‘Henry’ leaves Metro, provinces flooded


Thousands of commuters on Tuesday found themselves deep in water as Metro Manila, other parts of Luzon and the Visayas were submerged in floods in the wake of Tropical Storm “Henry.”

But there might be no respite yet from the rains. Weathermen forecast a low pressure area to swirl into the Philippine area of responsibility via the northern tip of the country on Wednesday.

Hours of monsoon rains triggered flooding and landslides in many parts of the archipelago throughout Tuesday, stranding thousands of commuters, causing traffic gridlocks and forcing the suspension of classes and government work.

Henry (international name: Son-Tinh) exited the Philippines early Tuesday, but Luzon and Visayas would continue to experience rains induced by the enhanced southwest monsoon, weather forecaster Ariel Rojas said.

Metro communities

On Tuesday night, some cities and municipalities announced the suspension of classes on Wednesday in anticipation of possible flooding and landslides.

In the metropolis, floods in densely populated areas such as Roxas Boulevard in Manila and Araneta Avenue in Quezon City reached knee-high.

Some communities, such as Roxas District and those along E. Rodriguez Avenue, were submerged in waist-deep waters.

Large portions of flood-prone areas, such as Malabon, Valenzuela and Marikina cities, were knee-deep in water, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

By noon, the MMDA declared several routes in Quezon City and Manila impassable to certain types of vehicles.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the MMDA deployed at least three military trucks, five trucks and three buses across the metropolis to help stranded commuters, said i-ACT spokesperson Aileen Lizada.

In Quezon City, small black ferry boats were made available to commuters. In Manila, the PCG personnel helped passengers out of gutter-deep floods with plastic chairs.

Suspended work, classes

Malacañang suspended work in government offices and classes in public schools after noontime, as many motorists were trapped in pockets of floods in low-lying areas and traffic jams. The Supreme Court also suspended work.

Early Tuesday, a landslide occurred along the Ternate-Nasugbu road near the Kaybiang tunnel in Cavite province, making it impassable to motorists heading to Batangas province.

Another was reported near Lulungisan Bridge in Indang town, also in Cavite.

Barangays Labac, Mabulo, and Bancaan in Naic, Cavite, were submerged in floods, and so were Barangay Balanga in Ibaan, Batangas, and four subdivisions along Felix Manalo Avenue in Barangay San Isidro in Cainta, Rizal province.

Local officials of Sablayan town in Occidental Mindoro province suspended classes in private and public schools in all levels due to heavy rains.

In Bataan province, all 11 towns and Balanga City were flooded when rains pounded Central Luzon from Monday night to early Tuesday.

Bataan Freeport

Residents of Barangay Almacen, the most flood-prone coastal village in Hermosa town, rode in bancas to the municipal center to buy grocery items and other food provisions. Other low-lying villages were knee-deep in water.

In Mariveles town, five companies operating at the Freeport Area of Bataan suspended operations before noon Tuesday due to rising floodwaters.

Floods also affected Barangay Balon-Anito, San Isidro, Ricarte and Laya in Mariveles.

In Balanga City, the coastal Barangay Puerto Rivas Ibaba was swamped with floodwaters, affecting its dried fish (“tinapa”) industry. Floods also affected Barangay Cataning there.

In Pampanga province, floods affected 28 villages, with water rising to four feet in Lubao town, according to officials.

As rains pummeled Bulacan province, the local government suspended classes and government work. Floods also made the Marilao town portion of the MacArthur Highway impassable for light vehicles.

On Monday, the Super Shuttle Ferry 1 ran aground near an islet near Balingoan port in Misamis Oriental because of strong waves. The 47 passengers and 16 crew members were rescued. —Reports from Krixia Subingsubing, Melvin Gascon, Julie Aurelio, Maricar Cinco, Madonna T. Virola, Greg Refraccion, Tonette Orejas, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Villamor Visaya Jr. and Jigger J. Jerusalem

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