5 dead as rains pound Luzon, W. Visayas
MANILA - Rains associated with the southwest monsoon or habagat will continue to lash parts of the country until Friday, August 19, state weather bureau PAGASA said Monday.
PAGASA meteorologist Meno Mendoza told radio DZMM that a severe tropical storm (STS) outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) is currently enhancing the southwest monsoon.
At 4 a.m. Monday, STS "Chantu" was spotted 2,400 kilometers east northeast of extreme Northern Luzon. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 120 kph.
Mendoza said monsoon rains may trigger flashfloods and landslides in Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administative Region (CAR) and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas and Mindoro.
Occasional rains will prevail over Western Visayas, the rest of Central Luzon and the provinces of Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, and Palawan.
The rest of Luzon and Visayas can expect cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms while Mindanao will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers.
Five people have died while thousands of families evacuated as rains pounded Luzon and Western Visayas over the weekend, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.
NDRRMC spokesperson Mina Marasigan said three people were killed after rain-saturated walls and structures collapsed in Manila and Quezon City on Saturday.
An unidentified body, meanwhile, was recovered at the Nagtahan Pumping Station in Manila Friday while a resident of Janiuay, Iloilo drowned in the Malbug River last Wednesday.
Marasigan said three others were injured due to bad weather while a fisherman from Marinduque remains missing.
The NDRRMC spokesperson said they are also verifying reports that several miners were trapped in a rubble after part of a dam collapsed in Quezon province.
In a situational report issued 8 p.m. Sunday, NDRRMC also reported that some 14,163 families or 66,044 persons were affected by the onslaught of monsoon rains in Regions 3, 4-A, VI, Negros and Metro Manila.
Of the total, 7,545 families or 36,422 persons were still in evacuation centers.
Marasigan said the NDRRMC is urging residents of flood-prone areas to stay in evacuation centers.
"Maaari kasing magkaroon ng mga pag-uulan mamayang hapon. Hindi natin ina-advise na agarang bumalik sa kanilang mga bahay, kasi tumaas muli ang tubig, magiging peligroso lang ito sa kanilang kalagayan," she said.
(Rains are still expected this afternoon. We do not advise residents to return to their homes, as floodwaters may still rise and put them in danger.)
The torrential downpour has damaged a total of 38 houses so far.
Forty-eight domestic flights were also cancelled and six others were diverted to the Clark International Airport due to bad weather.
Several local government units in Metro Manila and nearby provinces also cancelled classes on Monday.
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