'Gener' batters NCR, parts of Luzon

Posted at 07/30/2012 6:39 PM | Updated as of 07/30/2012 7:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) – Heavy rains hit Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon as typhoon “Gener” moved near northern Luzon, state weather bureau PAGASA said on Monday.

Persistent rains triggered flooding in parts of Metro Manila, forcing residents in low-lying areas to seek higher ground.

The rains also resulted in the suspension of classes and diversion of flights.

At least 118 families or 652 people living around Marikina river fled their homes as the water level in the river reached 16.2 meters above sea level as of 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, at least 200 families fled their homes in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City and San Mateo, Rizal due to the possible overflowing of San Mateo river.

As of 4 a.m., the river’s water level was at 19 meters above sea level.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said at least 28,631 people were affected by the heavy rains. Of these people, 2,413 are currently staying in evacuation centers.

Casualties, missing

The storm has so far claimed three lives, based on official data from NDRRMC.

NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos Jr. said Bugasong, Antique resident Ronald Necor, 33, drowned last July 28.

The second fatality was 60-year-old Ernest Flores who died of “respiratory problems” after the roll-on, roll-off (RORO) vessel he boarded ran aground and got burned down off Romblon on Sunday night.

Teodoro Flores, 42, died after being crushed by a falling tree in Barangay Santiago, San Pablo City, Laguna.

The local government of Rosario, Cavite under Mayor Nonong Ricafrente, meanwhile, also reported that an unidentified man believed to be a fisherman was found floating in Manila Bay near their area.

However, Ramos said the unidentified man is not yet included in their official tally of casualties.

Ricafrente also reported that two marine researchers working for research firm Geoconsult have gone missing.

He said the two researchers, who were doing work for the Philippine Reclamation Authority, last called them at around 2 a.m. Monday to tell them that their boat was swept in the Parañaque area.

Four unidentified fishermen from Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro were also reported missing after setting sail on Sunday.

Ramos said the fishermen still ventured out into the sea, thinking that the tropical storm will have little effect in the province.

Dams

The gateless La Mesa dam in Quezon City, meanwhile, remains under red alert.

Latest data from PAGASA said as of 12 p.m., the dam’s water level was at 79.83 meters or 0.32 meter short of its spilling level of 80.15 meters.

Engineer Teddy Angeles, headworks manager of La Mesa dam, said 8 barangays near Tullahan River have been alerted and pre-emptive evacuation has been recommended.

The water level in Magat dam in Isabela also reached critical level. PAGASA said that as of 2 p.m., the dam’s water level was at 189.95 meters, or .05 meter short of its spilling level of 190 meters.

Bustos dam released water from its two gates that were opened by 4 meters each as of 3 a.m.

Meanwhile, Ipo dam in Bulacan stopped releasing water as of 12 p.m.

Two gates of Ipo dam were earlier opened after its water level reached 100.86 meters, or .02 meter short of its spilling level of 100.88 meters.

Gener maintains speed

PAGASA forecaster Nikos Peñaranda said rainfall amount last night reached as high as 80 millimeters as another shallow low pressure area (SLPA) developed near Subic, Zambales and moved over parts of Metro Manila. The SLPA eventually dissipated.

He said the weather will gradually improve by Monday night, but rains will still be experienced in Luzon until Wednesday as the storm is expected to be outside the Philippine Area of Responsiblity by Thursday morning.

"Gener" has gained strength and become a full-fledged

typhoon

, PAGASA said Monday.

In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, the typhoon was measured to be packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

Gener is now brining estimated rainfall amount from 10 to 20 millimeters per hour (heavy to intense) within its 700 km diameter.

Public storm signal number 3 has been raised over the Batanes group of islands, while signal number 2 is hoisted over Cagayan, the Calayan group of islands, and the Babuyan islands.

Signal number 1 is raised over Isabela, Kalinga, and Apayao.

The typhoon was spotted 260 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes as of 4 p.m. and is moving north-northwest at 7 kph.

It is forecast to be 210 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes by Wednesday afternoon.

The typhoon is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon that will bring rains and moderate to strong winds over Luzon and Visayas especially the western section, PAGASA said.

The weather bureau advised residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas to be on alert against possible flashfloods and landslides.

"Likewise, those living in coastal areas under Public Storm Warning Signal #3 and #2 are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone," PAGASA said.

It advised fishing boats and other small seacraft to avoid to sea in Luzon and the Visayas due to the combined effect of the typhoon and the southwest monsoon.