MANILA, Philippines (Aug 9, 2012) - The death toll from torrential monsoon rains rose to 19 yesterday, with over 700,000 residents evacuated from flooded areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.
NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos, however, said only 16 deaths had been verified, including nine landslide victims in Quezon City.
One-month-old Jonica Castulo and her siblings Jonathan, 3; Joshua, 2; and their mother Jessica, 23, were killed in the landslide in Barangay Commonwealth last Tuesday.
The other victims were Cecilia, 49; Jayvee, 20; Jethro, 18; Jason, 14; and Jessie Lee Joy, 6, all surnamed Baylon.
Rescuers recovered survivors Lydia Lyn Simbulan, 40; Maria Leslyn Simbulan, 21; and Jesie Baylon Jr., 24, who were brought to East Avenue Medical Center for treatment.
The landslide buried the houses of the victims that were built near the foot of a hilly portion of the community along Bayanihan Street near Litex Road.
In Caloocan, Gilbert Rabara, 36, drowned due to the floods that submerged parts of the city.
Two fatalities were also reported in Central Luzon that included Darel Flores, 9, who was electrocuted in Pampanga, while Ariem Menes, 19, drowned in Zambales.
The NDRRMC said Marie Pansipane, 7, and her sister Ana Mae, drowned while crossing a river in Barangay Ulanggo in Tanauan, Batangas.
Four persons were injured, namely Jessie Baylon, 24, Kidskin Simbulan, 40, Leslyn Simbulan, 19, and Alex Simbulan, whose age has yet to be determined.
All are residents of Barangay Commonwealth in Quezon City who were injured due to the landslide.
Ramos said the floods have affected 1,230,813 residents in Metro Manila, Ilocos, Central Luzon, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, (Calabarzon), and Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
He said 783,707 persons were evacuated from their flooded homes.
Ramos said 242,211 persons are now staying at 614 evacuation centers while 607,941 persons are temporarily staying in the houses of relatives and friends.
Laguna, Bataan, Pampanga and Zambales were placed under a state of calamity to allow local officials to tap their respective calamity funds to assist the affected residents.
Officials in Pasig City, Manila, San Juan, Pasay, Navotas, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Marikina, and parts of Bulacan have declared their areas under a state of calamity.
The bad weather had also damaged 535 houses.
As of yesterday, there were at least 90 flooded areas in four regions.
There were 17 flooded areas in Metro Manila, three in Ilocos, 49 in Central Luzon and 21 in Calabarzon.
Affected by floods were Valenzuela, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Makati, Navotas, Mandaluyong, Paranaque, Quezon City, Taguig, Caloocan, Pasay, Las Piñas, Pateros, San Juan, Manila, Marikina and Pasig in Metro Manila and Calasiao, Dagupan, and Bugallon in Pangasinan in the Ilocos region.
In Central Luzon, the flooded areas were Calumpit, Meycauayan, Balagtas, Bocaue, Bulacan, Bustos, Guiguinto, Malolos, Marilao, Sta. Maria, San Jose del Monte, Pulilan, Plaridel, Paombong and Obando in Bulacan; Bacolor, Apalit, Candaba, Florida, Guagua, Lubao, San Simon, Macabebe, Mabalacat, Masantol, Minalin, Sasmuan, Sta. Ana, Sta. Rita, Sto. Tomas, Porac, San Fernando, and San Simon in Pampanga; Balanga, Dinalupihan, Orani, Orion, and Hermosa in Bataan; Paniqui, Camiling, Concepcion, Mayantoc, Sta. Ignacia, and La Paz in Tarlac; and San Narciso, Subic, San Felipe and Cabangan in Zambales.
In Calabarzon region, the areas hit by floods were Cardona and Cainta in Rizal; Sta. Rosa, Bian, Calamba, San Pedro, Cabuyao, Los Baños, Bay, Victoria, Sta. Cruz, Lumban, Paete, Pakil, Pangli, Siniloan, Mabitac, Sta. Maria, and Famy in Laguna; and Noveleta and General Trias in Cavite.
NDRRMC said a total of 126 roads in Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Cordillera and Metro Manila were not passable to vehicles due to flooding.
These roads are located in Pangasinan, Valenzuela City, Quezon City, Taguig City, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Parañaque, Pateros, Makati, Navotas, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Rizal, Abra, Benguet, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
No damage to bridges was reported.
NDRRMC said a total of 5,451 personnel, 34 vehicles and 176 seacraft from the military, police and Coast Guard have been deployed for evacuation and rescue operations.
The cost of assistance provided by the government, local officials and non-government organizations has reached P12.9 million.
The continuous heavy rains have prompted local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila and many parts of Luzon to suspend classes today in all levels.
Cristina Ganzon, Department of Education Communications Unit director, said that as early as 4 p.m. yesterday, the LGUs of Pateros, Navotas, Makati, Manila, Caloocan, San Juan, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Quezon City and Valenzuela City in Metro Manila; Olongapo City; San Mateo, Rizal; and Bocaue, Bulacan had already informed DepEd of their decision to suspend classes in all levels in their respective areas.
Makati City also suspended classes in all levels today, and also lifted the number coding scheme in the city.
With the heavy rains that again started to pour down Metro Manila yesterday afternoon, Ganzon said that they expect some more LGUs to suspend classes for Thursday.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla suspended work in local government offices early yesterday morning as floods continued.
Soldiers and volunteers with additional rubber boats have reinforced the rescue units of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
MMDA general manager Corazon Jimenez said the military augmentation came from Cagayan, Central Luzon, Region 4-B and Albay.
The MMDA’s two water treatment machines have already been deployed to Marikina City, Jimenez said.
Jimenez said that MMDA volunteers who had been trained by the agency in water emergency rescue, also reported for duty yesterday.
“We have deployed them to the different barangays and to the various command posts across Metro Manila,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez advised volunteers that it is best for them not to leave their barangays and just render assistance there if these are still flooded.
Meanwhile, according to the MMDA’s Flood Control Information Center (FCIC), as of 2:55 p.m., the northbound lane of the Nagtahan flyover towards Lacson St. (formerly Governor Forbes) was closed to traffic because of deep flooding.
Also reported by the FCIC as not passable to all types of vehicles as of yesterday afternoon were Recto Avenue to SH Loyola St. in Manila; Lerma St. and Ongpin St. which are both still submerged in waist-deep floods.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) would donate 23 rubber boats to the NDRRMC to augment rescue operations.
Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon said that the boats, which could be used to rescue people who have been trapped in their homes and to ferry people to safety, have been cleared for transfer.
BOC agents previously seized the smuggled boats.
A joint team of the Office of Civil Defense in Bicol and Albay disaster and relief team was deployed in Metro Manila last Tuesday afternoon to support the ongoing rescue and relief operations.
Gov. Joey Salceda said the Albay team, headed by Nats Rempillo, brought a tank lorry and a filtration machine donated by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID) which can process 32,000 liters of potable water an hour.
PCSO assists victims
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) assured the public yesterday that the agency would shoulder the hospital bills of flood victims who were treated for various ailments in government hospitals in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II said that victims who were treated in government hospitals could coordinate with the PCSO offices for the payment of their hospital bills.
“We expect requests for assistance to come in and we are prepared to attend to these quickly. We also assure the victims directly affected by this calamity who are treated at government hospitals in coordination with PCSO offices that their hospital bills will be shouldered by PCSO,” he said.
Rojas said that the PCSO released relief goods to victims of Tuesday’s heavy rains.
He said that the charity agency sent 100 sacks of rice, goods, mats, and other relief items to the local government units of Quezon City, Pasay City, and Bacoor in Cavite among the areas hardest hit by the calamity.
Another 100 sacks of rice and relief goods were donated to ABS-CBN Foundation’s Sagip Kapamilya program, while medicine was dispatched to the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in Pasay City for distribution.
Aside from assurance of footing the hospital bill and donation of goods to the victims of the calamity, PCSO also shared its resources by lending its buses to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for evacuation operations.
Rojas said PCSO employees who are unable to report to work because of floods in their areas would join volunteers at evacuation centers in their communities.
The PRC delivered power generators to the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMC) and Delos Santos Hospital in Quezon City that were flooded and have no electricity.
The PRC also distributed relief goods to patients and employees of UERMMC, Delos Santos, and the also flooded University of Santo Tomas Hospital.
PRC secretary-general Gwendolyn Pang said more relief operations and hygiene promotion would be conducted in some of the 174 evacuation centers where 11,591 families are still sheltered.
The Red Cross would also set up welfare desks in the evacuation centers to provide psychosocial support and other welfare needs of the affected families.
Pang said the PRC will conduct quick assessment of the situation and further needs of the affected families in Metro Manila and other flooded areas.
Globe Telecom through its flagship corporate social responsibility program Globe Bridging Communities (Globe BridgeCom) is conducting simultaneous relief operations in the Concepcion Integrated School, Concepcion, Marikina Mother of Divine Providence Parish, and in the Quezon City barangays Payatas, Holy Trinity Parish, and Fairview.
Employee-volunteers from Globe Telecom and partner organizations will be distributing ready-to-eat food, canned goods, rice, assorted clothes and drinking water to an estimated 5,300 families temporarily seeking shelter at these evacuation centers.
Globe has maintained Libreng Tawag operations in the Victory Liner bus station in Cubao, Quezon City Victory Liner bus station in Pasay City, Concepcion Integrated School in Concepcion, Marikina; Bagong Silangan Elementary School in Quezon City.
Affected residents can make free five-minute local calls to any network, send text messages to all networks or make a two-minute international call at the Globe Libreng Tawag facilities.
Less than one percent of the Globe infrastructure in Metro Manila and nearby areas was affected by flooding.
Globe field engineers and network teams are on alert and have been working 24 hours a day to ensure subscribers get uninterrupted voice or data services. (From Philstar.com)