(UPDATE 2) ‘Chedeng’ leaves 11 dead — disaster officials

Metro schools, offices closed due to floods

By Joel Guinto
Last updated 05:31pm (Mla time) 08/08/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains since Monday triggered landslides that have so far left 11 people dead and one person missing due to landslides and floods, civil defense officials said Wednesday.


The rains were by caused by tropical storm “Chedeng,” (international codename: Pabuk), which blew farther away from the country, and tropical depression “Dodong,” (international codename: Wutip), which is moving towards the extreme northeast, and, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.


Chedeng also disrupted power supplies to 3,000 households and forcing schools and offices to close.


At least 40 areas in Metro Manila remained flooded, according to the National Capital Region Police Office Tactical Operations Center.


“Chedeng bolstered monsoon rains across the Philippines, causing a landslide that buried seven houses and killed at least 10 people Monday in the southern gold mining town of Maco in Compostela Valley province,” according to Glenn Rabonza, administrator of the government’s Office of Civil Defense.


At least 80 residents were evacuated from their homes due to fears of more landslides in the hilly area, Rabonza said.


In the northern city of Baguio, a landslide buried a house in Sto. Niño village at around 12:15 a.m., killing nine-year-old Roniel Renon Ramos, the NDCC said in a report.


It was not immediately clear if anyone else was in the house.


In hilly Antipolo City east of the capital, Manila, policemen and firefighters pulled six people from the rubble of their house Wednesday after a concrete wall collapsed on it during a downpour, police Chief Superintendent Nicasio Radovan said.


The victims, who had yelled for help from under the debris, were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, he said.


TV footage showed rescuers scrambling to lift or break a slab of concrete with sledgehammers to free one of the injured. Rescuers broke into applause after they pulled the last victim from the rubble.


Two landslides were reported in Makati’s West Rembo village. There were no reported casualties in the incidents, which occurred at around 12 a.m. and 6:43 a.m., it said.


Two families affected by the landslide were evacuated to the village covered court, the report said.


A landslide was reported on the Cervantes-Suyo Road in Ilocos Sur province, leaving it impassable to light vehicles.


Heavy rains flooded many streets in Metro Manila, forcing schools to close and leaving commuters stranded, officials said.


Floods submerged nearly all of suburban Malabon city near the capital, where water was neck deep in some low-lying neighborhoods. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the city, local government spokesman Bong Padua said.


A tornado ripped off the thatch and tin roofs of more than 20 shanties in a farming village in Bulacan province north of Manila, panicking residents but causing no injuries, police Superintendent Pedro Silvio said.


The residents sought shelter in the homes of relatives and neighbors, he said.


Several streets in Makati City were submerged in floods one to two feet deep, the NDCC said.


The following Manila roads are impassable to all types of vehicles due to floods: A. Bonifacio via Dimasalang, A.H. Lacson going to Nagtahan, Aurora Boulevard Junction, and Sta. Cruz, and Maceda Streets corner España Avenue,


Leonor Rivera Street going to SM San Lazaro, and Cavite Street going to Monumento and España corner Laong-Laan and Dapitan Streets, are impassable to light vehicles the NDCC said.


The Caloocan-Malabon boundary is not passable to light vehicles; Bonifacio Monument, Dagat-dagatan to C-3 Road, Caloocan-Manila boundary, and the Light Rail Transit Station are all flooded but passable, officials said.


In Malabon, roads that are no longer passable are in M. Sison, Dampalit, Governor Pascual, Tugatog, Borromeo St. in Longos, Barangay (village) Tonsuya, and Manapat St. in Tanong, they said.


Meanwhile, Barangay Potrero, MH Del Pilar, and Pampano St. are still open to traffic, they said.


In Navotas, Tanza, Agora, Daang Hari, Tangos, San Jose, and M. Naval are still open to traffic although flooded.


Not passable to all types of vehicles in Valenzuela are T. Santiago, Vicente Reales, Delfin St., and Marulas. Tullahan Bridge remains open to traffic.

Sandal Wood, Lilac St., and Barangay Concepcion Dos in Marikina are not passable to all types of vehicles.


In San Juan, F. Manalo, E. Fernandez, F. Roman, Perfecto, and Tabing Ilog are not passable to light vehicles.

In Pasay, Dela Rosa from South Super Highway to Pasong Tamo is not passable to light vehicles.

Several areas in Parañaque are not passable to light vehicles like the Airport Village, Barangay Dela Huerta, Evacom SM Sucat, Silver Homes Multinational village, Barangay Moonwalk, and Veraville, Barangay San Isidro.


In Quezon City, Calamba St. and Waling-Waling and Gumamela Streets in Roxas District have been closed to traffic. Araneta Avenue corner Kaliraya St. to Barangay E Rodriguez are not passable to light vehicles.


In Northern Luzon, the Tined village road in Santa town, Ilocos sur province is impassable to light vehicles due to floods.


In Southern Luzon, roads in Niyog, Bayan, and Uno villages in Bacoor town, Cavite province were closed to all types of vehicles due to floods.


Elsewhere in Cavite, knee-deep floods submerged Poblacion, Gahak, Wakas, Tabon, and Biancayan villages in Kawit, Medition, 2D, Alapan, and Kalsadang Bago villages.


Waist-deep floods were reported in Julgan 7 and Julgan 8 villages in Tanza, Cavite.


Kennon Road, Marcos Highway and Naguillan Road — all leading to Baguio — are open to traffic, the NDCC said.


Education Undersecretary Vilma Labrador announced the suspension of classes on radio and television at about 7 a.m. when most of the students have left their homes for school.


A report over DZMM Teleradyo said the Commission on Higher Education issued an apology for the late announcement.


Labrador is DepEd officer-in-charge. Secretary Jesli Lapus is in Canberra for talks with officials of the Australian Aid for International Development (AusAID).


CHEd said the suspension of classes in the tertiary level would depend on the officials of colleges and universities.


The education department also reiterated its guidelines on the suspension of classes as contained in DepEd Order No. 28:


The education department also reiterated its guidelines on the suspension of classes as contained in DepEd Order No. 28:


• Classes in the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels are automatically suspended when typhoon signal number one is raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).


• Classes are automatically suspended when typhoon signal number two is issued by PAGASA.


• In the absence of typhoon signal warnings from PAGASA, localized suspension of classes can be decided by local officials, as well as DepEd regional directors, division superintendents, school principals.


The DepEd has said that the “the ultimate responsibility for determining whether or not their children should go to school is given to the parents.”


Lapus said the DepEd recognized “the need to protect our students from the ill effects of bad weather, but we also want to minimize the disruption of classes so that our students can spend more time in school.”


He also stressed the need to instill in the minds of parents, students, school officials, and other members of the community the importance of disaster preparedness.


Early this year, the DepEd forged a memorandum of agreement with at least nine government and private agencies to formalize their involvement in the disaster preparedness campaign.


Other MOA signatories include the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), Department of National Defense (DND), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), among others.


“Chedeng” blew out of the mountainous northern Philippines shortly before noon and then swirled across the southern tip of Taiwan, bringing heavy rains but causing no major damage or casualties, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau.


The rains followed a three-month dry spell in the Philippines that prompted clergy to urge congregations across the predominantly Roman Catholic country to pray for rain over the weekend.


The dry spell had led to water shortages and caused sporadic electricity blackouts in the bustling Philippine capital.


Rabonza said he hoped the rains would continue, if only to fill up the Luzon dams and avert a possible drought.


“The rains are not enough. Scientists say we need one typhoon to hover for a night and dump rain in Angat [dam]. We need 400 millimeters of rain to fill up Angat dam and according to reports, yesterday, it was about 80 millimeters of rain,” he said.


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