Weather bureau lifts rainfall warning in Metro Manila-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
MANILA (5th Update, 7:44 p.m.) -- State weather forecasters terminated Thursday the rainfall warning signal in Metro Manila, signifying better conditions this coming weekend needed to speed up recovery efforts in flood-hit communities.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) posted the good news on microblogging site Twitter at 12:20 p.m., two hours after it only recorded light to moderate rainfall (1-7 millimeters per hour).
Outside the capital, the southwest monsoon continues to bear down the provinces of Ilocos, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan and Bulacan with gradual improvement of weather condition expected beginning Friday.
Threats of flashfloods and floods in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas as well as lahar flows over Mount Pinatubo will gradually decrease since then. Residents living in those areas are still warned against the danger of these hazards that may occur, Pagasa said.
Deaths caused by the inclement weather rose to 19 on Thursday afternoon, with two million people affected by the intense flooding. Some 61,000 families are still taking shelter in evacuation centers in various provinces and cities in Luzon.
To effectively respond to the needs of affected communities, at least 17 local government units placed their areas under state of calamity. This would facilitate the use of funds for relief and rehabilitation efforts.
These are Manila, Marikina, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasig, Pasay, Caloocan, Pateros in the National Capital Region (NCR); Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales and Bulacan in Central Luzon; Laguna in Calabarzon and Palawan (limited to Culion, El Nido and Linacapan) in Mimaropa.
In Taguig, Mayor Lani Cayetano asked city councilors to immediately approve her recommendation to place the city under state of calamity. The City Council is scheduled to hold a special session on Friday for this purpose.
Eighteen out of the 28 Taguig villages were submerged in water. Even the city hall in Tuktukan village was swamped in two-feet flood.
All Thursday classes, from pre-school to postgraduate, in the NCR, and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal were suspended based on Memorandum Circular 34 issued by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
Local governments of Quezon City and Marikina, meanwhile, extended this to Friday.
Work in all courts in Metro Manila including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax Appeals was also suspended.
Employees at the Senate were also ordered not to report to duty.
Forced evacuation in Marikina
Owing to heavy rains from Wednesday night until early Thursday, residents of low-lying areas along Marikina River were told to evacuate after the swollen waterway once again hit critical level.
A warning siren continuously rang out, signaling forced evacuation.
"Please wake up now and move away from the low-lying areas along Marikina River including Tumana and Provident," said Professor Mahar Lagmay on his official Twitter account, @nababaha.
Lagmay is the director of the government's Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards).
Around 3 a.m., the water level at the Upper Marikina River in Montalban Rizal rose to 28.14 meters, which is higher than those recorded in the previous days, according to Lagmay. The number is way beyond the critical level of 15 meters.
"Tataas ang tubig ng Marikina River, mas mataas kaysa kahapon at noong isang araw. Lahat ng nasa tabing ilog ng Marikina, move now (The water level in Marikina River will rise, higher than yesterday and the other day. Those who are living along the riverbank, move now),” said Lagmay.
As of 3:10 p.m., the mater level at the Sto. Niño station is at 26.68 meters. Meanwhile the water level at Upper Marikina as in Montalban, Rizal, was at 25.17 meters as of 3:10 p.m.
Residents who were forced to evacuate may stay at Parang Elementary School and Malanday Elementary School for those from Malanday and Tumana Elementary School and Parang Elementary School for those from Tumana.
Those from Concepcion could evacuate to H. Bautista Elementary School, Concepcion Integrated School, Concepcion Elementary School, Marikina Elementary School, and St. Nicolas School.
Meanwhile, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) dispatched a team to go around lakeshore localities to assess the extent of flooding.
As of Thursday, the lake's water level has reached 13.8 meters, which is close to the 13.95 meters level recorded during Tropical Storm Ondoy in September 2009. The normal level of the lake water is expected to be at 12.5 meters during rainy season and 10.5 meters during summer.
The LLDA has released its P300,000-calamity fund which will be used to buy canned food, drinking water and rice and shall be distributed to affected communities in the provinces of Rizal and Laguna.
Fourteen lakeshore municipalities and four cities of Laguna are affected by flooding as of Wednesday noon. This is equivalent to 217,420 people with 11,972 families currently housed in 152 evacuation centers. (Virgil Lopez/Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)