Three dead as storm lashes Philippines

At least three people were killed and millions were left without power Monday as Tropical Storm Saola turned into a typhoon, bringing heavy rains to large parts of the Philippines, the government said.

Manila was one of the worst hit areas and schools across the sprawling capital were suspended, largely due to flooding, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

Nearly 13,000 people were evacuated in Manila, other parts of the main island of Luzon and the central Visayas region, as rainfall reached 20 millimetres (0.8 inches) an hour, according to the council.

"The worst appears to be over, though... there will be more rains forecast today," council chief Benito Ramos told AFP.

One person drowned in the central province of Antique, while the body of a man believed to be a fisherman lost at sea washed ashore in a coastal town south of Manila, he said.

The coast guard meanwhile said one of 57 passengers aboard a ferry that sunk Sunday in rough seas in the central Philippines died of an apparent asthma attack while being rescued.

All the other people aboard were safe, it said.

Saola did not strike the Philippines directly but exacerbated rains from a low pressure area in the vicinity, weather forecasters said.

The storm was upgraded into a typhoon by the government weather station on Monday as it continued to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the northernmost areas of the Philippines, the government weather station said.

By late afternoon Monday, Saola was in the Philippine Sea, 260 kilometres (161 miles) off the northernmost Batanes islands and heading slowly towards Taiwan, the weather station said.

The northern regions are still vulnerable to flashfloods and landslides even as the typhoon pulls away, it warned.

Work in all government agencies was suspended in Manila in the afternoon to allow workers to return home early amid forecasts of more rain, presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

The storm knocked out power for as many as two million households in Manila starting late Saturday, said Joe Zaldarriaga, spokesman for the Manila Electric Co. which distributes power to the capital of 15 million.

Even though repair crews had restored electrical service to most of those affected, there were still 38,000 homes without power as of Monday afternoon, he said in a radio interview.

"We apologise for the inconvenience but be assured that we are doing are best to immediately restore power," Manila Electric said in statement to customers.

At least 15 domestic flights were also called off, while emergency officials were also monitoring La Mesa dam north of Manila after its water neared overspill level.

La Mesa provides water to Manila's residents, and any overflow could flood a major river that snakes across the northern portion of the capital before draining into Manila Bay.

"There are thousands of residents living along this waterway and we have told them to prepare for possible evacuations," Ramos told AFP.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’
    ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’

    Conflict in the South China Sea can affect economic growth and stability in Southeast Asia, New Zealand warned yesterday, amid China’s aggressive reclamation activities in disputed waters. New Zealand is marking its 40 th year of diplomatic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and hopes to intensify trade and other linkages with the 10-member grouping. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have overlapping territorial claims with China over the Spratly …

  • OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF
    OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF

    The Philippine government is asking the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to finally complete the tripartite review process of the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The review – snagged  for several years as government had its hands full with the peace process with rival faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – tackles how the 1996 peace pact with the MNLF has been implemented and centers on the three remaining …

  • Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe
    Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe

    Eight of the resource persons ordered arrested by the Senate finally attended the 21st public hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee into the alleged anomalies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, but the proceedings turned out to be a review of matters previously presented. For over three hours, the subcommittee heard presentations regarding the alleged hidden assets of Binay and the issue regarding the supposed P200 million in kickbacks he received from a deal between the Boy …

  • DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe
    DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is wrapping up its investigation into the “massacre” of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A joint team of prosecutors and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigators is about to finish the second part,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has told congressmen. Pagdilao stressed that it has been more than a month since De Lima announced to the media that the DOJ would be …

  • APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism
    APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism

    BALANGA CITY, Bataan – More than 2,000 delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and international media outfits are expected to enjoy the splendid coastline of Bagac town, which faces the West Philippine Sea, as they converge for a workshop in this province next month. …

  • DOST opens P54-M research facility
    DOST opens P54-M research facility

    A P54-million research and development facility of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was recently opened in Bicutan, Taguig for scientists and researchers to develop technology and techniques to allow Filipino fashion and clothing designers and manufacturers to produce more mainstream products from local, tropical fabrics like piña, banana and abaca. Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) is the DOST’s flagship effort at reviving …

  • DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights
    DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights

    Philippine embassy officials in Doha have raised their concern with Qatari authorities over coercion and human rights violations in the alleged forcing of three Filipino workers convicted of spying to provide information and confess to the crime. Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the embassy has raised the matter during several high-level meetings with Qatari officials and the national human rights committee in Qatar. “Our embassy …

  • US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl
    US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington’s pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains “ironclad” and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief “reaffirmed” the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options