The rains of Tuesday, March 16, 2011 in Tacloban City and nearby towns was unusually heavy. It was incessant, literally pouring with no letup starting late Monday evening, till the next morning and the entire day, and on… and on…  till past midnight.

Facebook posts were all petitioning the heavens for the rain to please stop.

A really heavy downpour lasting only  for a couple of hours easily puts low-lying areas of the city underwater, particularly some areas at the downtown area, the V & G Subdivision and some sections of the national highway. How much more for one lasting like more than 24 hours!

That was for the record!

It probably was one of the heaviest rainfall ever recorded for Tacloban in decades!

And the ensuing floods was truly unprecedented. It was common to hear folks claiming it was the first time ever in their entire lives to have experienced flood waters enter their homes.


How massive the damage is to both lives and property is unimaginable.

Monitoring the radio and the internet for whatever news late into the night and the next morning, the first of tragic reports trickled in: Family of 7 dead, buried under a landslide in Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City. Landslides reported, too, in Brgy. Utap and Brgy. Upper Nula-tula. Calls for help for evacuation from terrified, trapped residents at some low-lying areas. Easily affected were those living along river banks and creeks whose water levels had overflowed.

Palo, the town next to Tacloban City, was flooded badly. Bangon River had swelled to threatening levels and the Bernard Reed Bridge, which is currently undergoing rehabilitation, was at risk of being damaged further.

We heard reports of a bridge in Sta. Fe being hit by flood waters and rendered impassable, effectively cutting off motor travel to the south from Tacloban to Ormoc and Biliran. (Update 11PM March 18: damaged bridge now passable; travel to Ormoc now okay. – gerry)

Gosh this was serious.

So me and my wife, Ludette, set off this afternoon for a look-see. We headed straight to Bangon River in Palo where we earlier heard reports of heavy flooding.

Here’s what I got…

Photos taken March 17, 2011.

The scene at the newly-opened Baras-Salvacion Bridge: Bangon River in Palo, Leyte swells and overflows.

A 10-wheeler truck crossing over to Palo near the Bernard Reed Bridge.

Bernard Reed Bridge, above, with water underneath reaching dangerous levels.

Above photos: the scene along the Bangon River banks as seen from Purisima Bridge in Palo, Leyte.

The scene at an evacuation center in Brgy. Cogon, Palo.

At Brgy. Salvacion, Palo.


View flooding at Palo gallery slideshow.
Music: Clair de Lune (from Suite bergamasque of Debussy’s) by Daniel Ho

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30 Responses to “Leyte Flooding”

  1. Thanks kuya gerry for sharing the pics.

  2. Thank you for the update on Leyte Flooding. It’s really terrible, my brod and his wife are still at their rooftop in Palo, Leyte until this very moment… May God keep them safe and other victims from landslides and other tragedies. I have reposted your blog in my FB account so that my other friends’ families would know the latest news, too. Thank you again and Mabuhay Ka!

  3. terrible!!! do you have same photos of tacloban flood? hope you can upload them. anyway, thanks for the update news even it’s a sad one. again a million thanks to you!!

    • Wasn’t able to take shots at V&G; I have to be honest, I do not know my way around V&G and the interior brgys of Tac. During fiesta time at V&G, I get lost & get stuck in traffic. :(

  4. thanks for sharing this valuable information. it gives us a clearer picture on the situation of the recent flooding in the town.

  5. gosh..the pictures speak a thousand words…i like best the scene in the evacuation center, it shows how very resilient the pinoys are..but honestly hope everyone will do a part in taking care of our environment…

  6. takes nerves of steel to shoot these!

  7. Thank you for sharing these photos. I have only been receiving calls from my mom in Baras regarding the flood. And thank God we haven’t been that much affected, as compared to the other areas. Pero grabe lang talaga! Is it still pouring hard in Tacloban?

  8. I was right. Regional Director Edgardo M. Esperancilla of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) has said Wednesday’s downpour was more than double the monthly average volume in the region, and the biggest volume recorded by the DoST office in the Tacloban area at 396 milliliters (mm).

    Ed said the volume of rainfall recorded by DoST’s rain gauge in Tacloban last Wednesday was very abnormal. He added It was above the monthly average of 173 mm for the region.

    Other areas in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) also recorded moderate to heavy rainfall with 139 mm in Catbalogan City, Samar; 113 mm in Borongan City, Eastern Samar; 87 mm in Catarman, Northern Samar; and 66 mm in Maasin City, Southern Leyte. He said rains will continue until tomorrow.


  9. I’ve never heard this coming from our town, was really worried about it?!
    Thanks a lot for these pics, you did a great job updating us about Tacloban…

  10. again hats off to you for these thousand word photos!!! we the expatriates need people like you who braves this flood to show to us the exact situation there thanks a lot!

  11. Hi kuya Gerry. Very helpful photos and information. Thanks a lot. However, my grandparents live in Sta. Fe, do you have any updates, photos or any information about the area? Is the area in a state of calamity as Palo? My Dad, their son, is out of the country. I’ll really appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks much. I’ll wait fro your response.

    • Welcome! Tonight’s news on TV (7PM, March 18) only mentioned Tacloban, Palo, Tanauan & Tolosa as being declared under a “State of Calamity.” Oh, here’s an update, travel from Tacloban to Ormoc is now okay so the damaged bridge in Sta. Fe is now passable. Got this info just minutes ago. :)

    • Thank you very much for the info Gerry. I appreciate it… Godbless the people in Leyte, specially the victims, and you as well.

  12. Very informative, better than the daily news. Like I said sometime, thank you for being the eye of Leyte… through your pictures, I see what is happening in Leyte although I´m miles away.


    • Thank you for your comment, Nilda.

      Just a simple request, though. Perhaps you are not aware of it yet but maybe next time, please don’t type in all capital letters; netiquette (internet etiquette) says typing in all caps is SHOUTING and appears offensive to many. ;) Thanks, again. ;)

  14. Thanks, Gerry for your very informative news and clear photos. I really appreciate it, you always did a good job… My Prayers to the whole family in Cabalawan who perished in the landslide, may their souls rest in peace… Let’s pray to our Lord Jesus and His Mother of Mercy for the safety of the whole province of Leyte, Japan, the Middle East and to the whole world in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ… Amen. Keep up the good work and may the good Lord keep you out in danger in all the things you do and GOD bless…

  15. the heavy floods indeed has done a great damage to palo and to other neighboring towns. this is really the first time that we encountered this kind of flooding in our place. it’s so scary… it’s good that the rain has finally stopped… i hope the fine weather would continue to hold.

  16. I’ve just discovered your blog this morning. I will be reading it regularly from this point on. Thank you.

  17. I’m really thankful to have found this website. Just what I was searching for. :D Have likewise saved it to my favorites.

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