A man watches as water is released from Bustos Dam in Bulacan yesterday. VAL RODRIGUEZ

MANILA, AUGUST 22, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Alexis Romero -The southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring has affected more than one million people and left at least 16 dead, officials said yesterday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said a total of 1,065,353 persons or 225,056 families in 1,035 barangays have been affected by the bad weather that hit a huge part of Luzon.

Of the affected persons, 343,068 individuals or 73,191 families were displaced.

The NDRRMC said 163,868 persons or 35,668 families were in 501 evacuation centers nationwide, while 179,200 individuals or 37,523 families opted to stay at the homes of friends and relatives.

The death toll from the southwest monsoon rose to 16 yesterday, based on combined reports from NDRRMC and regional civil defense offices.

New fatalities were recorded in Calabarzon, Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

Six of the new fatalities died of drowning, namely Rustom Despeda of Sariaya, Quezon; Lodigario Parado Plasilo of Meycauayan, Bulacan; John Genesis of Noveleta, Cavite; Roberto Capili and Constantine Modesto, both from Imus City, Cavite, and Nelson Fausto of Rizal.

A certain Roman Sanchez of Lubao, Pampanga was electrocuted.

An 84-year-old woman identified as Purita Malos died when she was swept away by floods in San Dionisio, Parañaque City, making her the first fatality in Metro Manila.

Other fatalities that were reported previously were Jeric Sorgello of Bataan, Renato Roman Lacsamana and Justin Viray both from Pampanga, Jian Charles Centeno of Bulacan, Joros Miyage and Celedenonio Gamban, both from Cavite, Franco Pedrito Cawayan of Apayao and Austin Betasolo of Rizal.

A total of 41 people were hurt while five others remained missing.

The heavy monsoon rains also damaged P73.48 million worth of infrastructure and agriculture.

The NDRRMC said 68 roads and two bridges in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, the Bicol region, Cordillera and Metro Manila are still not passable to all types of vehicles as of yesterday afternoon.

NDRRMC spokesman Maj. Rey Balido said the areas placed under state of calamity were Bataan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Malabon, Marikina and Pateros, in Metro Manila; Candon City, Narvacan, Gregorio del Pilar and Sta. Maria, all in Ilocos Sur; Dagupan City and Sta. Barbara in Pangasinan; Victoria and Barangay Lagnas in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

The town of Calasiao in Pangasinan was also placed under a state of calamity as 18 of its 24 barangays were still submerged.

The high volume of rainfall from the monsoon rains for the past three days submerged most areas in Luzon, destroying lives and properties that forced many towns and cities, particularly in Central Luzon, to declare a state of calamity.

The heavy rains also caused the water level to rise in several dams in Luzon, including one in Metro Manila.

Even as the monsoon rains weakened with Maring exiting the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday, three major dams in Luzon continue to release excess water.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the Ipo dam in Bulacan, and the Ambuklao and Binga dams in Benguet province had two gates open each as of 2 p.m. yesterday.

The water level at Ipo dam was at 100.77 meters, slightly below its spilling level of 100.80 meters.

Ambuklao and Binga dams had water levels of 751.37 m (normal 752.00) and 573.70 (normal 575.00), respectively.

Magat dam in Isabela stopped releasing water as of midnight yesterday.

The La Mesa dam in Quezon City, however, continued to overflow as of yesterday afternoon.

An official of Manila Water said they are monitoring the water level at La Mesa as it continues to overflow.

Teddy Angeles, headworks manager of the La Mesa Dam for Manila Water, said the dam is still on red alert after its water level rose to 80.31 meters as of noon yesterday.

Angeles said latest monitoring showed dam elevation is beyond the spilling level of 80.15 meters.

Angeles warned it is not yet safe for affected residents to go back to their houses and advised them to stay in evacuation centers.

The dam flows along Tullahan River, so in case it reaches spilling level, affected areas will be Fairview in Quezon City, and Caloocan City.

As it exits to Manila Bay, it will affect residents in Valenzuela, Malabon and Navotas areas.

NDRRMC executive director Eduardo del Rosario said he is satisfied with the preparations of the local governments.

He also lauded PAGASA for coming up with accurate and timely forecasts.

Del Rosario, however, cited the need to further improve public awareness about the risks posed by disasters. He noted some residents refused to leave their homes because they were concerned about losing their properties.

“The cooperation of civilians is very important. The local governments did what they had to do and in general the cooperation of the general populace was encouraging,” Del Rosario said. – Helen Flores, Rhodina Villanueva, Eva Visperas, Ding Cervantes, Teddy Molina, Non Alquitran, Raymund Catindig, Michelle Zoleta, Juancho Mahusay, Ric Sapnu


In the face of calamity, a chance to woo voters August 21, 2013 10:03 pm by JING VILLAMENTE REPORTER

Families find shelter at the Holy Family Parish in Quezon City on Wednesday after they were displaced by the floods caused by the heavy rain brought by the southwest monsoon. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

To some people, calamities can be an opportunity to fish for votes.

Candidates in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October tried to outdo each other in extending help to flood victims in Quezon City.

Residents of Area 7 in the city’s First District, particularly those living near the Dario River, were swamped by candidates from Barangays Del Monte and Damayan.

Bancas bearing the names of candidates for the synchronized polls were used to transport trapped residents to higher ground. Vehicles prominently displaying the names of councilors roamed flooded areas of West Riverside distributing biscuits, bread and other items to flood victims.

Would-be candidates made their presence known, while higher officials stayed close to TV and radio teams reporting on the situation in their areas.

Meanwhile, SK aspirants brought pots of lugaw (porridge) for the victims.

Ito ang time na dapat ipakita nila [would-be candidates] ang kanilang kakayahang tumulong, kahit hindi pa elections,” Juno Falconi said, referring to his daughter Angelica alias “Bebang” who running for an SK post in Barangay Del Monte.


Classes still suspended today (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 22, 2013 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0

WATER EVERYWHERE, BUT... Residents affected by floods line up at a water refilling station in Noveleta, Cavite yesterday. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, Philippines - The city governments of Makati, Caloocan, Malabon and Marikina suspended classes at all levels today and tomorrow to allow school officials, parents and students to clear debris and repair the damage left by the floods.

Classes also remain suspended at all levels in Laguna and San Mateo, Rizal, which were placed under a state of calamity, until tomorrow.

Classes at all levels in Manila and Mandaluyong remain suspended today.

In Pateros and Valenzuela cities, only classes from pre-school to high school remain suspended until Friday.

Classes at the Valenzuela Polytechnic College and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela also remain suspended.

Classes from pre-school to high school levels in Navotas, Parañaque, Pasig and Pasay are suspended until today, pending further announcement from the local governments.

Only classes from pre-school to high school in the first district of Las Piñas remain suspended today.

The city government of Taguig suspended classes only in public schools today, saying it’s up to the private schools to decide on the matter.

Classes in all levels in Cavite, Bataan, Pangasinan and in Meycauayan, Malolos, Balagtas, Bulakan and Baliuag in Bulacan also remain suspended today.

Classes in all levels in Quezon City resume today, except in Diosdado Elementary School, San Gabriel Elementary School, Fairview Elementary School and Bagong Silangan Elementary School, which are being used as evacuation centers.

Classes also remain suspended today at the Ateneo Law School, except for bar review classes. Makati City spokesman Joey Salgado said the suspension of classes would enable students, teachers and parents to recover from the effects of flooding.

As of noon yesterday, the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center reported that flooding in the city has started to subside.

Malabon Mayor Antolin Oreta III said the class suspension would allow for repairs and rehabilitation in schools.

He said the high tide could worsen the flooding in the city, which was placed under state of calamity owing to severe damage it suffered from the bad weather. Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman declared the class suspension after meeting the city’s disaster council and its members, department heads, councilors and local officials.

Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos said he was not keen on declaring a long holiday for the students as classes had been suspended since Tuesday.

“They will still have to make up for the days that classes were suspended. I don’t want to make it harder for them,” he said.

Floodwaters have not receded in most towns in Pangasinan and local officials said the situation is expected to worsen because of high tide.

Make-up classes

The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded school administrators to hold make-up classes in order to complete the 180 school days for each school year.

“If there are class disruptions, these can be made up through additional take-home modules or actual make-up classes either on Saturdays or by extending class hours on weekdays,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a statement. Luistro said the DepEd annual calendar of around 200 school days includes a buffer of 20 days for class disruptions.

“There may still be enough buffer days at this time of the school year so as not to require make-up classes following the two days lost this week,” he said. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Mike Frialde, Jose Rodel Clapano, Non Alquitran, Rey Galupo, Eva Visperas

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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