Traffic is at a standstill on the westbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City following a heavy downpour yesterday. Inset shows a motorcycle braving a flooded Singalong street in Malate, Manila.
Michael Varcas, Russell Palma
Brace for weekend floods – Pagasa
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - August 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos should brace for more flooding this weekend due to rains from the southwest monsoon and a brewing cyclone off Catanduanes, the state weather bureau warned yesterday.

Light to moderate to at times heavy monsoon rains will still prevail over Metro Manila, the Ilocos region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Zambales and Bataan.

Intermittent heavy rain flooded several areas in Metro Manila yesterday, forcing local officials to suspend classes in some areas.

As of 5 p.m., Metro Manila, as well as the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Cavite and Batangas, remained under Yellow (heavy) Rainfall Warning.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) continued to warn against possible flash floods or landslides.

Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms, meanwhile, will prevail over the rest of Central Luzon.

Bicol region, the Visayas, Caraga and Davao region will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to the trough or extension of a low-pressure area.

As of 3 p.m., the low-pressure area was spotted at 1,060 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.

PAGASA said the weather system is likely to develop into a tropical depression within the next 48 hours.

Metro Manila floods

Heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon enhanced by a low-pressure area poured early yesterday and, coupled with high tide from Manila Bay, flooded many areas of Metro Manila.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said parts of Manila, Makati and EDSA were submerged in floodwater as of 7 a.m., bringing traffic to a war standstill in several major thoroughfares.

This prompted President Duterte to order yesterday the suspension of work and classes in schools.

In Memorandum Circular No. 63 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, state workers were asked to go home by 3 p.m. just as the rains battered Metro Manila and left many major thoroughfares already flooded and in heavy traffic gridlock.?The Palace made the move upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). 

On President Duterte’s orders, Medialdea directed the agencies engaged in the delivery of basic and health services, preparedness or response to disaster and calamities and/or the performance of other vital services to remain in office and continue their duties.

The Palace also left to the discretion of private firms and schools to suspend their work or send their employees home.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) placed on standby its fleet of rescue boats and 6x6 trucks.

NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar directed his five police district commanders to closely monitor low-lying areas of their jurisdictions and closely coordinate with local government units (LGUs) in conducting rescue operations.

Gutter-deep flood was reported in the following areas: Ortigas Avenue-POEA; Taft-Ayala and Taft-P. Burgos in Makati; Luneta-Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Vehicles still managed to go through almost tire-deep floodwaters in España-Antipolo Street; and Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard-Dela Fuente Street in Manila.

Meanwhile, Otis-Paco and TM Kalaw Avenue in Manila got submerged to knee-deep floods, making it impassable to light vehicles.

The vicinity of the Manila City Hall from Arroceros Street up to San Marcelino experienced heavy traffic and vehicles passing through the stretch of España Avenue were barely moving.

Floodwater was gutter-deep at the corner of CM Recto and Quezon Boulevard as early as 7 a.m. and traffic at the underpass going to Quiapo was moderate to heavy, aggravated by churchgoers hearing the Friday mass at the Basilica of the Black Nazarene.

Traffic started around 10 a.m. at the boundary of Manila and Caloocan as floods rushed at the corner of Rizal Avenue Extension and R. Papa Street, stalling both northbound and southbound lanes.

Northern metro, Bulacan

The stretch of C-3 Road from Malabon to 5th Avenue in Caloocan also experienced heavy traffic even as construction works on the NLEX extension was stopped.

Certain areas in Malabon and Valenzuela also experienced flooding but reports from their respective public information offices said water subsided around 2 p.m. when the rains stopped.

Meanwhile, Malolos City and several villages in four towns in Bulacan were inundated with floodwaters.

The provincial disaster risk reduction management office (PDRRMO) of Bulacan reported as of noon yesterday that the towns of Calumpit has 10 barangays inundated from six inches to four feet of flood water; Hagonoy had 13 barangays under one to three feet of water; Marilao had one village under six inches; Paombong had nine from less than a foot to two feet and the City of Meycauayan had two under half foot to three feet.

As of noon, classes were suspended in eight towns in Bulacan that include Hagonoy, Calumpit, Bulakan, Baliwag, San Ildefonso, Pandi and Bustos for all levels in private and public schools, while Paombong town declared class suspensions for elementary and secondary level.

Meanwhile, Bustos Dam’s water elevation has reached 17.54 meters, breaching its 17.50-meter spilling level. Ipo Dam was at 100.98 meters against its spilling level of 101 meters and Angat Dam at 166.23 meters or 6.23 meters above its critical level of 160 meters but still 13.77 meters below its minimum operating level of 180 meters.

Cancelled flights

Several domestic flights were cancelled due to the heavy downpour – Cebu Pacific Air 5J 379/380 Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila, 5J 506/507 Manila-Tuguegarao-Manila, 5J 327/328 Manila-Legazpi-Manila, 5J 789/790 Manila-Butuan-Manila, 5J 375/376 Manila-Roxas-Manila and 5J 655/656 Manila-Tacloban-Manila.

A SkyJet Airlines flight in Terminal 4 M8 911/912 Manila-San Vicente-Manila was also cancelled.

Several flights, meanwhile, were diverted to Clark Airport in Pampanga – CZ 3091 Canton-Manila, 5J 772 Pagadian-Manila, 5J 562 Cebu-Manila and 5J 896 Caticlan-Manila. – Non Alquitran, Rey Galupo, Efren Lazaro, Rudy Santos

BREWING CYCLONE METRO MANILA FLOODS
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