MANILA (UPDATE) – Typhoon Glenda (international name Rammasun) shut down the Philippine capital on Wednesday and claimed at least 16 lives, according to reports by disaster officials and provincial authorities.
Most of the deaths were due to collapsed trees and concrete walls.
Undersecretary Alexander Pama of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the agency has verified the deaths of five people in Bulacan, Northern Samar, and Quezon.
Pama said the first casualty was 25-year-old Lourdes Ongray Lim of Allen, Northern Samar. Lim was killed by a falling electric post.
Reynaldo Hernandez, a resident of Plaridel, Bulacan, died after a tree fell on his tent.
Three family members, identified as Nanette Artificio, Arlene Artificio, and Adrian Artificio, died after a concrete wall collapsed on them in Lucena City, Quezon.
Two people were also reported injured in Camarines, the NDRRMC said. They were identified as Antonio Habana and Jesus Vargas.
The official government death toll from the typhoon is expected to increase as more reports of fatalities come in from areas pummeled by the typhoon.
Aside from the five casualties verified by the NDRRMC, 11 more people were reported to have died during the onslaught of the typhoon.
In Bayawan, Negros Oriental, siblings Julie and Juvira Junalis, aged 10 and 6, drowned while crossing Tabuan River, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) - Central Visayas said.
Angelica Guarillo, 60, died after a tree fell on her in Sitio Demonyo, Barangay San Juan in Cainta, Rizal on Wednesday morning.
In Binangonan, Rizal, 70-year-old Felizardo Ramos of Barangay Tayuman died after a tree also fell on his house.
Cavite Police director Joselito Esquivel Jr. also confirmed that 11-month-old Renz Benedict Lodrado died after a wall of his house in Barangay Biclatan, General Trias town collapsed on him.
He said a certain Lawrence Edward Pe also died after a tree fell on him while he was riding a motorcycle in Dasmarinas City.
Fifty-two year-old Mario Torres of Burgos, San Antonio, Zambales, also died when his house was hit by a falling tree.
Janet Pilapil, 31, suffered a heart attack after strong winds destroyed her house in Lubao, Pampanga.
In Padre Burgos, Quezon, a tree crushed a certain Rodel de Luna. Seven-year-old Jon Paulo Mendez's body was discovered under the rubble in Tiaong, Quezon.
In Barangay Palatiw, Pasig City, fire volunteer Jomark Diaz died after the roof and a concrete portion of the barangay hall collapsed on him, according to Pasig Police chief Sr. Supt. Mario Rariza.
The NDRRMC said the typhoon has affected an estimated 450,689 individuals in Regions 4A, 4B, 5, and 8.
About 373,177 individuals from the Bicol region fled their homes, officials said.
GLENDA NOW OVER WEST PH SEA
State weather bureau PAGASA said as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, the eye of the typhoon was already over the West Philippine Sea. Its exact location was 97 kilometers west of Olongapo.
After interacting with the land, Glenda's winds slightly decreased to 140 kilometers per hour near the center with gusts of up to 170 kph.
Glenda was moving northwest at 25 kilometers per hour and is forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Thursday morning.
Due to Glenda, Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Lubang Island, Pangasinan, and Metro Manila have been placed under public storm warning signal number 3. These areas should experience winds of 101 – 185 kilometers per hour in at least 18 hours.
Meanwhile, signal no. 2 (winds of 61-100 kph is expected in at least 24 hours) has been hoisted over the following areas:
Northern Quezon including Polillo Island
Northern parts of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro
The following areas are under signal no. 3 (winds of 30 – 60 kph expected in at least 36 hours):
Rest of Aurora
Rest of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro
Calamian Group of Islands
In a press conference, PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the typhoon will no longer re-curve and go back to the Philippines after exiting the country's landmass.
Aurelio said the typhoon may pick up strength once it reaches the West Philippine Sea.
Another PAGASA forecaster, Rene Paciente, said the southern portion of Metro Manila was hit by the typhoon's eye.
Due to the sheer strength of the typhoon's winds, large trees were uprooted, and unstable structures were damaged in areas hit by the weather disturbance. Some uprooted trees and toppled posts rendered roads impassable
RAINS AND WINDS
Paciente said even though Glenda was already on its way towards the West Philippine Sea, rains and winds will still be felt in Metro Manila as it is still within the reach of the wall of the typhoon's eye. Paciente said the typhoon's eye has a diameter of 80 kilometers.
Areas which were hit by the typhoon eye's wall are expected to suffer the most, as this portion of the cyclone produces the strongest winds.
Rains may persist over the western side of Luzon until Thursday as the typhoon was enhancing the southwest monsoon, PAGASA forecaster Gener Quitlong told dzMM.
Residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under signal nos. 3, 2, and 1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides.
Residents in coastal areas under signal nos. 3 and 2 are also alerted against storm surges which may reach up to two meters.
Fishing boats and other small vessels are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of Visayas.
An estimated rainfall amount of 15 – 25 millimeters per hour (heavy - intense) is expected within the typhoon's 500-km diameter. – with reports from Henry Atuelan, Zhander Cayabyab, Eric Dastas, Jay Pelayo, June Perez, and Ricky Velasco, dzMM; Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News