Tropical cyclone Ketsana brings severe flooding to Manila

Tropical cyclone Ketsana made landfall in the Philippines over the weekend (Saturday September 26) bringing heavy rainfall and severe flooding.

80 percent of Manila is reported to be submerged by floodwaters and over 400,000 people have been displaced.

RMS issued the following alert:

Tropical cyclone Ketsana made landfall on Northern Luzon in the Philippines on Saturday as a tropical storm with wind speeds of around 40 mph.

While the intensity of the winds were not sufficient to cause damage, the combination of the storm with the active Southwest Monsoon resulted in very heavy and persistent rainfall across a large area that has triggered widespread and severe flooding in and around the Capital City of Manila.

The heavy rainfall caused riverbanks to overflow. The worst of the flooding is in Metro Manila where reports indicate that as much as 80 percent of the city is submerged by flood waters at least 6 metres (20 feet) deep in some places, displacing over 400,000 residents from their homes.

Rainfall accumulations of between 35-55 cm (13.78-21.65 inches) were recorded in a period of 6-12 hours in some locations which equates to amounts more typically seen over an entire month during the monsoon period. Rainfall accumulations exceeded 40 cm (15.75 inches) in Metro Manila, which is more than the monthly average of 39 cm (15.35 inches) and is the highest amount recorded for over 40 years. As of Sunday, there were 100 fatalities, with the death toll expected to rise.

As of this morning, Typhoon Ketsana was located over the South China Sea as a Category 1 storm. Ketsana is forecast to continue along this trajectory across the South China Sea, making landfall on the east coast of Vietnam within the next 36 hours near to Da Nang, a major port city with a population of around 750,000. The city is the fourth largest in Vietnam and has many light industries based there including seafood export, furniture, household goods, clothing and tourism.