Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - A tropical depression passing off the country's northern tip merged with a low-pressure area and enhanced the seasonal monsoon, bringing extremely bad weather and the attendant chaos to much of Luzon Saturday.
Two people drowned and six others were reported missing as Tropical Depression "Ferdie" struck northern Luzon, inundating several provinces, including Metro Manila, with floodwaters.
Heavy rains caused rivers, creeks and canals to overflow, triggering flash floods in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas of northern Luzon.
Overnight monsoon rains, enhanced by the depression, swamped parts of Metro Manila, making roads impassable and causing traffic jams. Local officials in the metropolis declared a school holiday as floodwaters rose knee-high in some areas.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) recorded heavy-to-intense rainfall from Mindoro to farther north in Mt. Province and Ilocos Sur, from Friday morning to Saturday morning.
Metro Manila and nearby areas were pounded by torrential rainfall of more than 40 millimetres (1.6 inches) an hour early Saturday, said weather forecaster Gener Quitlong.
Sinait, Ilocos Sur, posted the highest 24-hour rainfall at 190.6 millimetres, followed by Subic Bay's 107.9 millimetres, Sangley Point's 91.6 millimetres, Baguio City's 84.6 millimetres and Calapan's 80 millimetres.
In the capital, the weather bureau early Saturday issued warnings of serious flooding in Taguig, Paranaque, Makati, Manila, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, Pasay, Marikina, Malabon, Navotas and Caloocan, after monitoring 65 millimetres of rainfall in these areas in the previous three hours.
After making landfall in the Batanes and the Calayan groups in the archipelago's northern tip at a little after midnight, Ferdie merged with a low-pressure area over the West Philippine Sea very early Saturday. This, however, did not have any effect, the weather bureau said, and the depression was expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Saturday night.