World | Philippines

Storm leaves Philippines causing misery to thousands

A total of 15 people reported missing as floods wreak havoc

  • By Gilbert P Felongco, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 June 26, 2011
  • Gulf News

Rescue operations
  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • A man guides his rescue boat as flood waters began to subside on Saturday in suburban Marikina City east of Manila.
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Manila: Storm Meari, known as Falcon, left the Philippine area Saturday morning but continued to cause misery to thousands of residents in Metro Manila and Central Luzon provinces.

Around 330,000 residents from four regions, including Metro Manila, have been affected by massive flooding, landslides and other disruptions, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

According to the Council, a total of 15 people were missing, one each from Albay, Rizal and Olongapo City were lost while 12 fishermen from Catanduanes who ventured to sea despite the storm warning were not accounted for.

Although not classified as a storm until Friday, Meari dumped heavy rains that overwhelmed the perennially clogged drainage systems of Metro Manila, particularly in Manila, the suburbs of Quezon, Makati City, Malabon and Valenzuela City.

In Malabon and Quezon cities, the flood waters reached up to thigh-high in some parts with some roads still remaining inaccessible.

Malabon suffered flooding despite the several billion-peso much-delayed Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela (Camanava) flood control project.

Destruction

During the height of the storm, three tornado incidents were reported in separate parts of the country. These were in Central Philippines' Barotac Nuevo in Iloilo, which damaged 24 houses and destroyed 25 others; in Quezon City's Immaculate Village in Balete Drive, and in New Manila.

The three tornado incidents injured several people.

According to the state weather bureau, Meari carried winds of 105km/h near the centre.

The storm also increased its speed to 24 km/h from 19 km/h while moving north-northwest in the general direction of Korea.

Meanwhile, in Marikina, a low-lying suburb of Manila, 25,000 people were in evacuation centres after waters reached dangerous levels, the office added. Authorities indicated it was too early to say when people would be able to return home.

Seas were still too rough for small craft, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

A woman was washed away by raging waters while two children could not be accounted for amid floods and landslides outside the capital.

While Meari only brushed the eastern side of the country, it still brought torrential rain for most of the week.

Even though the storm was about 600km north of Manila and moving towards China yesterday, it continued to add to seasonal monsoon rains, the government weather station said. Numerous schools closed and at least 26 flights had been cancelled since Friday due to the bad weather, the disaster risk reduction council said.

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