MANILA, Philippines—Metro Manila and neighboring provinces on Friday were lashed by rains brought about by the northeast monsoon, or the cold winds blowing in from Siberia, according to the weather bureau.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issued “yellow rainfall” advisories three times on Friday, indicating moderate to heavy rains that lasted three or more hours.
Moderate-to-heavy rainfall was observed over Rizal, Quezon, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales and parts of Metro Manila, including Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Manila, Pasig, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Makati, Pagasa said. Light-to-moderate rains fell over Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac.
The weather bureau said the rains were mainly caused by the northeast monsoon, the weather system now prevailing over the Philippines. Called the “hanging amihan,” the northeast monsoon typically begins in mid-October and lasts until mid-February.
In its weather outlook for Saturday, Pagasa predicted that Metro Manila, the Southern Tagalog region, and the province of Aurora would have cloudy skies with moderate-to-heavy rains, which may trigger flash floods and landslides.
The rest of Luzon will be cloudy with light rains, while the Visayas and Mindanao will be partly cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
Twenty-two domestic flights were cancelled yesterday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while at least five Manila-bound international flights were diverted to Clark, Pampanga. The diverted flights were able to land at Naia by the afternoon.
The bad weather had affected the airport instrument landing system at Naia, according to sources at Manila International Airport Authority.
Flooding in Mindoro
Disaster officials in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro on Friday reported that heavy rains had caused flooding in the towns of San Teodoro, Naujan and Baco, displacing more than 6,000 people.
A small fishing boat reportedly capsized near the island of Jomalig, Quezon, on Thursday but the Coast Guard rescued all of its 14 passengers, said Calabarzon disaster official Vicente Tomazar.
In Davao City, officials reported that more areas were being inundated by floods as the weather disturbance brought about by Typhoon “Crising” persisted in Mindanao on Friday.
At least one person died and more than 20,000 people have been displaced, officials said.
In Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur, Mayor Mila Cabañero said the Buca-Pongpong River overflowed and inundated the villages of Buca, Pongpong and San Isidro, triggering fresh evacuations.
Residents who had just returned home after floodwaters, caused by the same river overflowing on Tuesday, had to be evacuated again.
In Davao del Norte, hundreds of terrified villagers fled rampaging floodwaters in the towns of Kapalong and Talaingod, according to Sonio Sanchez, the Davao del Norte disaster prevention and response manager.
A security guard at the Dole-Stanfilco banana plantation in Barangay Sampao drowned as he tried to rescue fellow employees trapped in their quarters early Thursday.
“He was doing the rounds in warning people to evacuate, but some hard-headed folk decided to stay in their homes and got trapped as the water level rose,” Army Capt. Nathaniel Morales said of the security guard, identified as Nelson Jimenez.
“The flooding came so swiftly, with the water mixed with mud, rising so quickly. In just over an hour, the water was very high and homes were either washed away or submerged,” said Sanchez.
Davao areas unsafe
The fresh flooding occurred as Davao del Norte was still reeling from similar recent weather disturbances, including one that affected large areas of the province early this month.
Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario said earlier that some areas of the province had become unsafe.
In Kabacan, North Cotabato and the Maguindanao towns of Pagalungan and Datu Montawal, about 25,000 people had fled their homes because of floods from the overflowing of the Rio Grande de Mindanao triggered by rains from Typhoon Crising. With reports from Madonna Virola and Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon, Eldie Aguirre, Frinston Lim, Jeoffrey Maitem, Edwin Fernandez, Charlie Señase and Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao