METRO Manila and nearby areas were at a standstill on Tuesday as heavy monsoon rains induced by tropical storm “Henry” (international name: “Son-Tinh”) and floods forced Malacañang to suspend all classes and work in government offices, and disrupted public transportation.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council raised a “blue alert” requiring all partner agencies to be on alert 24/7, while the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority suspended its number-coding traffic scheme amid lack of public transport.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued Memorandum Circular 47 suspending office work, except private companies and government agencies involved in disaster and relief operations. The Palace gave private firms the discretion to suspend work.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court, the Senate and the Manila city government suspended operations.
The water level at Marikina River reached 16.7 meters, prompting the city government to raise the second alarm and urge 142,519 residents in low-lying areas to evacuate. The affected areas are Tumana, 43,249 residents; Nangka, 43,828; and Malanday, 55,442.
Public transport was largely affected by the floods.
Six stations of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 saw gutter to knee-deep floods — R. Papa, 5th Avenue, Pedro Gil, United Nations, Bambang and Balintawak.
The Philippine National Railways suspended operations because its tracks were submerged in floods.
Cebu Pacific flights to and from San Jose, Mindoro and Manila were cancelled, according to the Manila International Airport Authority.
For today, Wednesday, classes at all levels were suspended in Metro Manila and various areas in Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
Storm “Henry” exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility, but the weather bureau said a low-pressure area (LPA) could intensify into a tropical depression.
As of 5 p.m., the LPA was 805 kilometers (km) east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan and was expected to intensify into a tropical depression within 36 hours with a local name of “Inday,” weather specialist Ariel Rojas of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.
Monsoon rains were experienced over Metro Manila, the Ilocos region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, the Mindoro provinces and Palawan.
Pagsasa said Luzon and the Visayas would have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms today due to the southwest monsoon.
Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms caused by localized thunderstorms, Pagasa said.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said flooding in Metro Manila was “manageable.”
Romeo Cabantac, OCD director in Metro Manila, said there were no forced evacuations in Marikina.
“We are just advising the people since [the flood]is already 16 meters. We are also monitoring the Tullahan River,” Cabantac told reporters.
“Frankly speaking, [the flood]is still manageable…we are still monitoring the developments at the Marikina River since it already reached our second alarm,” he added.
The OCD has yet to receive reports of casualties, he said.
In Bulacan, heavy rains submerged several villages in 12 towns and two cities, prompting the provincial government to suspend classes in all levels and government offices in the entire province, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMC) reported Tuesday morning.
Reports reaching the Communication, Command and Control Center (C4) of PDRRMC said the towns of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Bocaue,, Marilao, Sta. Maria, Obando, Bulakan, Paombong, Hagonoy, Calumpit, Pulilan, San Miguel and the cities of Malolos and Meycauayan had flood waters of 2 to 5 feet.
As of 1:26pm on Tuesday, the water level at Angat Dam was at 190.71 meters (spilling level 210 meters) and 101.22 meters at Ipo Dam (spilling level 101 meters), while high tide as of 12:42pm reached to 1.18 meters or 3.87 ft..
The stretch of the Manila North Road, formerly Macarthur Highway, in front of SM City in Barangay Saog in Marilao, had 2 to 3 feet of flood waters, rendering it impassable to light vehicles.
In Bataan, heavy rains caused flash floods in 34 villages in 10 towns — Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay, Pilar, Orion, Limay, Mariveles, Morong and Balanga.
Sixty individuals from Balanga City and 36 others from Morong were in evacuation centers.
National roads were passable except the portion of the Roman Highway in Balut and Bilolo in Orion where road construction was going on.
Hard hit by the floods were residents in a sitio in Barangay Poblacion in Pilar town. Water from the swollen river almost overflowed at a bridge along the MacArthur Highway in Pilar where rescue workers were on watch.
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rescheduled their games.
The PBA announced that Game 2 of the semifinals between Ginebra and Rain or Shine in the Season 43 Commissioner’s Cup was reset to Thursday at 7 p.m.
The NCAA seniors’ games, along with those of their high school counterparts, will be re-scheduled later in the first round of eliminations.
San Beda University and Mapua University were supposed to shoot for a share of the lead against Jose Rizal University and Colegio de San Juan de Letran, respectively, while Perpetual Help’s bid to improve its record versus debuting Arellano was cut short. / BY THE MANILA TIMES ON
DEMPSEY REYES, GLEE JALEA, LLANESCA T. PANTI, REGINAN ABANG, MA. AGATHA NICOLE T. FABRICANTE, JOMAR CANLAS, ATHENA LUCASAN, RALPH U. VILLANUEVA, JEAH DALATEN, JOSEF T. RAMOS, JEREMIAH SEVILLA, FREDERICK SILVERIO AND ERNIE B. ESCONDE
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