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Around 14,000 evacuate due to flooding brought by habagat rains

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Around 14,000 evacuate due to flooding brought by habagat rains
Trucks and some light vehicles brave the heavy flooding while some residents frolic in the torrential rains due to the enhanced southwest monsoon along España Boulevard in Manila on Saturday midnight, July 24, 2021.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Around 14,000 people have fled their homes into evacuation centers in different parts of the country as heavy rain brought by the southwest monsoon or habagat is forecast to continue to drench Luzon and parts of Western Visayas.

“As of this morning po, nagkaroon tayo ng ulat na 14,000 katao po ang nag-evacuate bilang po pag-iingat sa posibleng pagtaas ng baha o pagapaw ng ilog sa kanilang mga communities,” National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson Mark Timbal told state-run People’s Television.

(As of this morning, we have received a report that 14,000 people have evacuated as a precaution for floods possibly rising or rivers in their communities potentially overflowing.)

Among the areas where people have evacuated are Marikina City, the towns of Taytay, San Mateo and Rodriguez in Rizal province, and Occidental Mindoro province, Timbal said.

In Marikina, all eyes are on the Marikina River where second alarm is currently hoisted as the water level there has reached 16.3 meters as of 11 a.m., prompting a preemptive evacuation.

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo that they expect the water level at the river to remain steady as long as rains do not persist over the mountains surrounding the city.

The evacuation of people from their homes is happening amid the threat of the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant. The Department of Health had earlier confirmed that there is local transmission of the variant in the country.

Timbal said people who need to evacuate but would prefer not to go to evacuation centers can try evacuating to the residences of their relatives or friends.

However, he assured that health protocols are being followed in evacuation centers.

“Susundin po ng evacuation center ‘yong pag-iingat sa physical distancing, ‘yung sanitation, disinfection. At dapat rin po, kayo rin mismo, kayong mga indibidwal susundin niyo rin po ‘yong minimum health standards,” he said.

(Evacuation centers will follow protocols, including physical distancing, sanitation and disinfection. Each individual should also follow minimum health standards.) — Xave Gregorio

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