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Latest News Philippines: STORMS COMING –

WHILE some parts of Metro Manila and other provinces are still reeling from the effect of heavy rains and flooding, the weather bureau advised the public to brace for at least two or three cyclones this month.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that these cyclones may have similar effects on the southwest monsoon that recently turned most parts of Metro Manila into a “water world.”

It also left over 60 people dead and damaged millions of pesos worth of agriculture products.

Even as the weather bureau advised the public not to lower its guard, a low pressure area (LPA) was spotted coming. Forecasters said the LPA may enter the Philippine area of responsibility in 12 to 24 hours.

PAGASA said the LPA could again enhance the southwest monsoon and cause flash floods and landslides in the Northern and Central parts of Luzon.

If it develops into a cyclone, the weather bureau will codename it “Helen.”

In its 5 a.m. advisory, the new weather disturbance was already 1,370 kilometers east of Northern Luzon as of 2 a.m.      

The Philippines endures about 20 major storms or typhoons each rainy season. But this week’s rains were the worst to hit Manila since Tropical Storm Ondoy killed 464 people in 2009. 

Rising death toll

The death toll from the monsoon calamity rose to 66 with damage to infrastructure and agricultural crops believed set to surpass the P1-billion mark.

According to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chair Benito Ramos, the 66 fatalities include 47 who drowned, 11 who were trapped in landslides and the rest died from other causes. A total of 39 towns and cities including those in Metro Manila were placed under a state of calamity as a result of the incessant rains and inundation reminiscent of the “Great Flood” in July 1972 or nearly 40 years ago.

The official in charge of the massive government rescue and relief operation said six others were injured while 10 remained missing as of press time. He placed the damage to infrastructure including more than 8,000 houses at more than P160 million and to agriculture at P20 million.

However, the NDRRMC office in Central Luzon said two weeks of incessant rains have destroyed an estimated P1 billion worth of crops including rice, corn and commercial crops and livestock and fisheries in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales and Bataan alone.

NDRRMC records showed that the floods affected more than 2.6 million people belonging to close to 600,000 families living in 156 towns and 24 cities in the National Capital Region, Ilocos-Pangasinan region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region; Mimaropa (Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) region; and Western Visayas. The displaced people were residents of 2,035 barangays.

As of yesterday, 19 roads and bridges remained impassable in some parts of the country. Another series of heavy rains resulted in the rise of already receding floodwaters in Antipolo City, Binangonan, Jalajala, Baras, San Mateo, Tanay and Taytay in Rizal and in Kalayaan and Sta. Rosa City in  Laguna.

The NDRRMC identified the most recent fatalities and the cause of their death as Liza Mae Ravadillo, 10, of Barangay Potrero, Malabon ; Segunda Amantilo, 17, of Pinagsabugan, Longos, Malabon; Erickson Dreva of Bgy. Potrero, Malabon; – Archie Ybanez of Bgy. Tinajeros, Malabon;  Jaime Lopez, 42, of  NBBS, Navotas City; Dan David Mangarin, 12, also of NBBS, Navotas City; and Gerry Bugagon, 21, of  Mangatarem, Pangasinan, all victims of drowning.

Another man identified as Jason Pendido, 16, of Manaoag, Pangasinan also drowned after being swept away by strong currents while crossing Sinukalan River.

Ramos said around 96,000 families composed of 440,909 people are still being served in 937 evacuation centers.

The NDRRMC also identified some areas still without power including Gruar Subdivision in Cainta; Bgy. Burgos and San Jose in Rodriguez, Rizal; Dulong Bayan, Sta. Ana and Banaba in San Mateo; and Bgy. Dalig in Cardona, Rizal.

It added that flood in Mandaluyong, Parañaque,  Quezon, Caloocan, Pasay, Las Piñas and San Juan cities as well as San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan and Sta. Maria, Laguna has already subsided.


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