Manila now under state of calamity-A A +A
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
MANILA (Updated) -- Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim placed the country's capital under a state of calamity on Wednesday after continuous rains submerged 60 percent of its roads in floodwater.
Placing the city under a state of calamity will enable barangay officials to make use of their funds to help their affected constituents. Thousands of residents were evacuated after floods spawned by monsoon rains pummeled their homes.
Earlier, the cities of Malabon, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Pasig, Pasay and Pateros were placed under a state of calamity.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather bureau gave Manila a red warning signal, which means that it will experience torrential rainfall of 30 to 50 millimeters per hour.
Major roads remained impassable because of floodwaters, which were trapped in clogged waterways of the city.
Lim made the announcement in a radio interview Wednesday night, saying that classes in public and private schools in all levels, as well as work at the Manila City Hall, remain suspended Thursday, August 9.
Classes from pre-school to post-graduate will also remain suspended on Thursday in nine provinces hit by heavy monsoon rains.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa issued Wednesday night Memorandum Circular 34, suspending classes in the following areas: the National Capital Region, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal.
In Manila, trial courts will not hold hearings or entertain cases because of lack of electricity in the city hall, according to Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio.
Situation in other courts in the capital region are still being monitored, the directive said.
Widespread flooding in Luzon has killed 16 people and displaced thousands of families, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported Wednesday, adding that the floods affected 80,189 families.
Provinces outside Metro Manila declared as calamity areas are Bulacan, Laguna, Bataan, Pampanga and Zambales.
In Pampanga, the death toll due to the southwest monsoon rose to five, as river systems spilled over to the towns last Tuesday, affecting some 81,053 families or 482,253 individuals.
The affected municipalities and cities are City of San Fernando, Mabalacat City, Magalang, Guagua, Lubao, Floridablanca, Porac, Sasmuan, Sta. Rita, Arayat, Bacolor, Mexico, Sta. Ana, Apalit,Candaba, Macabebe, Masantol, Minalin, San Simon and Sto. Tomas.
All of Guagua town’s 31 villages are still inundated in floodwaters as of Wednesday, as waters from neighboring towns are still flowing in into this catch basin.
Local officials here said they are now coordinating relief operations to help the evacuees and those directly affected by flooding.
In the Cordillera region, major roads remained closed and in close-open situation due to recurring landslides caused by rains brought by the southwest monsoon.
Road closures were reported at Abra-Kalinga Road (Cutop Section), Baguio-Bua-Itogon Road in Itogon, Baguio-Nueva Vizcaya Road (Guesset and Tinongdan Sections), Baguio-Bontoc Road (Benenas Section) and Mt. Province-Nueva Vizcaya Road (Bayyo and Mt. Polis Sections).
The continuous rains also affected the agriculture sector as crop damages amounting to P16.3 million were reported in Abra, Kalinga, Benguet and Mt. Province.
Power outages were also reported in some sitios of Atok, Kabayan, Kibungan, Kapangan, Tuba, La Trinidad, Itogon, Tublay, Sablan and some areas in Baguio City.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council has already activated their operations center, monitoring sink holes, landslides and floods prone areas. (Jill Beltran/Virgil Lopez/JCV/Herbert P. Mapiles of Sun.Star Pampanga/JM Agreda of Sun.Star Baguio/Sunnex)