MANILA - Monsoon rains stirred by Typhoon “Butchoy” hammered vast swaths of Luzon on Friday, causing floods and forcing the cancellation of classes and flights, officials said.
Ankle-deep floods crept over main roads in Metro Manila after overnight rains while "serious flooding” threatened Zambales and Bataan provinces where the “red” rainfall warning, the highest in a three-step alert system was raised at 6 a.m.
The second highest “orange” warning was raised in Cavite and and Batangas provinces while the lowest “yellow” alert was raised over Metro Manila and Pampanga.
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Monsoon rains will persist until Saturday, but not likely as severe as Friday, state weather forecaster Buddy Javier told DZMM.
"Most likely halos ganito pa din ang magiging scenario. Umiiral pa din ang habagat na siya pa din magpapaulan sa malakaing bahagai ng Luzon. Compare mo so ngayon mas grabe ngayon," Javier said.
Typhoon “Butchoy” (international name: Nepartak) slammed into Taiwan with wind gusts of 230 kilometers per hour at dawn Friday. While it did not directly hit the Philippines, the storm enhanced the southwest monsoon.
At 4 a.m., the eye of the storm was located 220 kilometers north-northwest of Itbayat in Batanes on the country’s northernmost tip.
Signal number 2 was raised over the Batanes group of islands while signal number 1 was raised in the Babuyan islands.
At least six flights were cancelled: China Airlines’ Manila-Kaohshiung-Manila flights CI 711 and CI 712, PAL Express’ Manila-Basco-Manila flights 2P 2084 and 2P 2085 and SkyJet’s Manila-Basco-Manila flights M8 816 and M8 817, according to the Manila International Airport Authority.
Four Cebu Pacific flights bound for Manila were diverted to Clark, 5J 586 and 5J 560 from Cebu, 5J 452 from Iloilo and 5J 474 from Bacolod.
The monsoon stirred waved on Manila Bay, but not enough to scare vagrants living by its banks. -- with reports from Jacque Manabat, Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News