‘Mario’ toll: 10 dead, 7 hurt, thousands displaced
MANILA, Philippines–Tropical Storm “Mario” (international name: Fung-Wong) headed for Taiwan on Sunday, leaving 10 people dead, hundreds of millions of pesos in damage, and nearly 200,000 displaced in Luzon by massive flash floods.
At least 10 people, including a two-year-old toddler from Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, either drowned or were electrocuted due to the flash floods, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Seven others were injured.
Even as the storm made landfall over southern Taiwan on Sunday morning, it continued to enhance the southwest monsoon and brought rains over the western section of Luzon, the weather bureau said.
In its latest forecast as of 5 p.m. Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration lowered all public storm warning signals.
But it said the Batanes group of islands would continue to experience monsoon rains that may trigger flash floods and landslides, while the Babuyan and Calayan group of islands and the Ilocos provinces would have occasional rains.
The rest of the country, including Metro Manila, will have isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms.
Mario dumped heavy to intense rains on Luzon and the Visayas starting Thursday.
The NDRRMC said that as of early Sunday, 222 areas in five regions were still flooded. These were in Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Metro Manila.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported that 75 roads and three bridges were still not passable.
About 198,000 people were still in 379 evacuation centers in nine regions—Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Central Visayas, the Cordillera Administrative Region and Metro Manila.
Road repairs in four regions were estimated to reach at least P91.34 million, with the bulk of the damaged roads in Central Luzon costing P56.6 million.
Residents of Ilocos Norte endured more than 16 hours of intense rain and gusts from Friday to Saturday, but the province recorded only one storm-related fatality.
Mario destroyed and damaged crops, fish and livestock, houses, buildings, roads and bridges, leaving at least P76 million in losses.
State of calamity
The provincial board had placed Ilocos Norte under a state of calamity on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, a C-130 cargo plane landed at the Laoag International Airport to deliver relief goods.
In Zambales province, two fishermen in Subic town were reported missing after they failed to return home at the height of the storm on Friday.
The number of flooded villages in Central Luzon on Sunday reached at least 184 where 178,848 people were affected.
The flooded villages numbered 96 in the towns of Balagtas, Baliuag, Bocaue, Bustos, Norzagaray, San Miguel, Obando and Sta. Maria towns and the cities of Meycauayan, Marilao and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan province; four in Cabiao town in Nueva Ecija province; 29 in Arayat, Mexico, Candaba, Macabebe, San Simon and Sto. Tomas towns in Pampanga province; 42 in Moncada, Paniqui, Ramos and Concepcion towns in Tarlac province; 12 in Olongapo City and Candelaria, Palauig and Sta. Cruz towns in Zambales province; and one village in Balanga City in Bataan province.
In Pampanga, the DPWH reported portions of the following roads to be impassable due to floods: Baliuag-Candaba Road, Candaba-San Miguel Road, Sta. Lucia Matua National Road, San Gabriel Road and San Luis Road.
In Nueva Ecija, sections of the Nueva-Ecija-Pangasinan Road in Barangay (village) Sabit in Cuyapo and Muñoz-Lupao Road in Barangay Mapangpang in Lupao were impassable.
In Pangasinan province, the San Roque Dam in San Manuel town on Sunday went on a “must-run” operation to slow down the increase of its reservoir’s water level, a dam official said.–With reports from Leilanie Adriano and Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Tonette Orejas and Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon
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