Metro Manila, 8 provinces flooded

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UNDERWATER A road leading to the City Hall extension in San Fernando, Pampanga province, remains submerged despite drainage canals just completed by the Department of PublicWorks and Highways. TONETTE T. OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

UNDERWATER A road leading to the City Hall extension in San Fernando, Pampanga province, remains submerged despite drainage canals just completed by the Department of PublicWorks and Highways. TONETTE T. OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

THE ONSLAUGHT of “habagat” (southwest monsoon) in the country that began on Aug. 8 has left at least five people dead and more than 20,000 people in evacuation centers, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said rains would continue in the next several days, enhanced by a low-pressure area over Batanes province.

Pagasa warned of further possible flash floods and landslides.

While the monsoon is expected to ease on Wednesday, moderate to heavy rains are still expected to continue from Wednesday to Friday over Metro Manila and western and southern Luzon.

In its situation report at 8 a.m. on Sunday, the NDRRMC said two men died following the collapse of a firewall in Santa Cruz, Manila, last Saturday while another died when a wall collapsed on a shanty in Barangay Mariana, Quezon City, also on Saturday. The fatalities were unidentified.

The NDRRMC reported two drowning victims last week—Benedicto Brasileno, 68, of Janiuay, Iloilo province, on Wednesday and an unidentified man whose body was recovered at the Nagtahan Pumping Station in Manila last Thursday.

Missing was Reuben Pahilagmo, 59, of Gasan, Marinduque province, who went fishing last Monday. John Harry Ocera, 38, of Antipolo City, Rizal province, was injured by falling boulders in Barangay Dolores, Taytay, also in Rizal, last Friday.

The NDRRMC said flooding hit several areas in eight provinces, mostly in Bulacan, Bataan and Zambales. It said 5,139 families, or 24,225 people, remained in 52 evacuation centers in about 20 towns.

A total of 15,665 families, or about 70,000 people, were affected across the country.

Task force

The Office of Civil Defense-National Capital Region activated a task force last Saturday to monitor flooding and conduct preemptive evacuations in Marikina, Valenzuela, Quezon City and San Juan City.

In Metro Manila, the Marikina River overflowed around 6 a.m. last Saturday, flooding the LRT-FVR Road and other streets. The flooding was reported to have subsided by 9 p.m. the same day.

A 12-meter bridge was washed out in Barangay San Jose, Tuy, Batangas province, while a landslide occurred in Barangay Naparing, Dinalupihan, Bataan province.

In Santa Cruz, Occidental Mindoro province, the Pola Spillway overflowed beginning Tuesday, rendering roads impassable to vehicles.

Flooding was reported in Pontevedra, Valladolid, San Enrique and Pulupandan in Negros Occidental province, which led to the evacuation of 50 families.

Funds and food

Low-lying areas of Iloilo City, the towns of San Remegio and Sibalom in Antique province, and Sultan Mastura in Maguindanao province, were also affected by floods.

The NDRRMC said the Department of Social Welfare and Development had sent about P293 million worth of standby funds and food and nonfood stockpiles to nine regions as of 11 p.m. Saturday.

Vicente Tomazar, a council director, said as of noon on Sunday, 4,287 families were staying in public schools and basketball courts in Rizal after fleeing their homes last Friday and Saturday.

In San Mateo, a landslide at Barangay Malanday destroyed four houses but injured no one.

Floods spawned affected 3,679  families (15,067 people) in Pampanga, Bataan, Bulacan and Zambales, and forced 172 families (669 people) to head for the closest chapels,  barangay halls and schools since Saturday night, disaster officials said. Some 130 barangays were flooded in the region.

Strong currents in Hermosa, Bataan, washed out shanties, leaving 10 families homeless and three others with damaged houses.

In Pangasinan, floods affected 21 villages in the towns of Santa Barbara and  Calasiao, and in Dagupan City. – Jerome Aning , Reports from Dona Z. Pazzibugan; and Tonette Orejas,  Carmela Reyes, Greg Refraccion and Alan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon;  Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon



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