Thousands stranded as Hanna exits

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star
Thousands stranded as Hanna exits
Most of the stranded passengers are in the Port of Batangas as well as in three ports of Mindoro Island and Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon.
Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The prevailing stormy weather has left 2,235 people stranded at various ports in Southern Tagalog, Central Visayas and Bicol region, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reported yesterday.

Most of the stranded passengers are in the Port of Batangas as well as in three ports of Mindoro Island and Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has suspended sea travel in these areas due to severe sea conditions caused by the prevailing weather system.

Moderate to heavy southwest monsoon rains induced by Typhoon Hanna have triggered widespread flooding over wide areas of the country affecting 18,045 families or 71,803 individuals in Ilocos, Central Luzon and Mimaropa regions, the OCD said.

There were initial reports of fatalities and missing yesterday.

A 41-year-old housewife drowned while crossing the river with her daughter in Echague, Isabela last Thursday, police said.

Imelda Acosta and her teenage daughter swam across the Cagayan river. The victim’s daughter was able to swim across and reported to the police that her mother was swept away by strong currents.

In Quezon, three minors went missing while swimming but their companions were rescued at the coastal town of Mulanay on Thursday.

Since Thursday, heavy rains and flooding caused the suspension of classes in 276 cities and towns in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas and Metro Manila.

Malacañang yesterday ordered the suspension of work in government offices while classes in all levels remained suspended in some provinces including Bataan, Infanta in Quezon province, Paombong, Pandi, Bustos and Malolos, all in Bulacan.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued Memorandum Circular No. 64, declaring the suspension of work in government offices and classes in Metro Manila.

Over in Pampanga, classes were also suspended in preschool and elementary both public and private in Candaba, all levels in the towns of Macabebe, Floridablanca, Masantol, Sta. Ana and San Luis, as well as in Iba, Candelaria, Masinloc, Palauig and Sta. Cruz in Zambales.

The heavy rains in Rizal yesterday also resulted in the suspension of classes on all levels in the towns of San Mateo and Rodriguez; Tanauan City, Nasugbu in Batangas; Cavite City, Magallanes and Ternate in Cavite.

In Antique, classes on all levels, private and public in the towns of Belison, Bugasong and Valderrama were also suspended due to heavy rains and overflowing river channels.

The prevailing severe weather system has already damaged 16 houses, four of which were a total wreck, in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur; Botolan and Sta. Cruz in Zambales, and Mamburao in Occidental Mindoro, the OCD said.

Of the 445 flooded areas that affected 44 cities and towns in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas and Metro Manila for the past days, flooding has subsided in 347 areas.

Some flights, local and international, were also suspended due to the incessant rains brought by the southwest monsoon.

Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) left the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday after staying over the country’s waters for days, enhancing the southwest monsoon, which brought heavy rains over many parts of Luzon and Western Visayas.

The southwest monsoon, however, will continue to bring light to moderate with intermittent heavy monsoon over Ilocos region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan until today, state weather forecasters said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned residents of these areas against possible floods and landslides.

It also warned against sea travel over the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao due to potentially rough seas.

Metro Manila will also continue to experience monsoon rains today. The weather condition in the metropolis is expected to improve by tomorrow.

PAGASA weather specialist Lorie dela Cruz said Hanna will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon. 

She said PAGASA is also keeping an eye on Typhoon Krosa as it could also strengthen the moisture-laden southwest monsoon.

Krosa, however, is still not expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility.

As of 4 a.m., the eye of Krosa was located at 1,990 kilometers east of extreme Northern Luzon, packing winds of 155 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 190 kph. – With Helen Flores, Christina Mendez, Raymund Catindig, Ed Amoroso, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Robertzon Ramirez, Cesar Ramirez, Rudy Santos

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