This was taken at the exact location of the Cherry Hills Subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal, a suburb in east of Metro Manila in 1999. I was there wearing the black shirt and my bestfriend Christine with the red backpack. I know we looked happy but actually we were nervous trecking those rocky terrains. Those were what’s left of the subdivision when the mountainside collapsed during a landslide because of non-stop raining.
I was there to cover the event, I even smelled the stench of death, it was not a very pretty sight. The story of the people who survived was chilling.
As many as 109 people died in the Philippines when Typhoon Olga provoked torrential rains and flooding throughout much of South East Asia in early August. The areas worst affected were Manila, Pampanga, Rizal and Pangasinan. Over 73,000 people were forced to leave their homes and seek shelter and food in local halls, schools and clubs. Some 900 families were evacuated from the town of Valenzuela as flood water rose to dangerous heights.
The majority of the deaths were concentrated in one small housing estate—the Cherry Hills subdivision in Antipolo, a Manila suburb, and home to hundreds of families paying off low-cost, concrete houses. On August 3 the subdivision became a death trap when its foundations filled with water and the whole complex slid down the hill on which it was built. (More of this story here)
This was a very old photo of how the Cagsawa Church in Albay Province, Philippines before an eruption of the Mayon Volcano occured in 1814.
By the way, I am celebrating my blog 1 year anniversary and I would like to invite you to join my giveaway. Details here