Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

November 18, 1943

Four days of typhoon and devastating floods. Rarely had I seen such torrential rains, and certainly never during this month of November. The flood was high in all streets and ground floors of buildings in all districts of Manila, except Intramuros. The electric plant was inundated and the big light factory of Laguna blew up and for four days we had no light, no streetcars, no telephone, no cooking gas, no newspapers, no radio and almost no running water. Were we in Manila or in Batanes?

According to the old folks, they had not seen a similar flood in the century. In some districts, as Paco, Singalong and Mandaluyong, the water rose to a height of two or three meters. A good number of persons were drowned although the newspapers were silent about them, failing to make mention either of the storm or of its destruction—as if it were another war secret. If the observatory had announced the whereabouts and direction of the typhoon, many would have prepared for it. But the weather, which was the most common topic of conversation, was kept a secret as if on it depended the course of the war.

As the wind blew with greater fury, and the rain fell more torrentially, four big fires broke out.

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