MANILA, AUGUST 22, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Frances Mangosing - Weather is seen to improve as tropical storm ”Maring” (international name Trami) made its exit from the Philippine area of responsibility Wednesday morning after wreaking havoc in Luzon for three days as it enhanced the southwest monsoon.

Ben Oris of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration told INQUIRER.net that their satellite and forecast models showed that the storm is out of PAR as of 7 a.m. and is heading towards Taiwan.

However, rains will still continue as the storm is still near PAR, but it will not be as much as when it enhanced the prevailing southwest monsoon, Oris said.

A yellow rainfall alert was up in Metro Manila as of 7:30 a.m., which means moderate to heavy rains will continue to pour over Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Bataan, Northern Cavite, portions of Pampanga, Zambales, Tarlac and Occidental Mindoro and will most likely continue for the next three hours.

Flooding in low-lying areas is still possible.


Habagat’s Wrath 83 Towns, Cities Under State Of Calamity; 15 Dead, Over 1M Affected By Ellalyn B. De Vera and Elena L. Aben ublished: August 22, 2013

LA MESA DAM WATCH – Manila Water maintenance worker Wilfredo Espineda observes the overflowing La Mesa Dam in Quezon City on Aug. 21, 2013. At 2 p.m. yesterday, the dam’s water level was at 80.32 meters, .17 meter higher than the spilling level of 80.15 meters.(Michael Varcas)

Manila, Philippines --- Eighty-three towns and cities in Luzon, including Metro Manila, were placed under a state of calamity after these areas were submerged by floods caused by three days of southwest monsoon (hanging habagat) rains, enhanced by tropical storm “Maring,” leaving at least 15 dead and affecting over one million people, officials said yesterday.

“Maring” further intensified as it exited the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) yesterday morning.

But the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned of more moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms in Luzon as “Maring” will continue to enhance the effects of the monsoon.

Calamity Areas

Under state of calamity are Marikina, Pasay, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Pateros, the 11 towns and one city of Bataan, the 23 towns and cities of Cavite, the 30 towns and cities of Laguna, San Mateo and Taytay, both in Rizal province; Narvacan, Sta. Maria, San Emilio, Lidlidda, Del Pilar, and Candon City in Ilocos Sur; Guagua and Minalin in Pampanga; Sta. Barbara in Pangasinan; Obando in Bulacan; and Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

Habagat’s wrath left 15 dead, 41 injured, and four missing – one each from Tubo, Abra; Bontoc and Sagada in Mountain Province; and Sariaya, Quezon. The latest bulletin of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) placed the death toll at only eight, but reports from the field indicated seven more fatalities in Regions 3 and 4-A.

The NDRRMC reported a total of 223,991 families or 1,060,094 persons affected in 1,028 barangays of 80 municipalities and 35 cities of Regions I, III, IV-A, IV-B, National Capital Region (NCR), and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). It was also reported that as of 6 a.m. yesterday, P66,763,939.00 worth of damage to agriculture, including fishponds, and infrastructures w in Regions I, IV-A, IV-B, and CAR.

Roads, Bridges Impassable

Among infrastructures damaged were the Pasig-Potrero Bridge on Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), Nagbayan-Nagbunga Bridge in San Antonio, Zambales, and one bridge in Mountain Province, rendering them impassable.

The wrath of the hanging habagat rains also rendered at least 88 roads in Regions 1, 3, 4-A, 5 CAR, and NCR impassable due to flooding. At least 18 power interruptions were reported in Regions 4-A and 4-B.

Mark Calpo, PAGASA weather observer, said the amount of the three-day rainfall from the storm-enhanced southwest monsoon reached 505.5 millimeters (mm), breaching the average volume of rain in August.

Calpo said the highest volume of rain was recorded between 8 a.m. August 20 and 8 a.m. August 21 at 225.7 mm, while the highest rainfall amount was between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. last Tuesday at 23.9 mm, which was described as intense rainfall.

The amount of rainfall in the past three days could still be lower than the epic rainfall of tropical storm “Ondoy” in 2009 and the 2012 “habagat.”

“Ondoy’s” volume of rain within 24 hours alone was already 455 mm. Ondoy’s rains was caused by the combined effects of the southwest monsoon and a tropical cyclone in September, 2009.

The rainfall amount of the destructive “habagat” in 2012, from August 6 to August 8, reached 1,007 mm.

P7.9-M Relief Aid

Flood victims line up to get food packs from Philippine Army personnel at the H. Bautista Elementary School in Concepcion Uno, Marikina City. (Mark Balmores)

With the devastation left by the southwest monsoon, at least P7.9 million worth of relief assistance will be allotted to disaster victims from the combined resources of the government and non-government organizations (NGOs), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said yesterday.

President Benigno S. Aquino III started the distribution of relief assistance to residents affected by the “habagat” by visiting Biñan and San Pedro, Laguna, as well as Mandaluyong City.

His first stop was at the Dela Paz Elementary School in Biñan, Laguna, where he assured evacuees that the government has enough resources and equipment to bring their lives back to normal.

He also distributed food packs in San Pedro, Laguna, as well as in Mandaluyong City.

Aquino said that with the storm now out of the country, the government can now focus more on its relief operations.

Secretary Dinky Soliman said of the P7.9-million combined resources from the DSWD, local government units, and NGOs, the DSWD has already extended P3.763 million to the disaster victims.

She said 1,500 sacks of rice as additional food support for the affected families in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon provinces had been purchased.

$800,000 US Assistance

The United States government extended its deepest condolences for the devastation and loss of life caused by the storm.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf announced that the US Agency for International Development’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) will provide $300,000 for emergency non-food assistance and an additional contribution of $500,000 for warehousing and logistics support to improve local rapid response efforts.

Doctors On Boats

The “Doctors on Boats” program by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) “sailed” again yesterday to Roxas District, Quezon City, to provide medical help and psycho-social counseling in flooded areas, while Department of Health (DOH) officials yesterday visited evacuation centers in Marikina and San Mateo, Rizal.

At 4 a.m., the PMA members went to Roxas District to distribute relief goods and medicines to the affected population.

DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona distributed packages with P750 worth of essential generic medicines, including antibiotic ointments, and hygiene kits to the evacuees in H. Bautista Elementary School, JP Rizal, Concepcion Uno Elementary School, and Doña Pepeng Elementary School in Marikina and San Mateo.

Ona was accompanied by Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa, Assistant Secretaries Eric Tayag, Roland Cortez, Carmencita Banatin, and Dr. Emmanuel Bueno, Amang Rodriguez Memorial hospital director.

Leptospirosis Surge Feared

In a radio interview, Ona said fever, colds, coughing and fungal diseases were reported in some evacuees and they are expecting the surge of leptospirosis in seven days.

In Cavite, a Police Provincial Office (PPO) team led by Superintendent Carlos Ebuen Ebarde distributed relief goods to flood victims in Tanza at the height of the “habagat” rains Tuesday.

Ebarde, the PPO deputy director for administration, was accompanied by Supt. Joseph S. Javier, Communiy Relations and Information officer; and Supt. Hersan H. Mojica, Tanza police chief, in distributing relief goods to 1,500 victims in Barangay Calibuyo.

Meanwhile, Globe Bridging Communities is spearheading the distribution of hot meals in Parañaque City and food packs composed of rice, canned goods, and noodles in Noveleta, Cavite; Biñan, Laguna; Malolos, Bulacan; and Dinalupihan, Bataan until Saturday.

Aside from the existing “Libreng Tawag” stations in San Mateo, Rizal; Biñan, and Concepcion Uno and Nangka in Marikina City, Globe is also putting up facilities in Dinalupihan; Muntinlupa City; Parañaque; Pateros; and Taytay, Rizal. Philippine mobile phone manufacturer Cloudfone will lend Cloudfone 430x units for the entire operations. (With reports from Jean Fernando, Anthony Giron, Mar T. Supnad, Freddie C. Velez, Jonas Reyes, Liezle Basa Iñigo, Freddie G. Lazaro, Madelynne Dominguez, Madel S. Namit, Roy C. Mabasa, Jeffrey G. Damicog, Jenny F. Manongdo, Carlo Suerte Felipe)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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