Floods, landslides spawned by Maring kill 3 children, shut down financial markets

In Photo: The heavy rains and flooding caused by Tropical Depression Maring failed to dampen the spirits of this family of four, who still crossed this flooded street in Manila with smiles on their faces.

TORRENTIAL rains spurred by Tropical Depression Maring spawned landslides and severe flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, killing at least three people and injuring at least two others, disaster and military officials reported on Tuesday.

Financial markets were closed on Tuesday, along with government offices and schools. Currency, stocks and bonds trading were suspended after the Office of the President halted work in government offices, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said. At least five domestic flights were canceled, according to the Manila International Airport Authority.

Flood waters were waist-deep in some parts of Manila, blocking several traffic arteries, including the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue connecting the northern and southern parts of the city, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

With another typhoon moving closer to the northeastern Philippine coast, the current storm is forecast to land in Quezon or Aurora province north of the capital on Tuesday afternoon, the local weather bureau said.

The Philippines, battered annually by an average of 20 cyclones that form over the Pacific Ocean, is among countries most vulnerable to climate change. Supertyphoon Haiyan (local code name Supertyphoon Yolanda), one of the strongest storms in the world to hit land, killed more than 6,000 people in 2013.

Espenilla said there is an “automatic market suspension” if government offices were shut down before 9 a.m. The Philippine Stock Exchange and the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. also issued advisories on suspension.

The incessant heavy downpour, whipping up intermittent strong winds, also triggered power outages in Southern Luzon and generated heavy flooding in the provinces of Quezon, Batangas, Laguna and Cavite, trapping hundreds of residents inside their homes before they were rescued.

In Quezon, a passenger bus was stranded on the road by floodwaters that turned a key highway connecting Metro Manila to the Bicol region into a temporary lake, but its 22 passengers were rescued by the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, which has been turned into a massive rescue agency.

The severe-weather condition forced Malacañang, upon the recommendation of Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana as chairman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), to suspend work in government offices in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Central Luzon and in provinces south of  Metro Manila.

The Rizal Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said a landslide, triggered by the continued downpour, buried a shanty located near a creek at Hapay na Mangga, Barangay Doroles, Taytay, on Tuesday, killing siblings Justine, 14, and Jude Pondal, 17. Their mother, Dolores, also suffered a fractured left hand.

In Lucena, Quezon, a 4-month-old baby died in a hospital after their home was pinned down by a concrete fence of the Mount  Carmel Diocesan Hospital that caved in. The incident also injured the father, Riniel Abas.

In Silang, Cavite, a woman identified as Rossie Nasayao, a resident of Barangay Biluso that was flooded, was declared missing, said Maj.  Gen. Roderick Parayno, commander of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Parayno added a squad of soldiers on board a military truck, along with policemen and disaster officials from Quezon, also rescued passengers from a flood-stranded DLTB bus with plate number UYB-365 along the highway at Barangay Biga in the boundary of Pitogo and Gumaca, Quezon.

The local military commander also belied reports of a reported landslide along the national highway in Atimonan, also in Quezon, but confirmed the flooding at Barangay San Isidro in the town where soldiers evacuated affected residents.

In Batangas and Laguna, Parayno reported floodings in a number of barangays in several towns and municipalities in the two provinces, including a landslide at Barangay Wawa in Nasugbu, which was cleared by soldiers. Hundreds of families were evacuated by soldiers from Los Banos, Nagcarlan, in Laguna.

Reports also claimed 14 people were missing in Laguna due to a landslide, but the NDRRMC said it was still verifying the reports.

Parayno said that,  in Cavite, the strong and continued rain triggered floodings in the towns of Kawit, Ternate, Noveleta, General Emilio Aguinaldo, General Mariano Alvarez, Amadeo, General Trias and Silang, forcing them to evacuate hundreds of residents.

He added several barangays also experienced power outages while landslides were recorded in Tagaytay City and in General Mariano Alvarez.

Parayno said some key highways and bridges in Cavite were also flooded.

In Metro Manila, which was under storm signal number 1, the NCR Police Office reported massive flooding in the metropolis, including in Manila and Quezon City. While Maring made a landfall at around 9 a.m. on Tuesday in Mauban, Quezon, Metro Manila and provinces in Central and Southern Luzon already experienced heavy rains beginning at 2 p.m. on Monday.

With Bloomberg News

Image credits: Alysa Salen


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