NEWSFLASH


TYPHOON 'GLORIA' CALAMITY NEWSFLASH

Manila, Philippines, July 8, 2002 (STAR) - Continuing calamity declared in North Cotabato 07/08 1:53:07 PM

The provincial government of North Cotabato has declared a state of continuing calamity after three people were killed and several thousand hectares of farmlands were destroyed by typhoon 'Gloria', which has spawned heavy rains and flashfloods in the province.

Gov. Emmanuel Piñol in a radio interview as of three o'clock yesterday said the provincial disaster coordinating center has accounted three people killed and several thousand families displaced due to flashflood in the past two days.

"Our disaster teams were able to recover three bodies from river banks," Piñol said.

He added the Pulangi river, which winds up in the Liguasan marsh has overflowed, destroying homes and farmlands in the province.

Among the hard-hit infrastructure facilities were the newly-completed mini-dams that are intended to irrigate farmlands in preparation of the El Niño phenomenon at the end of the year. Farmlands and fishponds were also reported damaged in the floodings.

The provincial government has yet to establish the cost of the destruction of one of the recently completed mini-dams.

Pangasinan towns flooded as dam-waters rising 07/08 1:45:02 PM - PHILIPPINE STAR

PANGASINAN - About 20 towns in this province were flooded due to heavy rains spawned by typhoon Gloria yesterday, prompting school authorities to suspend classes in all levels.

The flooded towns and cities include: Bani, Bugallon, San Fabian, Sta. Barbara, Binalonan, Binmaley, Lingayen, Calasiao, Laoac, Manaoag, San Jacinto, Mangaldan, Mapandan, Bayambang, Malasiqui, Labrador, and the cities of Alaminos, San Carlos, Dagupan, and Urdaneta.

This, despite, Binga and Ambuklao Dams have not yet released water as of presstime. Floodwater in several barangays in these towns reached knee-deep rendering some roads impassable.

As of 11:40 a.m., water elevation level in Binga Dam was at 567.75 meters, the critical level being at 575.25 meters. Ambuklao Dam's water elevation level was at 743.197 meters, which was only about nine meters less for its critical level. Water released from these dams take about eight hours before reaching Pangasinan area.

But Provincial Administrator Virgilio Solis said that that they have a standing agreement with the National Power Corp., which administrers these dams, that the latter should not wait for the water to reach critical level before releasing water. The agreement is for the dam administrators to observe calibrated release so people will not be surprised by sudden flooding like in previous years that caught them unprepared.

Underwater Tarlac in 'state of calamity' 07/08 1:38:58 PM - PHILIPPINE STAR

TARLAC CITY - A state of calamity was declared in the entire province of Tarlac following the onslaught of heavy rains wrought by a strong southwest monsoon.

In an initial report, Rogelio Panzo of the provincial agriculture office declared that 60 percent of the province's farmlands that were recently planted to rice were underwater, resulting to 26 million pesos in rice crop losses.

Panzo added that 523 hectares of the province's 1,306 hectares of fishponds were swept with raging floodwaters.

Meanwhile, thousands of families in upland western villages of Tarlac province were reported to have been isolated Monday morning due to rising water currents and landslides.

Mounting water levels along the Sacobia River in Bamban reportdly isolated three western barangays there, as Gov. Jose Yap, Sr. immediately dispatched in the town search and rescue teams. The O'Donnell River in neighboring Capas similarly swelled, isolating residents in western villages.

Landslides were also reported in the upland villages of Yap's hometown of San Jose, as well as in the towns of Mayantoc, San Clemente, and Camiling, which cut off all modes of transportation by land to the affected communities.

In Tarlac City, approximately 250 families living in low-lying villages were affected by the flashfloods, as nearly half of the city proper at the eastern end were deluged with two- to three-feet deep of floodwaters.

Typhoon toll rises to 18 dead or missing in the Philippines 07/08 11:43:19 AM - PHILIPPINE STAR

MANILA (AFP) - Updating an earlier report, Typhoon Chata'an left 18 people dead or missing including five South Koreans in the Philippines over the weekend, while more than 10,000 other people were displaced, rescuers said Monday.

Chata'an, packing winds of up to 170 kilometers (105 miles) an hour, dumped torrential rain on this Southeast Asian archipelago on Saturday and Sunday while en route to southern Japan.

Three of the 15 recorded deaths were South Korean tourists who drowned when their boat capsized in rough waters south of Manila on Saturday, the civil defense office said.

Three other people, including two South Koreans from the same party, are missing.

Landslides, drownings and a road accident accounted for the 12 other deaths.

Civil defense administrator Melchor Rosales said 29 people were injured, all but two of them Koreans from the capsized boat.

He said 10,495 people were displaced. Many of the evacuees who flocked to higher ground, including school buildings, are urban poor squatting on land beside open sewers and rivers.

Floodwaters began to ebb as rains ceased Monday, but the skies remained overcast and the government declared a holiday in Manila and surrounding provinces.

Typhoon Chata'an kills 14 in the Philippines, displaces 10,000 07/08 10:30:01 AM - PHILIPPINESTAR

MANILA (AFP) - Typhoon Chata'an killed 14 people including three South Koreans in the Philippines over the weekend, rescuers said Monday.

Chata'an, packing winds of up to 170 kilometers (105 miles) an hour, dumped torrential rain on this Southeast Asian archipelago on Saturday and Sunday while en route to southern Japan.

Three of the 14 recorded deaths were South Korean tourists who drowned when their boat capsized in rough waters south of Manila on Saturday, the civil defense office said.

The Koreans were en route to an island resort in the central Philippines when disaster struck.

Three other people, including two South Koreans from the same party, are missing.

Landslides, drownings and a road accident accounted for the 11 other deaths.

Civil defense administrator Melchor Rosales said 29 people were injured, all but two of them Koreans from the capsized boat.

Radio reports placed the number of displaced people in excess of 10,000, many of them urban poor squatting on land beside open sewers and rivers.

"There has been continuous heavy rain for the past eight hours" in the northern Philippines, Rosales said over local television. "There are two weather systems affecting the country now. One is a typhoon to the east about 1,200 kilometers (744 miles) away, but one is a low pressure area about 400 kilometers (248 miles) east" of the Batan island group near the Philippine sea border with Taiwan.

"These are now pulling the monsoon rains northward."

The government declared a holiday in Manila and surrounding provinces, with some of the buildings used to house those who fled rising waters. The government warned residents in northern and eastern Manila to be prepared to leave their homes just in case the authorities have to let off water from La Mesa, the capital's main tap water reservoir, which was within five meters (16.5 feet) from overflowing.

The skies over Manila, a metropolis of nearly 11 million people, remained overcast Monday with some roads still under water.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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