anniversary featured image

Looking Back at Ondoy

cars and man riding a bike in the rain
The summer heat is on so it is important to hydrate by drinking plenty of water.

Summer in the Philippines: Heat index, explained

Snowstorm
Chile and Peru didn’t escape nature’s wrath as extreme weather battered the parts of the countries with floods and wildfires.

Recommended posts

thunderstorm
flood_mitigation_priority_project

Your building’s foundations can be compromised

generators_protected_flood_barriers

Protect your Expensive Generators!

delivery truck stuck in flood

Delivery of Goods and Services are Compromised

SEARCH FOR FLOOD BARRIERS

How to Buy Flood Barriers on a Tight Budget