Following the sinking of SuperFerry 9 (see my blogs of Sept 6 and 26), the Philippines has suffered more misfortune, with a visit from Typhoon Ketsana. At least 140 people are believed killed after torrential rain struck the capital Manila and 25 provinces.
A record 16 inches of rain fell in just 12 hours on Saturday, exceeding the usual average for the whole month of September. About four fifths of Manila was submerged, driving 450,000 people from their homes. The head of the National Disaster Co-ordinating Council said the emergency services were overwhelmed.
An 18 year old building worker is reported to have tied a rope around his waist and saved his brothers and sisters before going back to rescue his parents. Then he helped neighbours who were stranded on rooftops to get away, before leaping into the water to grab a mother and her baby. Tragically, he was then swept away himself.
Ketsana is the most devastating tropical storm to have hit the Philippines since Typhoon Ike in 1984 which brought fierce winds and floods that killed nearly 1,500 people.