ARANETA RIVER: Members of a local government rescue team paddle their way through floodwaters on Araneta Avenue in Quezon City following continuous rains brought about by tropical depression Henry yesterday.
Boy Santos
‘Henry’ inundates Metro Manila, provinces; classes, work suspended
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains spawned by the storm-enhanced southwest monsoon inundated several areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, forcing authorities to suspend classes and work in government offices yesterday.

As Tropical Storm Henry (international name Son-tinh) exited the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday morning, a new low-pressure area east of Northern Luzon was expected to intensify into a tropical cyclone in the next 36 to 48 hours, weather forecasters said.

Aldczar Aurelio, senior weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, said the monsoon would continue to bring rains over Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Metro Manila, Mindoro, Palawan, Western Visayas and Zambales in the next two days.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, a “Yellow Rainfall Warning” or heavy rain was hoisted over Metro Manila.

“Orange Rainfall Warning” or intense rain was raised over Bataan and Zambales.

As of 3 p.m., the low-pressure-area was at 805 kilometers east of Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

It is expected to develop into a tropical depression and will enhance the southwest monsoon.

The new weather disturbance will be named Inday once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility, Aurelio said.

Classes, work suspended

Upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, President Duterte suspended work in all government offices and classes in all public schools in Metro Manila at 1 p.m.   

Duterte issued Memorandum Circular No. 47, ordering agencies involved in the delivery of basic, health and other vital services to disaster and calamity-stricken areas to continue their operations.

The order was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Suspension of work and classes in the private sector was left to the discretion of management and administrators.

Henry intensified from a tropical depression into a storm as it moved westward toward China yesterday.

As of 3 p.m., the center of Henry was located at 700 kilometers west of Basco, Batanes with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It was forecast to move west at a speed of 45 kph.

Following the issuance of the memorandum, the Supreme Court (SC), Senate and House of Representatives suspended work and sent employees home at around noon.

Before the work suspension, the SC was able to hold session and decide on several cases in the morning.

At the Senate, some committees — on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic law, constitutional amendments and health — pushed through with their work despite the suspension.

At the House, the committee on Metro Manila development continued the discussion on a plan to ban provincial buses from the metropolis.

Some local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region suspended classes at all levels, both public and private, before 6 a.m.

In other LGUs only afternoon classes were suspended.

Classes in nearby provinces in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Central Luzon and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) as well as Cagayan were also suspended due to Henry.

Evacuation

The city government of Marikina evacuated residents in low-lying areas after the river’s water level rose to 16.5 meters at 3:40 p.m.

Officers of the Marikina’s Rescue 161 said residents in Barangays Malanday, Tumana and Nangka were brought to the covered courts in their respective villages.

The city government continued monitoring the water level in the river as rainwater from the mountains of Antipolo and nearby areas all flowed to Marikina River.

Traffic

The floods snarled traffic on major thoroughfares, according to Bong Nebrija of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

The MMDA lifted the number-coding scheme for city buses and private vehicles to accommodate the large volume of passengers that were sent home after the suspension of classes and work. – With Christina Mendez, Delon Porcalla, Edu Punay, Janvic Mateo, Non Alquitran, Evelyn Macairan, Jaime Laude, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Robertzon Ramirez, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Marc Jason Cayabyab   

SOUTHWEST MONSOON TROPICAL STORM HENRY WEATHER
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