Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
Research article
26 Apr 2011
Research article |  | 26 Apr 2011

Reconstructing the Tropical Storm Ketsana flood event in Marikina River, Philippines

C. C. Abon, C. P. C. David, and N. E. B. Pellejera

Abstract. In September 2009, Tropical Storm Ketsana (local name: TS Ondoy) hit the Manila metropolitan area (Metro Manila) and brought an anomalous volume of rain that exceeded the Philippines' forty-year meteorological record. The storm caused exceptionally high and extensive flooding. Part of this study was a survey conducted along the stretch of the Marikina River, one of the major rivers that flooded. Post-event resident interviews were used to reconstruct the flooding in the absence of stream gauge data. Hydraulic and hydrologic modeling were carried out to understand the mechanism that brought the flood. Peak floods occurred at different hours along the river resulting from the transmission of water from the main watershed to the downstream areas. Modeled peak flood and flood timing coincided well with actual observations except for downstream stations where actual peak floods were observed to have occurred at a later time. Compounding factors such as other flood sources and stream backflow could have caused this discrepancy. Nevertheless, prediction of flood heights and the use of the known time lag between the peak rainfall and the peak runoff could be utilized to issue timely flood forecasts to allow people to prepare for future flooding.