‘Gener’ Leaves 8 Dead

MANILA, Philippines --- Typhoon "Gener" (international name: Saola) moved farther away from the country Tuesday but left at least eight people dead and displaced 1,752 families who had to be evacuated to higher grounds due to heavy rains and strong winds.

Despite moving away, Gener will continue to dump rains over extreme Northern Luzon, state weather forecasters said.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecaster Gladys Saludes said seven areas remain under public storm warning signals as of yesterday morning.

Signal No. 3 remains hoisted over the Batanes Group of Islands, while Cagayan, including Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, remains under Signal No. 2.

Still under Signal No. 1 are Isabela, Kalinga, and Apayao.

As of 5 p.m., Gener was located at 260 kilometers (km) east-northeast of Basco, Batanes.

It has maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

It is forecast to move north at 7 kph. She said the typhoon has slowed down due to a high pressure area (HPA) northeast of Gener.

Gener is expected to be at 360 km northeast of Basco, Batanes by Wednesday afternoon and at 500 km north of Basco, Batanes by Thursday afternoon.

Saludes said Gener will leave the Philippine vicinity by Thursday.

She said the typhoon is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat that will bring rains and moderate to strong winds over Luzon and Visayas, especially the western section.

The estimated amount of rainfall is from heavy to torrential or 10 to 35 mm per hour within the 700-km diameter of the typhoon.

As of press time, several villages in Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna remain submerged in floodwaters, prompting authorities to declare a state of calamity.

Based on latest National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) bulletin, authorities also recorded a total of 46 incidents like flooding, landslides, and the like due to heavy rains brought by Gener.

NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos identified the latest fatalities as Merly Datinguinoo, 45, of Tingloy, Batangas (drowning); Danieles Hipolito, from Bacoor, Cavite (electrocution); Reynante Lingasad, Jr., 10, from Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte (drowning); and Bernard Buzon, 35, from Tanay, Rizal; Lehan Hayo, 28, Mariveles, Bataan (drowning).

The NDRRMC initially reported three fatalities, identified as Ronald Necor, from Antique; Ernest Glores, 60, from Alaminos, Laguna; and Teodoro Flores, 40, from San Pablo, Laguna.

Three people were also reported injured. They are Edger Vecimo, chief cook of MV Shuttle RORO, and Ezekiel Calubaguib and Rona del Ramos, who figured in a motorcycle accident in Ifugao due to rockslides.

Eight people were rescued. Of the eight, three were fishermen who were rescued at the back of the Senate building in Pasay City, and five passengers of a motorized banca that capsized in Pagkilatan, Batangas.

Latest NDRRMC bulletin showed heavy rains spawned by Gener, which was exacerbated by a southwest monsoon and a shallow low pressure area, affected 8,298 families or 40,477 people in 94 barangays from 14 provinces in regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, and the NCR.

Of the affected population, 1,752 families or 8,016 people were temporarily evacuated from their homes.

At least 270 houses were likewise totally destroyed while 368 were partially damaged in the NCR and regions 4A, 6, 7, and 10.

Ramos said due to continuous heavy rains that started during the weekend seven road, seven bridges, and dike were closed in Cagayan, Isabela, Zambales, Batanhas, Palawan, Aklan, Camiguin, Benguet, Mountain Province, and Ifugao.

Kennon Road was also temporarily closed due to rockslides.

Authorities are also continuously monitoring the status of Angat, Ipo, La Mesa, Ambuklao, Binha, San Roque, Pantabagan, Bustos, Magat, and Caliraya dams where the water is nearing critical spilling level.

Meanwhile, Ramos said several areas in Mabitac, Laguna and Calumpit to Hagonoy on Bulacan remain submerged in floodwaters.

"Until now baha pa din especially in some municipalities of Bulacan. Lahat kasi ng tubig from Tarlac and Nueva Ecija pababa sa Pampanga river dadaan sa Arayat and Candaba then finally sa Calumpit and Hagonoy," said Ramos.

In Laguna, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said Mabitac town, the worst flooded in the province, was placed under a state of calamity.

Another area, Sta. Maria in Laguna, may also be placed under a state of calamity due to the floods.

At least eight coastal areas in Cavite province were also reported placed under a state of calamity in the wake of Gener.

Govenor Jonvic Remulla placed under state of calamity Bacoor City, Kawit, Noveleta, Cavite City, Tanza, Rosario, Naic, and Ternate.

Bacoor City was the first to be placed under calamity state after floods affected 48 of 73 of its barangays (villages) and some 14,763 residents last Monday. Also flooded were some areas in Rosario and Imus City (third district), the capital. Strong winds destroyed some shanties of families near the Ternate and Naic shores.

In Pampanga, Governor Lilia Pineda bared that the Pampanga provincial government has readied some P100 million as calamity fund for residents affected by typhoons.

Pineda said the funds will be used to assist calamity victims and for the maintenance and repair of anti-flood systems in the province.

"The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), together with concerned departments, has been preparing for the rainy season for more than a year," she said.

In Talisay, Cebu, hundreds of families living along the shoreline of Barangay Poblacion, Dumlog, Biasong, and Tangke were forced to flee as strong waves brought about by Gener destroyed houses on Monday afternoon.

At least 500 families were evacuated starting Monday morning as the waves started getting bigger and stronger, battering houses on its path. The Talisay City Social Welfare Office (CSWO), however, has not received any reports of casualties. (With reports from Anthony L. Giron, Mars W. Mosqueda Jr., Mark Anthony N. Manuel, Raymund F. Antonio, Freddie G. Lazaro, and Liezle Basa Iñigo)

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