PAGASA: Manila prone to storm surges

Posted at 09/28/2011 6:41 PM | Updated as of 09/28/2011 10:16 PM
The flooded Roxas Boulevard in Manila as Typhoon Pedring brings heavy rains in the area. Photo by Rem Zamora for abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines - Metro Manila took one of the worst beatings from typhoon Pedring on Tuesday.

Science and Trade Undersecretary Graciano Yumul said the city of Manila took the brunt of a powerful storm surge, fanned by Pedring's typhoon-category winds.

Rough winds caused a section of the breakwater to collapse, and blew Manila Bay's waters past the seawall and onto Roxas Boulevard.

The first in history, the public saw the main thoroughfare, the United States Embassy, Sofitel in the CCP Compound, restaurants along the Bay
flooded. The waters even reached the Baseco Compound.

Seawall collapse

Speaking to ANC's “Headstart,” Yumul said after seeing days of heavy rain, four factors led to the collapse of the seawall along Roxas Boulevard.

"High tide tayo sa Manila Bay, southwest monsoon, the gustiness of Pedring, land was saturated with water. Yung nagpatumba sa seawall yung storm surge pero yung tiles inangat ng backwash,” he said.

Yumul added the call for greater preparedness and mitigation is more urgent now, as the country finds itself in the midst of the La Niña season.

"La Niña in the Philippines is extremely wet and typhoons are very strong. Yun yung compounding factors natin ‘ber’ months, mas malakas yung bagyo at halos land-falling sila lahat. Mas matakot tayo sa October, November - Amihan na, Northeast monsoon yung hangin, lalong itutulak papuntang Pilipinas yung mga bagyo,” he added.

Storm surge

As the city of Manila assesses the damage wrought by the rough weather, Yumul said an area prone to storm surges like Manila must now turn to safer engineering solutions.

“Yung geology niya (Manila) is susceptible to the storm surge, pati foundation kaya madaling matumba, madaling mag-super-saturate. Pwedeng engineering o kailangan strict compliance: pag may bagyo, wala nang tao talaga,” he added.

Quiel, the new storm

Weather bureau PAGASA said a new tropical storm is forecast to enter the Philippine area of responsibility in a matter of hours. It will be named "Quiel”, the 17th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year.

Yumul said it could develop into another typhoon, and draw monsoon rains across Central Luzon and the National Capital Region.

"Northern Luzon will be hit by Quiel. Tatama siya ng Cagayan, Ilocos Norte. Di pa man pumapasok, naging tropical storm na siya at ang projection, magiging typhoon.”

Yumul said the public should heed warnings, exercise a lot of caution, and not underestimate the changing climate and the power of unpredictable weather.

"Nakita na nating yung nangyari kay Pedring, ibayong pag-iingat talaga and kailangan,” he said. “All of these equipment and bulletins will not matter kung hindi makikinig ang mga tao."