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Weather improves in time for ASEAN

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the easterlies will bring partly cloudy skies with possible isolated rain showers over Metro Manila and Clark, Pampanga, where ASEAN meetings will be held today and tomorrow. PAGASA/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Fair weather is expected to prevail during the country’s hosting of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit and related meetings next week.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the easterlies will bring partly cloudy skies with possible isolated rain showers over Metro Manila and Clark, Pampanga, where ASEAN meetings will be held today and tomorrow.

On Monday, mostly cloudy skies with possible isolated rains will prevail over these areas.

Fair weather is expected in Luzon and Visayas until Friday next week, PAGASA assistant weather services chief Rene Paciente said.

Paciente said the weather bureau monitored a cloud cluster, which could bring rains over Mindanao next week.

Tropical Storm Salome (international name Haikui) left the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday after bringing rains and gusty winds in many parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila on Thursday.

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As of 3 p.m., Salome was spotted at 190 kilometers west northwest of Iba, Zambales with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.

Forecast to move northwest at 20 kph, Salome is expected to exit the country today.

Classes were suspended yesterday in Metro Manila and nearby provinces because of the bad weather.

Floods, landslides 

Salome triggered floods and landslides in Southern Tagalog on Thursday, forcing thousands of individuals to evacuate to higher grounds. 

Olivia Luces, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director  in Calabarzon  (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), reported that four persons were injured when Salome hit Quezon.

The victims were identified as Luzviminda Atendido Jayona, Jeffrey Loreto Morillo, Oscar Almeida and Joan Aquibay, all of Atimonan.

A fallen divider pinned down Jayona when her house was hit by a tree uprooted by Salome while Morillo was hit by a flying galvanized sheet. Almeida suffered injuries when the vehicle he was using for preemptive evacuation was struck by a flying tree branch and Aquibay had a heart attack during the storm.

As of yesterday, Alabat and Pitogo towns in Quezon were still experiencing power outages due to flooding caused by heavy rains. Floods in Atimonan, however, started to subside yesterday.

In Laguna, three barangays in Paete have remained flooded while  Batuhan, Bulihan, Damagayan, Magdalo, Caballero, Asana and Poblacion were under waist to knee-deep floodwaters on Thursday.

Eugene Cabrera, Office of Civil Defense regional director in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblom and Palawan), on the other hand, reported that  257 families in Mindoro Oriental and Marinduque were  forced to evacuate to higher ground due to floods.

Two succeeding landslides also hit Boac and Sta. Cruz towns in Marinduque Thursday afternoon while another was in Romblon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported  that the cancellation of sea travel in Bicol and Southern Tagalog left 2,318 passengers, 354 rolling cargoes, 52 vessels and 43 motor boats stranded in the Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Bicol.

Ship runs aground

In Sorsogon, a cargo vessel with 21 crew members ran aground at the height of Salome on Thursday.

M/V Kitty of Pherwin Shipping Corp. struck coral reefs off Barcelona at around 9:30 a.m.

Police and Philippine Coast Guard personnel proceeded to the area to inspect the vessel, Senior Inspector Neil Jasper Agnote, Barcelona police chief, said.

The shipping company sent a tug boat to pull the cargo vessel back to sea.

11 fishermen missing

In Camarines Norte, 11 fishermen were reported missing as the storm pounded the Bicol region.

Two motorized boats also capsized in the waters of Lagonoy in the province due to big waves and strong winds.

Strong winds toppled trees and power was cut off in Albay.

Around 1,000 passengers were stranded at the Matnog port in Sorsogon and other ports in Bicol.

Classes suspended

Classes in all levels in public and private schools in Pampanga were suspended yesterday due to heavy rains spawned by Salome. Work in government offices were also suspended.   

Classes were also suspended in Metro Manila to ensure the safety of the students. 

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority assistant general manager for operations Jojo Garcia said they activated the MMDA’s disaster control center to monitor the weather situation in the metropolis.– Jaime Laude, Celso Amo, Ric Sapnu, Robertzon Ramirez

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