Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Over 1 M affected by monsoon rains - Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring has affected more than one million people and left at least 16 dead, officials said yesterday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said a total of 1,065,353 persons or 225,056 families in 1,035 barangays have been affected by the bad weather that hit a huge part of Luzon.

Of the affected persons, 343,068 individuals or 73,191 families were displaced.

The NDRRMC said 163,868 persons or 35,668 families were in 501 evacuation centers nationwide, while 179,200 individuals or 37,523 families opted to stay at the homes of friends and relatives.

The death toll from the southwest monsoon rose to 16 yesterday, based on combined reports from NDRRMC and regional civil defense offices.

New fatalities were recorded in Calabarzon, Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Six of the new fatalities died of drowning, namely Rustom Despeda of Sariaya, Quezon; Lodigario Parado Plasilo of Meycauayan, Bulacan; John Genesis of Noveleta, Cavite; Roberto Capili and Constantine Modesto, both from Imus City, Cavite, and Nelson Fausto of Rizal.

A certain Roman Sanchez of Lubao, Pampanga was electrocuted.

An 84-year-old woman identified as Purita Malos died when she was swept away by floods in San Dionisio, ParaƱaque City, making her the first fatality in Metro Manila.

Other fatalities that were reported previously were Jeric Sorgello of Bataan, Renato Roman Lacsamana and Justin Viray both from Pampanga, Jian Charles Centeno of Bulacan, Joros Miyage and Celedenonio Gamban, both from Cavite, Franco Pedrito Cawayan of Apayao and Austin Betasolo of Rizal.

A total of 41 people were hurt while five others remained missing.

The heavy monsoon rains also damaged P73.48 million worth of infrastructure and agriculture.

The NDRRMC said 68 roads and two bridges in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, the Bicol region, Cordillera and Metro Manila are still not passable to all types of vehicles as of yesterday afternoon.

NDRRMC spokesman Maj. Rey Balido said the areas placed under state of calamity were Bataan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, ParaƱaque, Muntinlupa, Malabon, Marikina and Pateros, in Metro Manila; Candon City, Narvacan, Gregorio del Pilar and Sta. Maria, all in Ilocos Sur; Dagupan City and Sta. Barbara in Pangasinan; Victoria and Barangay Lagnas in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

The town of Calasiao in Pangasinan was also placed under a state of calamity as 18 of its 24 barangays were still submerged.

The high volume of rainfall from the monsoon rains for the past three days submerged most areas in Luzon, destroying lives and properties that forced many towns and cities, particularly in Central Luzon, to declare a state of calamity.

The heavy rains also caused the water level to rise in several dams in Luzon, including one in Metro Manila.

Even as the monsoon rains weakened with Maring exiting the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday, three major dams in Luzon continue to release excess water.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the Ipo dam in Bulacan, and the Ambuklao and Binga dams in Benguet province had two gates open each as of 2 p.m. yesterday.

The water level at Ipo dam was at 100.77 meters, slightly below its spilling level of 100.80 meters.

Ambuklao and Binga dams had water levels of 751.37 m (normal 752.00) and 573.70 (normal 575.00), respectively.

Magat dam in Isabela stopped releasing water as of midnight yesterday.

The La Mesa dam in Quezon City, however, continued to overflow as of yesterday afternoon.

An official of Manila Water said they are monitoring the water level at La Mesa as it continues to overflow.

Teddy Angeles, headworks manager of the La Mesa Dam for Manila Water, said the dam is still on red alert after its water level rose to 80.31 meters as of noon yesterday.

Angeles said latest monitoring showed dam elevation is beyond the spilling level of 80.15 meters.

Angeles warned it is not yet safe for affected residents to go back to their houses and advised them to stay in evacuation centers.

The dam flows along Tullahan River, so in case it reaches spilling level, affected areas will be Fairview in Quezon City, and Caloocan City.

As it exits to Manila Bay, it will affect residents in Valenzuela, Malabon and Navotas areas.

NDRRMC executive director Eduardo del Rosario said he is satisfied with the preparations of the local governments.

He also lauded PAGASA for coming up with accurate and timely forecasts.

Del Rosario, however, cited the need to further improve public awareness about the risks posed by disasters. He noted some residents refused to leave their homes because they were concerned about losing their properties.

"The cooperation of civilians is very important. The local governments did what they had to do and in general the cooperation of the general populace was encouraging," Del Rosario said. – Helen Flores, Rhodina Villanueva, Eva Visperas, Ding Cervantes, Teddy Molina, Non Alquitran, Raymund Catindig, Michelle Zoleta, Juancho Mahusay, Ric Sapnu


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