• ‘Falcon’ out by noon

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    GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM  Storm or no storm, residents of Artex Compound in Barangay Panghulo in Malabon City use paddle boats in getting around. The community has endured year-round flooding for more than a decade. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM
    Storm or no storm, residents of Artex Compound in Barangay Panghulo in Malabon City use paddle boats in getting around. The community has endured year-round flooding for more than a decade. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    RAINS will be lighter on Friday as Typhoon Falcon (international name: Chan Hom) moves out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) but the state weather agency is not discounting the possibility of flash floods and landslides.

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    Weathermen are also watching an approaching typhoon with the international code name Nangka, which is still near Guam.

    The weather disturbance will be named Goring once it enters the PAR.

    Falcon slightly intensified but is still forecast to exit the PAR by noon Friday.

    As of 4 p.m. Thursday, it was estimated at 750 kilometers east-northeast of Itbayat, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 170 kph.

    The weathermen said the typhoon is forecast to move northwest at 22 kph.

    In its 5 p.m. bulletin, Pagasa said the monsoon rains may, however, trigger flash floods and landslides in Metro Manila and parts of Luzon.

    Pagasa forecasters raised flood alerts in the regions of Ilocos, Cordillera, Central Luzon,
    Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.

    Occasional rains are expected over Western Visayas and Central Visayas and the rest of Luzon, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms will prevail over the rest of the country.

    Moderate to strong winds from the southwest will prevail over the entire archipelago with moderate to rough seas.

    Strong to gale-force winds may affect the seaboards of the western coast of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Metro Manila and Cavite; western coast of Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and Antique; seaboards of Batanes, Calayan and Babuyan; northern coast of Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon including Polillo Island, Camarines provinces, Catanduanes, Albay and Sorsogon; and southern coast of Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Masbate, Burias Island, Siquijor, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Samar and Leyte

    Waves in these areas may reach 4.5 meters, about the height of a house.

    “Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” Pagasa said in a statement.

    Dam watch
    Authorities were on alert for possible overflow of the La Mesa Dam in Quezon City and the Ipo Dam in Bulacan after days of heavy rains increased their water levels.

    They raised the red alert at the La Mesa Dam as the water level there was monitored at 79.69 meters as of 11 a.m. Friday. Its spilling level is at 80.15 meters.

    According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the dam has no gates.

    Should it overflow, the water will spill over to the Tullahan River and may affect areas along its banks.

    Ipo Dam in Bulacan, meanwhile, was already at 100.94 meters. Its spilling level is 101 meters.

    Class, work suspensions
    Intermittent to heavy rains from morning to noon prompted Malacañang to send all government workers home.

    “Upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council [NDRRMC] and in view of the inclement weather brought about by the southwest monsoon, enhanced by Typhoon ‘Falcon,’ work in government offices in the National Capital Region [Metro Manila], is hereby suspended starting 3:00 p.m. today, 09 July 2015,” Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said in a memorandum.

    Following the Malacanang announcement, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno allowed judicial employees in Metro Manila to go home.

    She also gave executive judges the discretion whether to call off work.

    Employees of the Philippine Senate were also sent home at 1 p.m.

    Classes in all levels in Metr o Manila were already suspended for the day as a precaution.
    Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Thursday announced the suspension of classes in all levels, both in private and public schools on Friday.

    Radio station dzBB reported that Friday classes were also to be suspended in Metro Manila, Cavite, Olongapo City (Zambales) and certain areas in Batangas, Bulacan and Rizal.

    THE Department of Education (DepEd) also on Thursday reminded public schools to draw up schedules for make-up classes arising from class suspensions because of bad weather that started on Monday.

    Education Secretary Armin Luistro said schools that suspended their classes for the whole week should conduct make-up classes.

    “As per previous DepEd orders, all schools are required to complete 180 days of contact time per school year,” Luistro told this reporter in a text message. “Field offices are given the discretion to revise their respective calendars accordingly.”

    The DepEd said make-up classes could be held during Saturdays to ensure the students attend the required 201 school days for this school year.

    Luistro directed school officials to ensure the safety of everyone and secure school structures and documents from being further damaged by Falcon.

    “[Public] school heads are reminded to take care of their students and their health,” he said.

    Flights
    Several flights were canceled at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport also on Thursday.

    The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said, as of 4p.m., the affected flights are from Philippines Airlines (PAL), PAL Express, Cebu Pacific Air and Cathay Pacific Airways.

    Cathay Pacific announced that Flight CX918 bound for Hong Kong as well as CX903 from Hong Kong were scrapped because of bad weather.

    PAL also canceled PR310, Manila-Hong Kong, and another Manila-Hong Kong flight, PR312.

    Meanwhile, six domestic flights from Cebu Pacific, 5J905 (Manila-Caticlan), 5J906 (Busuanga-Manila), 5J529 (Manila-Busuanga), 5J530 (Busuanga-Manila), 5J531 (Manila-Busuanga) and 5J532 (Busuanga-Manila) were scrapped.

    PAL Express canceled its Manila-Caticlan (2P2053) and 2P2054 (Caticlan-Manila) flights.

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