Manila’s Drainage System Exacerbates Flooding

Torrential rainfall has resulted in flooding in Metro Manila (the city province of Manila) and other nearby provinces. Manila is no stranger to floods (see our post on the 2009 floods). So far the flooding has only caused some disruption to transport. There are as yet no reports of evacuations or loss of life.

Floods in Manila, June 2013
Floods in Manila, June 2013

The heavy rainfall is expected to continue for the next 2 or 3 days. A low pressure area over the West Philippine Sea areas was making south-west Monsoon rainfall heavier, with thunderstorms likely, especially in the afternoon, lasting one or two hours.

What has made matters worse is the inability of Manila;s infrastructure to deal with such large amounts of rainfall in such short periods. The Metro Manila Development Authority blames unfinished drainage systems and ongoing piping rehabilitation for floods. MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino explained there are still some areas where sewer systems that remain clogged. He adds the MMDA’s pumping system is operational but it simply couldn’t handle the huge volume of floodwaters.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), 2 more cyclones are expected to bring further heavy rains this month.

Sources: ABS CBN News; PhilStar

floods manila
Traffic struggles to get through the flood waters in Manila
Photo: PhilStar