MANILA, Philippines — At least four persons were killed, with at least 17 others missing, while classes and work in government offices were suspended yesterday as Tropical Depression Maring pounded Metro Manila and many areas in Central and Southern Luzon with heavy rains and gusty winds.
Local authorities said brothers Jude Pundal, 17, and Justine, 14, were killed when their house was covered by mud in a landslide in Barangay Dolores in Taytay, Rizal early yesterday.
Overnight heavy rains flooded several roads in Metro Manila and Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (Calabarzon) region, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
Inclement weather also forced the cancellation of domestic flights as well as boat and bus trips.
Carrying winds of 60 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 100 kph, Maring made landfall over Mauban, Quezon at 9 a.m. yesterday and traversed Laguna, Rizal, Manila Bay and the coasts of Bataan and Zambales.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Maring maintained its strength and speed and was spotted in the vicinity of Bacolor, Pampanga, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, tropical cyclone warning signal No. 1 remained hoisted over Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Northern Quezon, including Polillo island, Southern Aurora, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan and Pangasinan.
Maring was forecast to move west-northwest at a speed of 15 kph and was expected to exit the landmass of Central Luzon via Bataan-Zambales area last night, PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez said.
It is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility tonight or early tomorrow.
Perez said Maring would continue to bring moderate to heavy rains over Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan and Pangasinan until today.
Meanwhile, light to moderate rains will prevail over Metro Manila, the rest of Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan (Mimaropa).
PAGASA weather forecaster Nikos Peñaranda said rains dumped by Maring in some areas in Quezon, Batangas and Camarines Norte surpassed the average rainfall for the month of September in those areas.
The highest volume was recorded in Alabat, Quezon, which received 537.5 millimeters of rain in a 24-hour period, exceeding its average monthly rainfall of 253 mm.
The other areas that surpassed their average monthly rainfall for this month were Ambulong, Batangas with 273.7 mm (average: 257 mm); Tayabas, Quezon with 201.4 mm (274 mm); Infanta, Quezon with 189.2 mm (255 mm) and Daet, Camarines Norte with 160.8 mm (270 mm).
Beginning today, most areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila, can expect gradual improvement in weather condition as Maring moves away from the Luzon landmass.
Heavy rains, however, are still expected over the western section of Northern and Central Luzon.
Meanwhile, Typhoon Lannie, which also continued to hover over Batanes yesterday, was still unlikely to directly affect any part of the country.
Peñaranda said Lannie (international name Talim) continued to move toward the Taiwan-Eastern China area.
As of 3 p.m. yesterday, Lannie was spotted at 720 km east-northeast of Basco, packing winds of 125 kph and gustiness of up to 155 kph.
“Lannie will have no direct effect on the Philippines,” Peñaranda said.
The typhoon is also expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility tomorrow.
Due to expected heavy rains and threats of floods from Maring, classes remain suspended today in some parts of Metro Manila and other areas in Southern Luzon.
As of 6:30 p.m. yesterday, the local governments that announced the suspension of classes in all levels in both public and private schools included Las Piñas City; Binangonan, Cainta, San Mateo, Tanay, and Taytay, all in Rizal; Marilao, Bulacan; San Fernando City and Guagua, Pampanga; and the provinces of Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Zambales.
The municipalities of Daet, Labo, Vinzons, Mercedes, Jose Panganiban, and San Vicente in Camarines Norte also suspended classes for today at all levels in both public and private schools.
Rescuers managed to pull out the bodies of the Pundal brothers but they died while being rushed to the Taytay Emergency Hospital.
Their parents, Jun and Judith and their two other children escaped death but sustained broken bones, scratches and shallow wounds in their bodies.
Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) head engineer Elmer Espiritu said the Pundals were asleep in their home in Sitio Hapay na Mangga in Barangay Dolores when the landslide occurred at about 4 a.m. yesterday.
According to Espiritu, there is an ongoing construction of a house above the hill in the creekside home of the victims.
“The soil softened because of several hours of heavy rains and the mud went cascading down and covered the home of the victims,” Espiritu said.
Taytay Rescue team members and barangay officials dug up the bodies of the victims but the teenagers failed to make it to the hospital.
According to Espiritu, the municipal government banned the construction of makeshift homes in the area because it was prone to landslide.
In Sta. Rosa, Laguna, a fatality, who has yet to be identified, was reported to have drowned in a flashflood that inundated low-lying areas in the city early yesterday.
In Quezon, two-month-old baby boy Steve Abas died while being treated at the hospital after he, along with seven others, was covered by a riprap that collapsed in Barangay 11 near Mt. Carmel Hospital in Lucena City at the height of heavy rains around 10:40 a.m. yesterday, authorities said.
Lucena City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council head Janet Gendrano said the injured were Jefferson Solomon, 5; Jon Cedrex Silvio, 5; Princess Nicole Silvio, 9; Mary Faith Solomon, 30; Reniel Abas, 29; Sarah Dolim, Julie and John, all surnamed Rivera.
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Meanwhile, reports posted by the Quezon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said four fishermen – Julio Dipon of Barangay Sabang Perez, Buenavista; Michael Boyao of Brgy. Cagbalete, Mauban; an unidentified one of Brgy. Dinahican, Infanta and a certain JR Bote, from Brgy. Silang, Perez – went missing in the seas of Perez, Mauban and Infanta.
In Metro Manila, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported flooding in almost all low-lying areas yesterday due to heavy rains dumped by Maring.
These areas include barangays Sta. Teresita, Masambong, Del Monte, Paltok, Baler, West Riverside, San Martin de Porres, Anonas, University of the Philippines-Diliman campus, Kamuning, Roxas and Mariana, all in Quezon City.
In Cavite, widespread flooding hit low-lying areas of Kawit, with floodwaters reaching chest level monitored yesterday in Barangay Putol, while foot-deep flood also hit Brgy. Sapang in Ternate.
All barangays in Noveleta were under 6.5-foot floodwaters while Trapiche Bridge in General Emilio Aguinaldo overflowed and became impassable, as half of the bridge was believed to have sustained major damage.
Talisay Road going to Tagaytay City is now closed to traffic due to a landslide, while debris and garbage rendered Bucao Road in Purok 12 in General Trias impassable to traffic.
One person identified as Rossie Nasayao of Barangay Biluso, Silang was also reported missing after she was swept away by rampaging floodwaters.
In Calamba City, Laguna, at least 13 persons were missing when raging floodwaters smashed into their houses in Barangay Parian.
Calamba City Police chief Supt. Sancho Celedio said eight persons, including four minor children, were recovered in the follow-up search operation along San Cristobal river yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, Laguna Police provincial director Senior Supt. Cecilio Ison said that in Laguna, more than 30 barangays were flooded while several roads were impassable.
Ison said all residents near bodies of water were forcibly evacuated from their houses due to heavy rains in the areas.
In Batangas, no casualty was reported but hundreds of families were evacuated in Batangas City, Bauan and Nasugbu.
In Quezon, two more landslide incidents were recorded in San Andres, Atimonan and Maharlika Highway in Barangay Binutas, Calauag, but no casualty was reported.
In Bulacan, the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office reported flooding from six inches to three feet in Barangays Tabing-Ilog Ibayo, Saog, Poblacion 1 and Lias in Marilao and barangays Banga, Poblacion, Malhacan, Calvario, Saluysoy and Zamora in Meycauayan City.
As of 1 p.m. yesterday, water level at Ipo Dam was recorded at 101.92 meters or 92 centimeters above its spilling level of 101 meters; Angat Dam’s water elevation was at 193.18 meters, way below its spilling level of 210 meters, and Bustos Dam was at 16.96 meters against its spilling level of 17.50 meters.
In NCR, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authorty lifted the number coding scheme yesterday as floodwaters inundated various parts of the metropolis.
In an 2:40 p.m. advisory, flooding was reported along the northbound lane of EDSA-Corinthian Gardens, EDSA-Muñoz and Lander Street, all in Quezon City (gutter deep); on España, Manila (gutter-deep) and on Rizal Ave.-R. Papa in Manila (waist deep).
Flooding was also reported in Valenlueza, Makati and Navotas cities but roads remained passable as of press time.
As of 3 p.m. yesterday, 22 domestic flights were canceled while two international flights, Air Asia Flight AK 582 from Kuala Lumpur to Manila and Cebu Pacific flight 5J 102 from Guam to Manila, were diverted to Clark International Airport due to Maring.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) canceled six flights: PR 2265/2266 Manila-Naga-Manila, PR 2261/2262 Manila-Naga-Manila and PR 2921/2922 Manila-Legaspi-Manila. Affected passengers may rebook/refund within 30 days from their original flight dates with penalties/charges waived.
Skyjet also canceled six flights: M8 421/422 Manila-Siargao-Manila, M8 816/8167 Manila-Basco-Manila and M8 713/714 Manila-Busuanga-Manila. Cebu Pacific cancelled its flight from Puerto Princesa to Manila while its sister airline Cebgo canceled four flights: DG 6031/6032 Manila-San Jose, Mindoro-Manila and DG 6041/6042 Manila-Busuanga-Manila. Air Asia Zest canceled flight Z2 777/778 Manila-Cebu-Manila.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported that 1,170 people were stranded in various ports in the Bicol region and Southern Luzon due to Maring.
As of noon yesterday, the PCG said 453 were stranded at the ports of Tabaco in Albay, Pilar in Sorsogon, Virac, San Andres and Codon in Catanduanes and Pasacao in Camarines Sur.
In Southern Tagalog, the PCG said 701 people were still waiting at the ports of Batangas, Romblon, Calapan in Oriental Mindoro and Dalahican in Quezon.
The PCG also recorded 92 stranded rolling cargoes, 26 vessels and 19 motorized boats.
The Senate cancelled its plenary session as well as all of the scheduled hearings and work in all its offices yesterday morning due to the strong rain and widespread flooding brought about by Maring.
Senate secretary Lutgardo Barbo, who announced the cancellation, said only a skeletal force for the security and maintenance departments were required to report to the Senate compound in Pasay City.
Several hearings that were scheduled yesterday, including the continuation of the inquiry into the killing of Kian delos Santos and the budget hearings for the Dangerous Drugs Board, National Security Council and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, were also cancelled.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, initially planned to push through with the hearing on the Delos Santos killing, but opted to defer it to Tuesday next week after learning that work at the Senate was cancelled by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.