HEAVY rains due to a low pressure area off Aurora province diverted 14 flights to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark, Pampanga due to poor visibility at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Connie Bungag, media affairs chief of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), said the 14 planes were diverted to Clark, one in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and 19 others were delayed.

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But the airpot official noted that all diverted flights have arrived Manila as of 7:05 p.m. Sunday.

Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and distribution of leading budget airline Cebu Pacific (CEB), said the four flights have already returned Sunday afternoon.

"There were four CEB flights diverted due to bad weather in Manila: 5J 964 (Davao-Manila), 5J 888 (Cotabato-Manila), 5J 580 (Cebu-Manila) and 5J 786 (Butuan-Manila). They already arrived in Manila," she told Sun.Star.

Prisco Nilo, director of Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said the LPA spotted at 170 kilometers northeast of Aurora will not develop into a storm.

"It has a very low chance to develop into a storm. It would just cross the land but it will bring rainshowers especially tomorrow (Monday) afternoon," he told Sun.Star.

"By Sunday and Monday (July 25-26), Metro Manila, Central and Southern Luzon, and Visayas will have cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening," the special weather advisory added.

In Metro Manila, Pagasa's extended weather forecast indicated that cloudy skies with rainshowers and thunderstorms on Monday, with temperatures ranging from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius.

The whole country, meanwhile, will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms becoming widespread over Central and Southern Luzon which may trigger landslides and flashfloods.

Last week, a low pressure area also in Aurora resulted to four flight cancellations, two delays and six diversions.

The weather disturbance, which later became tropical depression 'Caloy' triggered flashfloods in Dingalan, Aurora.

Floods Manila

The heavy downpour also left various areas in Metro Manila flooded and snarled traffic flow on its major thoroughfares, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported.

Cause by an Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the rains that hovered Luzon brought flooding in EDSA-Connecticut in San Juan city, Baclaran area in Paranaque City, East Service Road in the Food Terminal Complex in Taguig city, EDSA-Arayat and Farmer's Plaza in Cubao and EDSA-Aurora tunnel in Quezon City.

Knee-deep waters were also reported along Gil Puyat Street in Makati, EDSA-Aurora North-bound tunnel, EDSA Extension-Roxas Boulevard, EAST Avenue, Biak-na-Bato in Quezon and parts of Araneta Avenue.

Also flooded were the España Boulevard, Antipolo, and Maceda Streets in Sampaloc, Pedro Gil Street near the corner of Taft Avenue and Remedios Street in the Ermita and Malate areas.

Except for the ITCZ, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has not reported any tropical cyclone existing within the country's Area of Responsibility (AOR).

But it said that Sunday's downpour was about six times heavier than what it considered as heavy rain with rainfall measured at 90.3 millimeter, or an average of 45.15 millimeter per hour.(Virgil Lopez/AH/sunnex)