5 provinces, key cities, other areas under state of calamity—NDRRMCBy Frances Mangosing, Kristine Angeli Sabillo
MANILA, Philippines – Around 5 provinces, key cities in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon were declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) during the last three days of torrential rains and flooding brought about by the combined strength of tropical storm “Maring” and the southwest monsoon.
As of Wednesday, still under state of calamity according to the NDRRMC are:
- Candon City in Ilocos Sur
- Dagupan City in Pangasinan
- Parañaque, Malabon and Muntinlupa in Metro Manila
- Narvacan, Gregorio del Pilar and Sta Maria in Ilocos Sur
- Victoria and Lagnas villages in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
The cities of Pasay and Marikina are yet to be included, contrary to earlier reports.
Damage to property by the storm also reached P73,483,012 in the regions of Ilocos, Calabarzon, Cordillera and Mimaropa.
At the briefing, NDRRMC Executive Director Eduardo del Rosario commended the state weather bureau for their “timely and accurate” forecasting.
“It all started with these very timely reporting of Pagasa [Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration] there was a massive evacuation to prepare for flooding. They were able to do what they need to do. [The storm-enhanced monsoon] affected a lot of regions and the public cooperated and obeyed with what they need to do,” he said.
Tropical storm “Maring” (international name Trami) which enhanced the southwest monsoon, made its exit from the Philippine area of responsibility Wednesday morning. Weather is seen to improve nationwide by Friday.
Central Luzon, Metro Manila most affected
On Monday, heavy rains pounded Region 4, prompting both Cavite and Laguna to declare province-wide state of calamity.
The continuous rains since Sunday night and high-tide in lowland areas resulted in eight-foot flash floods, especially in the coastal municipalities of Cavite like Bacoor, Noveleta, Kawit, Rosario, Imus, Tanza, Naic and General Trias.
In Tanza, the heavy rains caused the breaching of Tres Cruces dam which killed one and left another missing.
In Laguna, Governor E.R. Ejercito said the calamity wrought by the monsoon rains was equivalent to “Ondoy and Habagat combined.”
Residents feared the overflowing of Laguna Lake and the downpour affected 16,450 families by Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, “Maring” continued to move in a northwest direction, mostly affecting Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
Bataan was placed under a state of calamity on Tuesday morning with the towns of Hermosa and Dinalupihan most devastated by the storm.
San Mateo, the hardest hit among the Rizal municipalities, was also declared under a state of calamity at 1 p.m. Taytay followed suit. At that time, Batasan Bridge was also at third alarm as its water levels reached 21 meters.
After Macabebe and other municipalities were placed under a state of calamity, Pampanga expanded the ruling for the whole province.
A couple of dikes overflowed and flooded nearby communities.
At least 3,000 people were forced to evacuate in Pateros as rains resulted in chest-high flood waters.
After all 10 villages were submerged in floods, a state of calamity was declared by the municipal council.
Malabon, which was affected by the overflowing of La Mesa dam joined the list after the evacuation of around 700 families.
Also on Tuesday afternoon, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivares asked the city council to declare a state of calamity and in turn allow the utilization of calamity funds. Like Cavite, the floods in the city were worsened by the high tide.
Incessant rains and flooding in 100 villages in Pasay City also prompted residents to flee and seek shelter in evacuation centers. On Wednesday morning, the city council declared a state of calamity.
Mayor Antonino “Tony” Calixto said that based on the records from the City Social Welfare Development, a total of 4,671 families or 45,919 individuals were affected by the flood since Sunday.
They were followed by Marikina, after the evacuation of 17,000 residents living near Marikina River.
Like most of the affected cities and provinces, classes in both public and private schools were suspended on Thursday and Friday.
Under Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, the declaration of a state of calamity will result in the imposition of a price ceiling on basic commodities, the reprogramming of funds for repair and safety upgrading of public infrastructures and the granting of no-interest loans by government financing or lending institutions.
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