Manila: Rains and landslides in Ilocos Norte led to a calamity declaration over the province while inclement weather in Metro Manila and nearby areas placed parts of the metropolis underwater, including the main airport.

According to reports reaching Manila, heavy rains dumped by severe tropical storm Bailu (Philippine name: Ineng) caused landslides and massive flooding in Ilocos Norte and prompted the provincial government to place the province under a state of calamity to hasten the delivery of relief to affected areas.

Dr Melvin Manuel, Head of Laoag City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, was quoted in radio reports as saying on Saturday that 80 per cent of the provincial capital was submerged in flood waters due to Bailu.

Unconfirmed reports also said that two minors had died in separate landslides in the Ilocos Norte town of Pasiquin and the village of Surong on Saturday.

Provincial Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc earlier declared work and class suspension in all levels in private and public establishments as floodwaters reached critical levels and landslides were reported in various parts of the province.

“For the public’s safety, tourist spots like Kapurpurawan, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Pagudpud Beach Park, Malacanang of the North, Sanddunes, Taoid and Museo Ilocs Norte, Presidential Centre in Batac, and other government-owned facilities will be closed until further notice,” said Manotoc.

Effects of Bailu were felt also in the northern Philippines provinces of Apayao, Cagayan and Zambalez and Bataan in Central Luzon as well as in Babuyan Island and Batanes.

In Metro Manila and in the nearby provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Mindoro, and Palawan, Bailu enhanced the effects of the monsoons.

Airport affected

Torrential rains brought by effects of Bailu on the monsoons also left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 (NAIA 4) in Metro Manila under half a metre of water in some parts.

NAIA 4 services several domestic flights. Manila International Airport General Manager Ed Monreal said that aside from NAIA 4, operations at the NAIA 2 and 3 were also affected because of the heavy rains.

At least one international flight and five other domestic arrivals had to be diverted to the Clark Airport in Central Luzon’s Pampanga from its original schedule in Manila.

Bailu has already exited to Taiwan by Saturday afternoon but people in the affected areas continue to suffer from its effects.

Several parts of southern and western Metro Manila such as Makati City and Manila were under water during the early afternoon, but the floods have subsided by the early evening.