MANILA (Mabuhay) – Typhoon Glenda, the first major weather disturbance to directly hit Metro Manila in years, brought strong winds and torrential rains to the capital region, peeling off roofs of houses, uprooting trees, and causing a prolonged and widespread power outage.
Metro Manila, however, managed to go through the typhoon with less damage than what it got in 2006 with Typhoon Milenyo.
Milenyo hit Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon on September 28, 2006, killing 213 people and injuring hundreds more.
PAGASA said that its Science Garden in Quezon City accumulated only 60 millimeters of rain brought by Glenda as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.
This figure was significantly lower compared to the 334-millimeter rainfall poured by Tropical Storm Ondoy over Metro Manila in September 2009, and the 323-millimeter rainfall brought by monsoon rains in August 2012.
Power had been restored to 24 percent of Metro Manila’s consumers, including those in Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Makati and Muntinlupa.
The region was placed under Public Storm Warning signal No. 3 late Tuesday night and experienced Glenda’s effects the following day.
Power outages affected the normal services of telecommunications companies.
Floods were recorded in some areas on Wednesday, along with trees and electric posts being toppled because of the strong winds.
The Department of Public Works and Highways, however, described the flooding as “very minimal.”
Since classes and work in some offices were suspended, the roads remained clear, though drivers had to negotiate roads without traffic lights.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) suspended the runway operations of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Wednesday morning. The suspension will remain “until further notice.”
Power cut off, mobile phone signal disrupted
Power outages and fluctuations were recorded in many areas as early as past midnight on Wednesday, including in the cities of Manila, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasig, Makati, Quezon, and Caloocan.
Glenda’s maximum sustained winds of up to 150 kph damaged transmission facilities and about 90 percent of Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) franchise area was zapped.
According to Larry Fernandez, head of utility economics of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the distribution utility would have to check the transmission lines first before restoring power in some areas.
By Wednesday afternoon, however, power has been restored in parts of Rizal, Caloocan, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Navotas, Quezon City, Pasig, and Valenzuela.
Mobile phone subscribers, meanwhile, were advised that they might experience service problems with cell sites affected by the power outages.
Evacuation measures were taken in areas like Marikina and Manila on Wednesday. A total of 562 individuals from three barangays residing near the Marikina River were moved to evacuation centers after the water level there reached 16 meters around 10:40 a.m.
Meanwhile, a total of 7,235 people were evacuated in Manila. Among them were some 1,000 individuals living near Manila Bay, amid warnings of possible storm surges.
‘No major damage’
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada disclosed in a television interview that “everything [was] under control” in his city, which he said incurred no major damage from the typhoon.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways Sec. Rogelio Singson, it was “surprising” that Typhoon Glenda caused “very minimal” flooding in Metro Manila.
In Pasig City, however, the canopy and front concrete panel of a newly-built barangay hall in Barangay Palatiw fell down while Glenda battered the city with wind and rain. A 19-year-old fire volunteer died from the incident.
Clean-up operations in the cities, especially on roads, were laid out as Glenda left Metro Manila.
Operations of Light and Metro Rail Transit systems remained suspended for “track clearing activities and safety inspections,” said LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera.
Cabrera added that both rail systems should resume operations on Thursday given “proper and sufficient power supply.”
Officials of some schools and local governments in Metro Manila announced that classes were still suspended in their areas.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said the number coding scheme would resume on Thursday. (MNS)