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Metro Manila, 25 provinces placed under state of calamity

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The government has placed 25 provinces and Metro Manila hit by tropical storm "Ondoy" under a state of calamity, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said on Saturday.
WATER WORLD. Incessant rains brought by 'Ondoy' have submerged parts of Metro Manila and Rizal in flood waters. Mark Adrian

Teodoro, who chairs the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), said in a briefing that local governments in places under a state of calamity are allowed to mobilize resources needed in rescue, evacuation and relief operations.

The provinces are Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, and Bataan.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the rains spawned by "Ondoy" in Metro Manila and nearby areas in a span of six hours on Saturday was the highest in 42 years.

Nathaniel Cruz, head of Pagasa's weather services bureau, told GMANews.TV that the rainfall volume from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday was measured at 341 millimeters, breaking the 334 mm recorded in June 1967.

Ondoy, which originated in the central Pacific Ocean, made landfall in the eastern province of Aurora before noon Saturday with maximum winds of 85 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph. [See: Storm 'Ondoy' makes landfall, causes widespread flooding]

It was moving west-northwest across Central Luzon and was expected to exit into the South China Sea in the night.

At least 1,813 people in Metro Manila and Southern Luzon were evacuated from their homes due to floods brought by tropical storm 'Ondoy' (Ketsana).

The NDCCl, in its 2 p.m. report, said most of those evacuated were from San Mateo town in Rizal province.

Of the 363 families or 1,813 people evacuated, 260 families or 1,300 were from San Mateo town.

At least 25 villages in Marilao, Meycauayan, San Miguel and Bocaue in Bulacan were also flooded, with floodwaters reaching up to waist-high.

In Metro Manila, at least 33 villages in Marikina, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Quezon, Makati, Pasay, Pasig, Valenzuela and San Juan Cities were also flooded.

Floodwaters ranged from two feet to waist-high, and rendered several areas impassable to light vehicles.

At least 37 road sections in Metro Manila were not passable to light vehicles due to flooding.

Below are the hotlines that the pubic can call for disaster emergency situations, especially urgent rescue and relief needs.:

National Disaster Coordinating Committee

Philippine Coast Guard

Red Cross

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
896,-6000, 136

Taguig emergency hotline

Bureau of Fire Protection Region III (Central Luzon)
Hotline (045) 9634376

Trips between Romblon Port and Sibuyan Island in Romblon province were canceled due to stormy weather.

Quick alert response teams of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Southern Luzon Command and the Health and Social Welfare Departments, police and Coast Guard were put on alert status in Southern Luzon.

'Help us'

Residents from several parts of Rizal province, adjacent to Manila, are pleading for help as flood waters brought by typhoon 'Ondoy' have exceeded six feet in some low-lying areas.

Salvador Manansala reported that several of his colleagues were trapped in their houses in Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), and some had to climb to their rooftops to escape the rising waters.

"Tulungan nyo po sila. Hindi raw sila makababa (Please help them. They can't climb down)," Manansala said. [See: Floods rise to 6 feet in Rizal; residents ask for rescue] - GMANews.TV
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