Manila: Twenty-eight people died in several landslides in central Luzon due to monsoon rains triggered by Typhoon Usagi that left for southern China. It also resulted in flooded national highways and major streets in northern Luzon, Metro Manila and southern Luzon, sources said.
“Some of our employees spent the night on rooftops because of relentless floods that reached up to the second floor,” Armie Llamas, public relations officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said. Several SBMA workers narrated tales of woes such as bringing children, pets and old people to the rooftop of buildings as water levels rose, Llamas said.
“The whole of Subic remained isolated because of the floods. Those on rooftops were not rescued immediately,” Llamas said, adding that water kept rising in flooded areas as the rains have not stopped.
“Power outages also occurred in far-flung villages, making flooded areas more isolated, and people there hungry and cold,” she said.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC) regional office called for rescue assistance from several line agencies and the local government in the form of inflatable boats, relief goods and rescuers in Zambales, Undersecretary Eduardo del Rosario, NDRRMC head, said.
Radio reports said that residents in Subic used ropes to help people cross from flooded areas to safer grounds.
Schools, offices and commercial areas, including hotels and entertainment centres, were closed in Subic, the local government said, adding that roads and bridges were also damaged.
Metro Manila, 80 kilometres south of Subic, remained dark and its streets flooded, prompting officials to close offices and schools. Streets leading to Makati City, the financial district, were also flooded.
In suburban Quezon City, slum areas established illegally on riverbanks were inundated. Parts of Cavite and Laguna in southern Luzon were also flooded. Several dams in northern Luzon reported reaching critical levels.
Typhoon Usagi (also known as Odette) has flooded northern and central Luzon as it traversed almost 900 kilometres from the eastern to the western areas of northern Luzon, for seven days starting September 16.
“Heavy monsoon rains with wide radius, estimated at 500 kilometres, became relentless starting Sunday as Typhoon Usagi reached China’s Guandong province,” the weather station said.
Usagi never made a landfall in northern Luzon, but its damage was wide-ranging.
Some 21 storms enter the Philippines every year starting June.