By Erma Edera
A stretch of Roxas Boulevard briefly turned into a “sea of trash” when heaps of garbage from Manila Bay were washed ashore, reaching up to the busy thoroughfare, following a storm surge and heavy rains dumped by the southwest monsoon or “habagat” that was enhanced by a tropical depression and tropical storm “Karding,” in Manila, Saturday morning.
The storm surge and the heavy rains caused flooding in a long stretch of Roxas Boulevard, from Pedro Gil Street to Vito Cruz Street, and triggered heavy traffic for hours.
Plastic, rubber, styropor, deadwood, and other rubbish were seen on the flooded Roxas Boulevard.
Bambi Purisima, Manila Public Information Officer, said the city’s Department of Public Services (DPS) and allied forces were immediately deployed to clean the area.
“We have assigned many personnel, headed by our DPS chief Belle Borromeo, for our continuous cleanup in the city, especially in the Manila Bay area which usually experience heavy flooding,” Purisima said.
Police Officer 3 Allan de Leon of the Ermita Police Station said both lanes of Roxas Boulevard, fronting Baywalk, were not passable to light vehicles for a while due to the floods.
In a Facebook post, Tim de Asis said he was wondering why there was heavy traffic when he passed by Roxas Boulevard Saturday morning.
It turned out that the flooding, aggravated by the “sea of trash,” caused the heavy traffic.
In a video he posted, “sea of trash”was noticed in knee-deep flood though it was not yet raining at the time it was recorded.
He also noticed two trucks filled with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) workers who were at the scene ready to serve and work in the “sea of trash.”
“We see you and we thank you,” Asis said in his post.
Purisima ordered continuous monitoring of the whole city, specifically for the possible evacuation of residents from Baseco Compound and other barangays that usually experience flooding.
With the flooding, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada suspended classes in all levels, both in private and public, effective 10 a.m. of August 11.
More flooding was expected a red rainfall warning over Metro Manila and Rizal was issued at 2 p.m. Saturday. (With a report from Ria Fernandez)