In September 26, 2009 Typhoon Ketsana hit the Philippines at the border of Aurora and Quezon provinces causing havoc and destruction.
Maximum winds were around 85 km/h. Records show the storms brought as much as 17 inches of rain in some areas. In the capital it was said that nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in just 6 hours.
Later that day the typhoon hit Manila, the Philippines capital. Widespread flooding ensued in many of the country’s cities, including Manila, Quezon, Caloocan, Valanzuela and San Juan.
National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) began the rescue and relief operations soon after, with help from the army and coast guard, plus international organisations such as the Red Cross. An international appeal was launched for outside funds by the Philippine government.
Farming was badly hit. The Philippines Department of Agriculture, estimated that 126,721 hectares of rice-farming land had been destroyed. This meant that rice production for that year would be cut by as much as 3%. Likewise corn plantations were also affected, with 1,374 hectares of corn growing land damaged.
However, the worst statistic is the total loss of life. In the Philippines, Typhoon Ketsana, known locally as Ondoy, and the ensuing floods killed as many as 464 people. Most of the causalities were from around the Manila area (NCR – National Capital Region).
Below is a report from the time by Al Jazeera:
One remarkable story from the floods on Manilla was that of the brave young man, Muelmar Magallanes, who reportedly saved as many as 30 people from the flood, sacrificing his own life in the process.
According to The Age, who reported at the time:
Mr Magallanes and his father quickly decided to evacuate the family once they realised the river 800 metres away had burst its banks.
With the help of an older brother, Mr Magallanes tied a string around his waist and attached it one-by-one to his three younger siblings, whom he took to higher ground. Then he came back for his parents.
But Mr Magallanes, a strong swimmer, decided to go back for neighbours trapped on rooftops.
He ended up making many trips, and eventually saved more than 30 people from drowning, witnesses and survivors said.
Typhoon Ketsana also hit Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.