Monsoons: 8 dead, thousands evacuated
(The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – At least eight people died and over 70,000 were displaced last week, while classes are suspended again today because of heavy rains and flooding.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) identified one of the victims as Benedicto Brasileño, 60, of Barangay Cabauillian, Janiuay, Iloilo.

Brasileño drowned while crossing Malbug River. He was swept by a strong current in the morning of Aug. 10. His body was retrieved hours later.

In San Ildefonso town in Bulacan, farmer Rufino Lozada, 74, yesterday drowned while crossing the Maasim River to bring his carabao to higher ground. He was also swept by strong current, disaster officials said.

In Hagonoy town, Renz Tuazon, 17, drowned while swimming in Hagonoy River at the height of the rain last Saturday.

Last Friday, an unidentified body was recovered at the Nagtahan Pumping Station.

On Saturday, two persons died after a firewall collapsed along Oroquieta street in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Another person died after a wall of a shanty house at 7th street in Barangay Mariana in Quezon City collapsed.

Authorities said John Harry Ocera, 38, was injured when his legs were hit by a huge mountain rock in Barangay Dolores, Taytay in Rizal, while 57-year-old Ruben Pahilagmo was reported missing after he went fishing on Aug. 8.

In Quezon province, an identified person was killed in a flashflood, while five unidentified people were trapped in Sumag-Angat Transbasin Project in Barangay Umiray in General Nakar town, according to Henry Buzar, provincial disaster management chief.

As of yesterday afternoon, they were not yet rescued.

Over 70,000 people affected

The NDRRMC also said at least 15,665 families, or 70,266 people, were affected in six regions, of which 5,139 families or 24,225 persons are still in evacuation centers.

At least 54 villages in eight municipalities in Pampanga and 22 in four towns of Bulacan and one city were still under floodwater due to continuous heavy rains, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The flood was three-feet high in 54 villages in the towns of Masantol, City of San Fernando, Mexico, Sta. Ana, San Simon, Macabebe, Guagua and Lubao in Pampanga.

At least 335 families, or 1,851 individuals, in the towns of Sta. Rita, Bacolor and City of San Fernando were evacuated to different evacuation centers.

The Baliuag-Candaba road in Candaba, Pampanga was not yet passable to all types of vehicles due to flood.

In Bulacan, the flood was four-feet high in six villages in Meycuayan, six in Malolos, six in Balagtas, three in Bustos, two in Marilao, and one in Norzagaray.

At least 585 families, or 2,814 persons, were evacuated in 17 government evacuation centers since Saturday.

Photo shows residents of Barangay Tumana in Marikina leaving their neighborhood after the city government ordered the mandatory evacuation of those living near the Marikina River. WALTER BOLLOZOS

In Marikina, 1,670 families or 7,937 individuals from low-lying areas were evacuated to higher ground yesterday after the water level of the Marikina River reached 16.1 meters due to heavy rains. The evacuees are housed at 15 evacuation centers in the city.

Meanwhile, 21 houses were damaged in the towns of Pontevedra and Pulupandan in Negros Occidental. About P469,560 worth of relief goods from local government units have been provided to affected residents.

At least 65 passengers were stranded in Coast Guard District in Southern Tagalog, while 18 flights of Cebu Pacific were also cancelled due to heavy rains.

More rains this week

While still reeling from flooding, Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa will continue to experience moderate to occasionally heavy rains from the southwest monsoon this week.

Gener Quitlong, senior weather forecaster at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said two tropical cyclones outside the country continue to enhance the southwest monsoon.

Quitlong said the tropical storms with international names Conson and Chanthu were very far from the Philippines, but they continue to pull the southwest monsoon into the country.

The southwest monsoon will continue to dump moderate to occasionally heavy rains over Benguet, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Zambales, Ilocos region, and Metro Manila.

“We expect this kind of weather (moderate to occasionally heavy rains) until next week as the two storms over the Pacific Ocean continue to enhance the southwest monsoon. Visayas and Mindanao will have improved weather by next week,” Quitlong said.

Classes suspended again today

Classes are suspended in some parts of Metro Manila and in the provinces of Rizal and Pampanga today due to expected heavy rains from the southwest monsoon.

The local government of Manila, Marikina, and Quezon City suspended classes in all levels both public and private.

There will also be no classes in all levels in Cainta, Rodriguez and San Mateo, Rizal.

Classes in all levels are also suspended in the towns of Bacolor, Magalang, Sasmuan, Sto. Tomas, Guagua Mabalacat, Macabebe Sta. Ana and Minalin and the city of San Fernando.

There will be no classes from pre-school to high school in the municipalities of San Simon, Masantol and Mexico.

Classes from pre-school to high school are also suspended in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Dams filled

PAGASA also said monsoon rains have filled major dams in Luzon.

One floodgate at Ipo dam in Bulacan was opened as of 6 a.m. yesterday after its water level reached 101.10 meters. Ipo dam’s normal high water level is 101 meters.

In Bustos dam, two sluice gates and one rubber gate were opened to discharge excess water.

The water supply at Angat dam, meanwhile, was at 179.30 meters as of yesterday morning, still below its normal level of 210 meters.

The water level at La Mesa Dam in Quezon City also went up to 80.07 meters yesterday, only eight centimeters below its spilling level.

Quitlong also said the volume of rain recorded in some areas almost reached their monthly average rainfall.

For instance, in Coron, Palawan the recorded rainfall from Aug. 5 to 12 was 450.4 millimeters or 97 percent of its average rainfall for August of 466.3 mm. Subic, Zambales received 445 mm during the period, or 94 percent of its average monthly rainfall of 475 mm. - Cecille Suerte Felipe, Helen Flores, Ric Sapnu, Non Alquitran, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Michelle Zoleta, Ding Cervantes, Rudy Santos

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