Flood submerges Metro Manila, Luzon » Manila Bulletin News

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Houses washed away, thousands stranded, classes and work suspended

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By Alexandria Dennise San Juan and Ellalyn De Vera Ruiz

Floods washed away houses and submerged most parts of Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces yesterday due to heavy rains dumped by tropical depression “Maring,” stranding thousands of passengers and forcing authorities to suspend classes and work in government offices.

In its forecast, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised a “yellow rainfall warning” in Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, and Quezon. In the weather bureau’s color-coded rainfall warning system, “yellow” means a downpour of 7.5-15 mm rain within an hour that may cause floods in low-lying areas.

STAYING DRY — This is not an office girl’s usual ride to the office, but on this day when rains spawned by typhoon ‘Maring’ cause much flooding even in uptown Makati City, any ride that will keep oneself dry will do. (Mark R. Cristino/EPA-EFE | Manila Bulletin)

PAGASA weather forecaster Nikos Peñaranda said Maring, which made landfall at 9 a.m. Monday in in Mauban, Quezon, brought heavy rains and gusty winds in areas it crossed, including Laguna, Rizal, and Metro Manila.

Moderate to heavy rains were experienced in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.

PAGASA rainfall monitoring stations recorded the highest 24-hour rainfall in Alabat, Quezon, at 537.5 millimeters, which is almost twice its normal rainfall of 253 millimeters in September. It is followed by Ambulong, Batangas, at 273.7 millimeters, which also exceeded its normal monthly rainfall of 252 millimeters.

PAGASA hydrologist Elmer Caringal said they have issued flood warnings over 11 regions that may experience possible flooding in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas. These are Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Davao Region.

He said flood advisories were also issued in three major river basins, namely Bicol, Pampanga and Pasig-Marikina river basins.

Several areas within the Pasig-Marikina River Basin have reached critical level due to Maring’s rains, prompting authorities to raise the first alarm in Montalban, San Mateo, Burgos, Sto. Niño, Tumana and Marcos Highway, Caringal said.

Rains will lessen significantly by Wednesday but moderate to heavy rains are still expected over the western section of Central and Northern Luzon as Maring moves towards the West Philippine Sea, Peñaranda said.

Houses washed away

In Quezon City, some families in Barangay Tatalon evacuated as their houses were wrecked and washed away by flashfloods after San Juan River overflowed due to overnight heavy downpour of rain.

Other houses in the heavily populated barangay were submerged in floods.

Residents of Roxas District, Barangay Kristong Hari in Quezon City also experienced a waist-deep to chest-deep floods.

In Barangay San Antonio, residents also woke up in chest-deep floods.

Some barangay officials helped people to pass through knee-deep flood on G. Araneta Avenue using boats.

Vehicles were stranded and had a hard time passing along Panay Avenue and EDSA-Aurora underpass because of floods.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warned passengers and vehicles of gutter-deep and knee-deep floods on East Avenue and Kamuning Road.

Passengers rescued

In Pitogo, Quezon, 22 passengers of a DLTB bus were rescued after the vehicle they were riding in got stranded due to heavy flooding.

Flooding in Quezon and Aurora prompted the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to suspended provincial bus trips to the two provinces.

UNITY IN CALAMITY – Officials of Barangay Zapote in Las Piñas help people pass through a flooded road using rescue boats as ‘Maring’ poured heavy rains yesterday. (Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin)

UNITY IN CALAMITY – Officials of Barangay Zapote in Las Piñas help people pass through a flooded road using rescue boats as ‘Maring’ poured heavy rains yesterday. (Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin)

Lawyer Aileen Lizada, board member and spokesperson of the LTFRB, said the bus trips to the two provinces were suspended based on PAGASA forecast.

Rescue teams also safely rescued a driver of a Mitsubishi Montero owned by the mayor of Calabangan, Camarines Sur, due flooding and bad weather in the area.

“At first, troops from the Army’s 85th Infantry Brigade were trying to locate him but eventually he was found,” said National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesman Romina Marasigan.

Marasigan said that they have received reports of evacuations being done in Quezon province, Laguna and  Batangas due to heavy flooding.

“We are confirming with our regional councils kung ano na update sa mga evacuations ng naturang lugar. We are also enforcing forced evacuations especially in coastal areas where we expect rising waters,” she said.

Flooding was also experienced in Barangay Bali, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque.

Roads closed

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Manila South Road in Barangays San Isidro and Malinao Ibaba, Atimonan, Quezon, was closed to traffic due to flooding.

DPWH in its advisory said they were continuously monitoring the road as it became one-meter deep flooded Tuesday afternoon.

A situational report of the agency at 3 p.m. showed that a landslide occurred along Lagonoy-Presentation Road in Camarines Sur. Local DPWH unit said that all available equipment and maintenance crew were immediately deployed.

The rest of the road sections, the DPWH said, were still passable to traffic.

Stranded

Meanwhile, over a thousand passengers were stranded in various ports in the country due to Maring.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said that as of 12 noon, a total of 1,170 passengers were stranded in various ports in Bicol Region, National Capital Region (NCR), and Southern Tagalog.

COLD NIGHT AHEAD — Homeless people in Luneta seek shelter under an umbrella while others made tents out of old tarpaulin posters while tropical depression 'Maring' dumped heavy rains Monday night and Tuesday.  (Jun Ryan Arañas | Manila Bulletin)

COLD NIGHT AHEAD — Homeless people in Luneta seek shelter under an umbrella while others made tents out of old tarpaulin posters while tropical depression ‘Maring’ dumped heavy rains Monday night and Tuesday. (Jun Ryan Arañas | Manila Bulletin)

Ports in Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and Camarines Sur have 453 stranded passengers. Ports in Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Southern and Northern Quezon, on the other hand, have 701 stranded passengers.

Pritil Wharf in Coast Guard Station Laguna de Bay has 16 stranded passengers.

Almost 200 rolling cargoes, 37 vessels and 20 motobancas were also stranded in the three regions.

Moreover, three vessels, namely: MV Saint Therese of Child Jesus, MV Saimt Leo the Great, and MV Saint Agustine of Hippo, were stranded at the North Harbor in Manila. The vessels were supposedly bound for ports in Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Ozamis, Iligan, Coron, and Puerto Prinsesa, the PCG said.

Classes, work suspended

The floods prompted Malacañang to suspended government work in Metro Manila, Region 3 (Central Luzon), and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).

The Office of the Executive Secretary announced that work in government offices in Metro Manila, Region 3 and Calabarzon had been suspended, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

The work suspension was made upon the recommendation of the NDRRMC, Abella added.

Local officials also suspended classes in various areas.

The Supreme Court also announced that work in courts in the three regions has also been suspended due to flooding.

In Zambales, the local government announced the suspension of classes in all levels today, Wednesday.

On Tuesday, classes in all levels – from pre-school, elementary, high school and college – were suspended in Metro Manila.

Classes in all levels have also been cancelled in Quezon Province, Bataan, Batangas, Laguna, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Cavite as well as in Bulacan particularly in Angat, Bocaue, Hagonoy, Guiguinto, Malolos, Marilao, Meycauayan, Norzagaray, San Jose del Monte, San Ildefonso and Obando.

In Pampanga, classes in all levels were suspended in Mabalacat, Magalang, Mexico, and Sta. Rita while classes from pre-school to elementary were cancelled in City of San Fernando.

Classes in all levels were also suspend in Rizal, particularly in Antipolo, Binangonan, Cainta, Cardona, Morong, and Taytay. Classes in public pre-school to high school were also suspended in Teresa.

In Oriental Mindoro, classes in all levels were suspended in Calapan as well in Camarines Sur and Iloilo.

Meanwhile, classes from pre-school to high school were suspended in some parts of Bulacan including Bustos, Calumpit, Paombong while classes from pre-school to elementary were cancelled in Pulilan, and Sta. Maria.

Maring veering away

Meanwhile, Maring is expected at 205 km west of Iba, Zambales, by Wednesday afternoon.

By Thursday, western Luzon, particularly Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Marinduque, Palawan, Pangasinan and La Union can expect light rains.

Improved weather is expected by Friday, he added.

As this developed, typhoon “Lannie” (international name “Talim”) will not directly affect the country as it moves toward Taiwan and eastern China, Peñaranda said.

As of Tuesday noon, Lannie was at 865 km east of Basco, Batanes. (With reports from Francis T. Wakefield, Betheena Kae Unite, Anna Liza V. Alavaren, Jaimie Rose Aberia, Analou de Vera, Jel Santos, Merlina H. Malipot, and Chito A. Chavez)

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