MANILA, Philippines – Residents living in low-lying areas and near waterways in Metro Manila were ordered evacuated yesterday as torrential rains caused by the southwest monsoon continued to affect the capital and nearby provinces.
The Quezon City government recommended emergency evacuation of residents living along Tullahan River as the La Mesa Dam neared its spilling level yesterday afternoon.
According to Laging Handa Philippines, the government’s crisis communication center, La Mesa Dam was at 80.5 meters as of 2:30 p.m., or 10 centimeters below overflow level.
The Marikina City government also ordered the mandatory evacuation of residents near the Marikina River as it reached Alert Level 4 or over 18 meters, well above the 15-meter critical level.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the rainy weather experienced in Metro Manila and nearby provinces is expected to persist until tomorrow.
State weather forecaster Samuel Duran said a low-pressure area and a tropical depression outside the Philippine area of responsibility have enhanced the southwest monsoon.
Duran said the low-pressure area, which was located north of Batanes, exited the country yesterday but would continue to indirectly affect the country’s weather.
“Monsoon rains which may trigger flashfloods and landslides will be experienced over Metro Manila and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas,” PAGASA said.
“Occasional rains will prevail over the rest of Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, the rest of Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Western Visayas. Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over the rest of Luzon and the Visayas, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms is expected over Mindanao,” it added.
Meanwhile, Duran said the tropical depression over the Pacific Ocean is not expected to enter the country but may also enhance the southwest monsoon.
The weather forecaster said some parts of Metro Manila recorded as much as 39 millimeters of rain in one hour, which is classified as torrential.
PAGASA yesterday issued an orange rainfall warning in Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Zambales and Bataan, warning residents of possible flashfloods.
On the other hand, a yellow rainfall warning, which could cause flooding in low-lying areas, was issued in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Laguna.
Malacañang said President Duterte is monitoring the areas affected by heavy rainfall.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella and presidential special assistant Christopher Go said the defense department has been mobilized for rescue and evacuation operations.
“They are getting reports from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on the status of the Marikina River and are preparing for preemptive evacuations,” the Palace said.
As of 3:30 p.m. yesterday, monitoring by the MMDA reported 18 flooded areas in Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan and Pasay City.
These were España Boulevard to Lacson Street (northbound and southbound), España-Antipolo Street and Rizal Avenue-R. Papa, all in Manila; EDSA-P.Tuazon, EDSA-Quezon Avenue, EDSA-Santolan, Araneta Avenue-Victory, EDSA-Kaingin, E. Rodriguez Avenue- De los Santos and E. Rodriguez-Araneta Avenue intersection, all in Quezon City and EDSA-MCU in Caloocan.
The Sapang Balas tunnel along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway in Dinalupihan, Bataan was also not passable to light vehicles due to heavy flooding.
Classes suspended, flights cancelled
Classes in all levels were again suspended yesterday in Manila, Malabon, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Taguig, Marikina, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Olongapo and Subic in Zambales, Antipolo in Rizal, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac.
The media affairs division of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) yesterday said there is no runway closure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), contrary to reports.
Jess Martinez, assistant media affairs division head, said the diversion of some domestic and international flights last Friday was due to poor runway visibility brought about by the prevailing bad weather.
Eight domestic and seven international flights were diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga on Friday night.
These flights arrived at the NAIA yesterday morning.
However, another five flights were diverted to Clark while several flights were again cancelled yesterday due to the bad weather.
Meanwhile, MIAA and Manila Electric Company (Meralco) personnel are fixing a Cargohaus billboard that collapsed in front of NAIA Terminal 4 and affected power supply.
Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officials said they were monitoring the situation and were ready to provide assistance to concerned local government units.
As of yesterday, the DSWD said there were a total of 195,845 family food packs ready for distribution, aside from the 10,000 brown rice bars given to the agency by the DWD-National Resource Operations Center. – With Christina Mendez, Rhodina Villanueva, Rudy Santos, Ding Cervantes, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Mike Frialde, Rainier Allan Ronda
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