Floods kill 49; two million Pinoys affected

Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

(UPDATE 2) Torrential rains brought by the southwest monsoon has so far left 49 people dead, 26 of which are from the NCR, as most cities and provinces remain submerged in heavy floods.

Aside from the death toll, which has increased from 11 on Wednesday, six persons have also been reported missing and four injured, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in its 8 p.m. update Thursday.

Heavy rains have affected 2.11 million Filipinos, it added, noting that 580,079 persons have been served basic needs and services primarily through 630 evacuation centers.

Still under severe floods are 80 cities and municipalities in Metro Manila as well as Regions I, III, and IV-A, the NDRRMC added.

States of calamity have meanwhile been declared in Marikina, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasig, Pasay, Caloocan and Pateros in Metro Manila; the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Olongapo City and Zambales in Region III; Laguna in Region IV-A; and in the Palawan municipalities of Culion, El Nido and Linacapan in Region IV-B.

As of Wednesday, the government has deployed relief assistance worth P7.935 million while P36.56 million in funds and supplies remain on stanby, the NDRRMC said.

Flooding in 129 roads and five bridges in affected areas, however, continue to pose challenges to rescue and relief operations.

Gates of the Magat dam have been closed at 5:45 a.m. but its water level is still at 191.67 meters, higher than the spilling level of 190 meters.

The La Mesa dam, which has exceeded its spilling level of 80.15 meters continues to overflow, with elevation now at 80.31 meters.

In critical levels, meanwhile, are Angat dam at 211.98 meters with a spilling level of 210 meters; Pantabangan dam at 208.68 meters and spilling level of 221 meters; and Caliraya dam 286.49 meters and a spilling level of 288 meters.

"All residents living in the areas near the  Ipo, Ambuklao, Binga, San Roque and Magat dams are advised to be alert for possible increase in the water level downstream and those near the  La Mesa dam are advised to be alert for the overflow of water in La Mesa Dam," the NDRRMC said.

The water level in the Marikina level, meanwhile, has receded to 17.89 meters as of 12 noon, after reaching "an alarming state of 19.8 meters" earlier on Thursday, the NDRRMC said.

In its forecast 5 p.m. Thursday, the weather bureau noted occasional rains becoming frequent over the western sections of Nothern and Central Luzon.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) added that such rainfall "may trigger flashfloods and landslides."

Pagasa at 12:20 p.m. Thursday also lifted any rainfall warning signal over Metro Manila, even as it urged Filipinos in low-lying areas to continuously monitor the weather situation.