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What ‘Ondoy’ spared, ‘Glenda’ whipped

After a scary, nightlong wait for many, Typhoon “Glenda” left much of Metro Manila without power supply and the roads strewn with toppled trees and other wind-torn structures.

It kept even Estrelita Sapnu, a veteran of many storms, sleepless since the previous night and actually more stressed now that Glenda is gone. Her store at Baseco compound in Tondo, Manila—which “withstood ‘Milenyo’ (in 2006) and ‘Ondoy’ (2009)”—took heavy damage from Wednesday morning’s howler.

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“This is the worst for me,” said Sapnu, a store owner for the last 35 years, as she watched four workers rush to repair the structure so she could resume operations by nightfall.

Within two hours after Glenda’s passing, Baseco residents like her struggled to get back on their feet after Glenda unleashed winds of up to 150 kph.

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Authorities reported two fatalities in Metro Manila as of press time, though widespread disruptions were felt across the metropolis as close to 4,000 families had to be evacuated to safer ground.

In Quezon City, Glenda tore off the roof of a house on Litex Road and knocked down a woman who was trying to hold it in place with a rope. Robeliza Globio, 31, was brought to East Avenue Medical Center for cuts in the face, bruises in the legs and a possible fracture in the back, according to a report from the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Two more people were reported injured as a wall collapsed on Scout Borromeo near Timog Avenue. They were quickly pulled from under the rubble and brought also to EAMC for treatment.

Several streets on the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman were rendered impassable by broken branches. A van passing through C. P. Garcia Avenue, which borders the campus, was hit by a felled tree; the driver emerged unhurt but the vehicle sustained major damage.

Almost 700 families were evacuated by the Quezon City social services department in 11 barangays—Masambong, Talayan, Bagong Silangan, Quirino 2-A, Bagumbayan, Roxas, Tatalon, Doña Imelda, Sta. Lucia, Sangandaan and Apolonio Samson.

This was when Talayan Creek began to overflow and cause chest-high flooding on Araneta Avenue.

Nida Sangcap, 62, said power meters in their neighborhood in Barangay Sto. Domingo “went off like firecrackers” at the height of the storm. “The winds were very strong. We left when the flood was just knee-deep,” said Sangcap who sought refuge at Sto. Domingo Church.

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In Manila, around 1,800 families were moved from their coastal homes and out of the range of possible storm surges on Manila Bay. The majority were residents of the Baseco slums of Tondo.

In the flood-prone Camanava area which also faces the bay, 347 families were evacuated in Malabon City; 362 families in Valenzuela, and 506 families in Navotas.

In Pasig City, at least 147 families were also moved out of harm’s way; 648 families in Taguig and  150 more in Pateros were also evacuated.

Susan Cruz of the Office of Civil Defense–National Capital Region said a total of 3,602 families were covered by the preemptive evacuations across the 17 local government units making up Metro Manila.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista attributed the low casualty figure to the “prepositioned” rescue teams and equipment, and also to the reduced number of people still living in the danger zones after the majority had been relocated by the National Housing Authority.

Compared to Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009 and habagat (monsoon rains) in 2012 which mainly unleashed muddy floodwaters, Glenda mainly whipped the metropolis with strong winds, Bautista noted.

The mayor said all Quezon City roads would be cleared of storm debris within two days.

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TAGS: Baseco Compound, Estrelita Sapnu, Litex Road, Metro Manila, Tropical Storm Ondoy, Typhoon Glenda
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