• 4 dead as ‘Maring’ swamps Metro, Luzon


    At least four people died and six were missing when Tropical Depression Maring dumped rain in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon, forcing schools, government offices and businesses to shut down.

    WATER EVERYWHERE filipinos brave floodwaters dumped by Tropical Depresion ‘Maring’ on Tuesday. Clockwise from top, left: Commuters cross Rizal Avenue on a boat; residents of Tatalon, Quezon City wade in knee-deep waters; heavy traffic at South Luzon Expressway; and a school caretaker moves chairs to higher ground in Noveleta, Cavite. PHOTOS bY RENE H. DILAN, RUSSELL PALMA, RUY L. MARTINEZ AND MIkE DE JUAN

    A 12-year-old girl who drowned in a rain-swollen river in a Manila suburb and a three-month old baby who was crushed by a landslide southeast of the metropolis were among the victims, local officials said.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) identified two fatalities of a landslide in Barangay Dolores in Taytay, Rizal as Jude and Justil Pondal, 17 and 14 years old. They were declared dead on arrival at the Taytay General Hospital.

    The mother of the two, Judith Pondal, sustained a fractured left hand following the landslide at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, the NDRRMC said.

    “Our local council [in Taytay, Rizal]has advised our communities to refrain from going to places prone to landslides brought by the continuous rains. We are always giving advisories to our community not to put their safety at risk in this kind of season,” Rowena Marasigan, NDRRMC spokesperson, said in a news conference in Camp Aguinaldo.

    “Any warnings or advisories issued by the [NDRRMC], the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), the local government units, it must be complied with especially if it is warning us already of dangerous zones,” she said.

    Marasigan said that there were also reports of missing persons, mostly in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) but these have yet to be confirmed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the regional councils of the OCD.

    “We are currently verifying this because evacuations are still ongoing so maybe, they have not recorded this incident of a missing person yet so we are just trying to ensure as soon as we get word from our regional office,” Marasigan said.

    In Calamba City, a flash flood washed away a riverside shanty, leaving six inhabitants including a two-year-old missing.

    “They were informal settlers, living beside a river. There was a flash flood and it washed out their two storey-house,” said Noriel Habana, head of the city’s disaster management office.

    “In previous floodings, we had pre-emptive evacuation. It just so happened it was a flash flood and they had no time to react,” he said.

    Meanwhile Marasigan said the NDRRMC, through its local DRRMCs, rescued 296 passengers who were stranded in several ports in the Bicol Region.

    Residents in coastal areas in the provinces of Laguna, Quezon and Batangas were evacuated.

    In Quezon, 22 passengers were rescued from a stranded DLTB Bus, Marasigan added.

    Gutter to knee-deep floods swamped major roads in Metro Manila and its suburbs, causing heavy traffic even as authorities suspended classes and government work.

    The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) lifted the number coding traffic scheme.

    Airport officials cancelled domestic flights. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) also suspended travel to the affected areas.

    A power outage hit parts of Batangas after the 69-kilovolt (kV) Batangas-Bolboc line was damaged, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said

    The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 in Metro Manila, Cavite,

    Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Northern Luzon including Polillo Island, Southern Aurora, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, and Pangasinan.

    At 4 p.m. on Tuesday, ‘Maring’ was in the vicinity of Bacolor, Pampanga with maximum winds of up to 60 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 100 kph.

    It was forecast to move west-northwest at 15 kph and was expected to be at 280 kilometers (km) west-northwest of Iba, Zambales.

    Moderate to heavy rains will continue to be experienced over Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan and Pangasinan.

    Metro Manila, the rest of Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa will experience light to moderate with occasionally heavy rains. Residents in these areas have been alerted against possible landslide and flashfloods.

    The tropical depression is expected to exit today.

    Meanwhile, Typhoon “Lannie” (international name: Talim) will continue to move west-northwest towards the Philippine Sea but Pagasa said that it would still have no direct effect on the country.

    It is forecast to be at the northern boundary of the PAR within 24 hours as it moves towards Batanes-Taiwan area, Pagasa said.



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