Thousands in NCR flee due to heavy rains

Posted at 08/06/2012 10:56 AM | Updated as of 08/06/2012 2:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Thousands of residents in Metro Manila fled their homes Sunday night due to heavy rains.

Torrential rains since last night triggered the swelling of water levels at the Marikina river and La Mesa dam in Quezon City.

At least 2,000 Marikina residents evacuated as water level in the city’s river rose to as high as 17 meters above sea level.

As of 9:15 a.m., water level at the river was at 15.8 meters above sea level. The alert warning level has been lowered to first alarm, which means residents may already go back to their homes.

Hundreds of families also spent the night at the H. Bautista Elementary School and Bulelak Covered Court in Marikina after water level at the Tumana river rose to 17 meters.

Meanwhile, residents in barangays North Fairview, Sta. Lucia, Fairview, Novaliches Proper, Capri, Nagkaisang Nayon, Gulod, Bagbag and San Bartolome were told to evacuate due to threats of flooding from the swelling La Mesa Dam.

As of 6 a.m., PAGASA said water level at La Mesa dam was already at its spilling level of 80.15 meters.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said at least 200 families fled their homes in Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon; 100 in Barangay Sta. Lucia; and at least 20 in Barangay Silangan.

Bautista said the relocation plans for residents living in permanent danger zones are being finalized.

Over at Rodriguez, Rizal, some 7,330 residents took shelter in evacuation centers.

In San Mateo, Rizal, meanwhile, at least 2,297 residents evacuated from floods brought by an overflowing San Mateo river.

Monsoon rains

PAGASA forecaster Fernando Cada said the southwest monsoon was enhanced by tropical storm Haikui located near southern Japan and was outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), bringing rains to parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila.

“Nagkataon lumakas ang habagat that time at yung mga kaulapan ay halos hinahatak ng bagyo, although malayo naman ang bagyong si tropical storm Haikui na sa may part ng southern Japan. Malayo iyun at hindi na pumasok sa PAR,” Cada told dzMM.

Cada said the monsoon season is at its peak during August, which explains the continuous rains over the past days in Luzon.

“May terminology na kung saan ang tawag diyan ay siyam-siyam, ngayon kasi ay may dere-deretsong pag ulan, partikular dito sa Luzon, lalo na sa Metro Manila. Talagang sustained o well established ang habagat,” he said.

At 10:30 a.m., PAGASA lowered the rain alert warning for Metro Manila from green to yellow, which means heavy rainfall (7.5 to 15 millimeters per hour) is expected within the next three hours.

A green warning signal means 15 to 30 millimeters (intense) of rainfall is expected within the next three hours.

Cada said monsoon rains may persist the entire week.

He warned residents in low-lying areas to seek evacuation, especially at around noon, since flooding is expected due to the combined effects of strong rains and high tide.