Flooding everywhere as death toll hits 34

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Heavy rains drenched the entire country yesterday, flooding several areas in Metro Manila, Central and Northern Luzon even as a low-pressure area continued to affect the Visayas and Mindanao.

The week-long weather disturbances left at least 34 people dead, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said two weather systems have been bringing rains over the entire archipelago.

Tropical Depression Onyok further weakened into a low-pressure area but it brought heavy rains in the Visayas and Mindanao region.

On the other hand, the cold winds of the northeast monsoon brought rains to Luzon, where large farming communities have been submerged in waist-deep floods from Typhoon Nona, which hit at the start of the week.

“Almost the entire Philippines is experiencing rains. More floods are possible,” PAGASA weather forecaster Robert Badrina said.

“We expect the rains to peak today. The weather will start to improve tomorrow,” he added.

President Aquino on Friday declared a state of national calamity to hasten relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit areas, particularly in Central Visayas and Southern Luzon that bore the brunt of Typhoon Nona.

Nona induced the northeast monsoon that brought heavy rains and submerged several provinces in Central Luzon and inundated areas in Northern Luzon as well.

Several dams located in Bulacan and Isabela were forced to release water after the continuous rains breached their water elevation levels.

The La Mesa Dam in Metro Manila was also placed under yellow alert as its water level reached 79.80 or 35 millimeters below spilling level.

Rain alert

Onyok, on the other hand, struck the Mindanao mainland on Friday and has weakened into a low-pressure area.

As of 4 p.m., PAGASA said Onyok was estimated to be in the vicinity of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

“This weather system and the tail-end of a cold front will bring cloudy skies with moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms over Caraga Region, Central and Eastern Visayas and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Davao Oriental, Aurora and Quezon,” PAGASA said.

PAGASA warned of possible flashfloods and landslides and cautioned residents to take necessary precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, the weather bureau placed northern Quezon, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under orange rainfall warning level yesterday afternoon due to heavy rains caused by the northeast monsoon.

PAGASA warned of possible flooding in these provinces.

A yellow warning was also raised in Metro Manila, Bataan, Bulacan, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor, which experienced moderate to heavy rainfall yesterday afternoon.

Floods heavily affected the towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy and Pulilan, all in Bulacan.

The Philippine Coast Guard said they have rescued five people who were trapped in their homes in a remote village in Calumpit that was submerged.

“Meanwhile, light to moderate with occasional heavy rains will affect portions of Zambales and Pampanga,” PAGASA added.

“These information are based on current radar trends and all available meteorological data. The public and (regional) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council concerned are advised to take appropriate actions,” it said.

PAGASA warned of up to 30 millimeters of rain per hour in Cebu, Negros and Bohol, while residents were advised to be on alert for possible evacuation.

A total of 6,581 people were evacuated from the Caraga region in Mindanao before Onyok made landfall late Friday.

There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths from the region.

However, NDRRMC executive director Alexander Pama said they are monitoring the situation in the Caraga region and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) because the heavy rains could trigger deadly landslides.

Pama added a total of 96 areas in Cagayan, Valley, Central Luzon and Metro Manila are flooded.


Pama added 13 of the 34 casualties from Typhoon Nona were from the region of Mimaropa (Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon and Palawan).

The rest were from Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol, Metro Manila and Eastern Visayas, he said.

Five others remain missing while 24 people were injured in Nona’s onslaught.

Initial reports said three people were killed in a landslide in Real, Quezon yesterday.

The landslide also buried four houses, reports said.

Initial reports from various field sources also indicated the death toll could have reached 57 but they have yet to be verified by the NDRRMC.

A total of 74,573 families or 362,753 people from five cities, 72 towns and 13 provinces in Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog region, Bicol region and Eastern Visayas have been evacuated.

Pama added that the cost of damage caused by Nona to agriculture and infrastructure has ballooned to P1.6 billion.

About 166,552 houses were damaged in typhoon-battered regions.

Power has yet to be restored in eight cities and 45 municipalities. Some 42 roads, meanwhile, and 21 bridges remain impassable. –Ramon Efren Lazaro, Ghio Ong, Raymund Catindig, Mike Frialde, Ric Sapnu, Edith Regalado, Ben Serrano, Rudy Santos, Evelyn Macairan, Celso Amo

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