2 dead as ‘habagat’ dumps heavy rain over Luzon
LUCENA CITY, Quezon City, Philippines — The southwest monsoon, or “habagat,” continued to dump heavy rain over most parts of Luzon as it triggered landslides and caused rivers to swell, leaving at least two people dead, authorities said on Monday.
A large part of Luzon has been experiencing days of heavy rain since last week due to Tropical Storm Dodong, which exited the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday but continued to enhance the southwest monsoon.
One of the fatalities was Dina Saban, 41, who died after a concrete wall collapsed due to a heavy downpour, burying her inside a shanty in Antipolo City late Sunday.
Saban was alone inside the shack in Barangay Sta. Cruz when a concrete wall beside her dwelling collapsed due to incessant rains at 8 p.m., the police in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), said in a report.
Rescuers from the local disaster risk reduction and management office (DRRMO) and nearby villages recovered her body underneath the rubble.
In Bataan province, the body of 3-year-old Gabgab Velasco was recovered from a swollen river in Barangay Salian in Abucay town on July 15.
Police Capt. Gil Dizon Jr., deputy chief of Abucay police, said Velasco was found floating in the river hours after he reportedly went for a swim and disappeared.
Dizon said the boy had no adult companion and that the parents did not notice that their son had gone to swim in the nearby river amid the heavy rainfall.
In Zambales province, torrential rains caused a river in an upland Aeta community in Botolan town to breach its bank, stranding on Sunday eight teachers who were immediately rescued by local emergency responders.
The teachers from Maguisguis Integrated School and Burgos Elementary School were riding carabao-drawn carts while heading home when the river started to swell at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
According to the Botolan DRRMO, one of the teachers managed to call a fellow teacher, who in turn asked for help from the town’s rescuers.
The local DRRMO said it deployed a team to bring all eight teachers to safety and help them return home.
In Olongapo City, four rivers rose to a warning level early Monday due to the nonstop rain dumped by the southwest monsoon.
Data from the Olongapo DRRMO showed that the water level underneath Mabayuan Bridge reached 2.30 meters by 10:36 a.m., while the water level underneath Balic-Balic Bridge was at 1.67 m. The water flowing through Sta. Rita Bridge was also at 1.9 m while the water level underneath Del Rosario Bridge was at 1.7 m.
According to the local DRRMO, the warning level for rivers is between 1.5 m and 2 m, adding that the high tide at 8:37 a.m. worsened the swelling of the rivers in the city.
Due to the inclement weather, government work in Olongapo and nearby Subic Bay Freeport was suspended, except for offices involved in disaster response and delivery of essential services.
Even as Dodong has exited the country, occasional rain would continue to affect residents of Zambales, Bataan, and Occidental Mindoro while Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Ilocos region, Cordillera, the rest of Mimaropa, the rest of Central Luzon, and Western Visayas would experience scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Monday.
Dodong was last spotted 825 kilometers west of extreme northern Luzon and on its way to Hainan Island, or the southern part of China, the Pagasa said.