MANILA (Mabuhay) – The number of people affected by heavy monsoon rain and floods since last weekend breached the one-million mark Wednesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
In its 6 a.m. update, the NDRRMC said the affected include 223,991 families or 1,060,094 people in 1,028 villages in 80 towns and 35 cities in Ilocos, Central and Southern Luzon, Metro Manila, and Cordillera.
Of these, 29,041 families or 132,969 people are staying in 425 evacuation centers.
The death toll remained at eight, with 41 injured and four missing.
At least 513 areas in 78 towns and cities were reported flooded.
Damage was estimated at P66,763,939, including P56.582 million in infrastructure and P10.181 million in agriculture.
At least 19 houses were destroyed and 17 damaged.
Power and transportation
The NDRRMC said at least 88 roads in Ilocos, Central and Southern Luzon, Metro Manila and Cordillera are still impassable.
At least 18 power interruptions were reported in Southern Luzon.
The Philippine National Railways suspended operations Tuesday due to heavy rain and floods but announced Wednesday it is resuming operations.
The heavy rains damaged a portion of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) Tuesday, prompting authorities to close the affected part to traffic.
SCTEx project manager Engineer Joshua Bingcang said they will wait for the weather to improve before they fully assess the damage to the structure.
State of calamity
Many areas were placed under a state of calamity Tuesday.
As of 12:58 a.m. of Wednesday, August 21, the following areas are still under a state of calamity:
Laguna; Bataan; Cavite; Muntinlupa City; Pateros; Parañaque City; Malabon; Taytay, Rizal; San Mateo, Rizal; Guagua, Pampanga; Minalin, Pampanga; San Fernando City, Pampanga; Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan; and Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.
Under Republic Act 10121, the “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010,” a price freeze for 60 days will be implemented for basic necessities in areas under a state of calamity.
The Department of Trade and Industry advised the public to report any instances of profiteering.
At least two major dams in Luzon kept their gates open Wednesday amid heavy rain brought by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring.
PAGASA said as of 6 a.m. Ambuklao and Binga Dams in Benguet had two gates open each, even as La Mesa Dam in Quezon City was still overflowing. Ipo Dam, on the other hand, closed its gates at3:10 a.m.
In Pampanga, on the other hand, some areas are expected to be flooded after a tail dike in Barangay Sta. Rita in Minalin was breached by rising water Tuesday night, Minalin Mayor Edgar Flores said.
Flores said the barangays expected to be affected in Minalin are Sta. Rita, San Pedro, Sto. Rosario, San Nicolas, San Francisco 1 and 2, and Sta. Catalina.
Ample supplies of medicines against the water-borne disease leptospirosis were made available to evacuees and disaster response teams exposed to flood waters, the Department of Health saidon Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Maring exits
The monsoon was exacerbated by Tropical Storm Maring, affecting Metro Manila and nearby provinces since the weekend.
Maring exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility Wednesday morning even as state weather forecasters said rain may persist on Wednesday in Metro Manila and Luzon.
PAGASA forecaster Joey Figuracion said, however, that the weather will start to be sunnyThursday.
President Benigno Aquino III is scheduled to visit areas affected by Maring Wednesday.
Aquino is expected to check the situation personally in Biñan, Laguna, San Pedro, Laguna, and Mandaluyong. (MNS)