Hundreds flee as Marikina, San Mateo rivers swell

Posted at 07/30/12 10:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Hundreds fled their homes in Marikina City, Quezon City and San Mateo Rizal on Monday as water level in the Marikina and San Mateo river continues to rise, an official said.

Marikina Public Information Officer Paul Sison said as of 11 a.m., the river’s water level was at 16.2 meters above sea level which meant that second alarm remained hoisted.

The river’s water level will be considered at its critical point when it reaches 18 meters above sea level. Forced evacuation will be carried out once the river’s water level reaches this point.

Sison said at least 118 families or 652 people are currently seeking refuge at the Bulelak Covered Court in Barangay Malanday while 19 families or 75 people are staying in H. Bautista Elementary School in Barangay Concepcion Uno.

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.

Residents in Barangays Banaba, Maly, Guinayang, Gitnang Bayan and Malanday were told to seek higher ground.

Rescue operations were also ongoing for residents trapped in floods.

State weather bureau PAGASA said the rains were caused by the continued enhancing of the southwest monsoon (habagat) by tropical storm "Gener."

Based on PAGASA's 5 a.m. weather bulletin, tropical storm Gener had slowed down to 11 kilometers per hour and was moving in a north northwest direction.

At 4 a.m., PAGASA said the center of the storm was 330 kilometers east northeast of Aparri, Cagayan.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

It was expected to be 200 kms northeast of Basco, Batanes by Tuesday morning and 330 kms north northeast of Basco, Batanes by Wednesday morning, PAGASA said.

As of 5 a.m., the provinces of Isabela, Kalinga and Apayao were under storm warning signal no. 1 (30-60 kph winds expected in the next 36 hours), and the areas of Cagayan, Calayan and Babuyan islands, and Batanes group of islands were under storm warning signal number 2 (winds of 61-100 kph in at least 24 hours).

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said at least 13,472 people were affected by the heavy rains. Of these people, 1,293 are currently staying in evacuation centers. – with a report from Dexter Ganibe and Dennis Datu, dzMM