MANILA, Philippines – The Toll Regulatory Board said the Monday morning flash flood at the South Luzon Expressway, which left many stranded, was “extraordinary” and beyond their control.
In an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM Thursday, TRB Executive Director Edmund Reyes said they were equally surprised at the waist-high floodwaters that swamped 4 to 5 kilometers of the expressway.
“Before the heavy rainfall, we had a comprehensive assessment of all low-lying areas of our tollways. We checked the drainage systems leading to and from the tollways and surprisingly, [the Southwoods exit] is not among the areas identified as critical,” he said.
Reyes said the large volume of rain and floodwaters easily overwhelmed the infrastructure.
Over a 24-hour period (from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday), the state weather bureau measured a record 475 millimeters of rainfall in Sangley Point in Cavite. This is way above the 364.2 mm recorded on August 7 last year, during the week-long monsoon rains.
On Twitter, Alabang Bulletin (@alabangbulletin) posted a photo showing a flooded SLEx. Four cars were seen submerged in murky water.
By Monday afternoon, the flood had subsided, making both north and south-bound passable.
The TRB chief also attributed the floods to the nearby communities. He said SLEx was swamped because the infrastructure systems of the nearby villages could not control the floods.