Metro Manila wakes up to severe flooding triggered by Typhoon Ulysses

EDSA floodnig
Flooding is spotted by traffic authorities on southbound lane of EDSA, a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila, at 7:41 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Typhoon Ulysses battered the capital region and other provinces of southern Luzon.

MANILA, Philippines (3nd update 9:36 a.m.) — Typhoon Ulysses' destructive winds whirled through the main island of Luzon overnight as the cyclone made its way to the capital region and Calabarzon on Thursday morning, dumping heavy rainfall and triggering flash floods across Metro Manila.

In Marikina, the river rose to 21.8 meters by 9:04 a.m., the highest water level seen since 2009 when Typhoon Ondoy hammered the city. Back then, rains carried by the cyclone inundated villages, destroying homes and properties and affecting nearly 900,000 people in the worst known flood disaster in memory.

LIVE Updates: Typhoon Ulysses

The scene this morning had a similar ring. Filipinos retweeted and reposted calls for rescue for relatives, friends and strangers trapped on rooftops as floodwaters rushed inside their already elevated homes.

The 155-kph maximum sustained winds toppled electric posts, knocking down power in many places. Power distributor Meralco's advisory indicates that 3.8 million customers were affected by the outage, representing 56% of its subscriber base.

Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco's spokesprson, said it would take an indefinite number of days before electricity is restored.

The outages also broke up broadband services and mobile data in affected areas, shutting down even weather forecasting hotlines of PAGASA.

State weather bureau PAGASA issued a "red" rainfall warning for Metro Manila at 8:30 a.m. and the nearby provinces of Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Batangas, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite. Red rainfall alerts indicate expected "severe flooding" and calls for immediate community response.

The typhoon's effects were crippling to the sprawling urban region, which has been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines since March. — Camille Diola with reports from Prinz Magtulis

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