29 September 2009

Heroism in Manila floods

People are stranded in Cainta, province of Rizal , eastern Manila

Last Saturday tropical storm Ketsana ('Ondoy' in the Philippines) brought devastating floods to Metro Manila. Today's Philippine Daily Inquirer carries the story of 'Muelmar Magallanes, a powerful swimmer who braved rampaging floods to save more than 30 people, but ended up sacrificing his life in a last trip to rescue a baby girl who was being swept away on a styrofoam box.

'Family members and people whom Magallanes saved hailed on Monday the 18-year-old construction worker a hero, as his body lay in a coffin at a makeshift evacuation center near their destroyed riverside village in Quezon City.

'“I am going to be forever grateful to Muelmar. He gave his life for my baby. I will never forget his sacrifice,” said Menchie Peñalosa, the mother of the 6-month-old girl whom he carried to safety before being swept away himself.'

'Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends - Wala nang pagmahahal nahihigit pa sa pagaalay sa sariling buhay alang-alang sa mga kanyang mga kaibigan (Jn 15:13).'

Aida De Leon grieves in Pasig City , east of Manila

The same report tells how Judge Ralph Lee 'From 4 p.m. to midnight, . . . combed the neighborhood 10 feet under water for trapped residents, each time loading at least three people on his machine [a Jet Ski]and taking them to a bakery on high ground at the Palmera 4 subdivision, where his rescue effort was centered.

'He personally took 32 people, mostly women and children, to safety.

'“It probably took me around 20 plus trips to do that,” Judge Lee said.

'“In the evening, the residents were able to help me rescue more people when the rubber boats came … We had no light except a flashlight provided by a homeowner,” he added.

'With his son Ram and other homeowners, the effort brought some 100 people to safer ground.'

Full story here.

An aerial view aboard a Philippine Air Force chopper shows devastation brought by Tropical Storm Ketsana in Cainta, province of Rizal , eastern Manila

Residents are evacuated by police boats during flooding in Cainta Rizal, east of Manila

A Philippine Air Force aerial shot shows damaged houses in Marikina City , Metro Manila. More than 70 people were killed, Manila was blacked out and airline flights were suspended as a powerful tropical storm battered the main Philippines island of Luzon

Residents wait to be evacuated from a partially submerged house during flooding in Bocaue, north of Manila

Thousands of people in the Philippine capital and nearby towns were marooned by flash floods after a strong tropical storm hit the main island of Luzon , disaster officials said

Residents cross a flooded street with the use of a rope in Quezon City

A boy is lifted onto the roof of a building to escape the flooding in the Quezon City suburban of Manila . Nearly a month's worth of rain fell in just six hours Saturday, triggering the worst flooding in the Philippine capital in 42 years, which stranded thousands on rooftops in the city and elsewhere

Residents clamber on electric wires to stay out of floodwaters while others wade neck-deep in Cainta Rizal, east of Manila

A victim of floodings is rescued in Pasig City , east of Manila . Authorities rushed rescue and relief to thousands of people who spent the night on the roofs of their submerged houses in Manila and surrounding provinces

Commuters wade through waist-deep floodwaters after heavy rains dumped by Tropical Storm Ketsana (locally known as Ondoy) on Saturday, Sept. 26, in Manila

1 comment:

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Interestingly where I just stayed experienced severe flooding 2 years ago..the pictures were unbelievable..they say it brought the community closer together. Obviously unlike these floods in Manilla there was no loss of life..I will pray for all affected by this atrocious suffering. God bless you Fr sean for bringing it to our attention.