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.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options