[Blueboard] Milenyo Update
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Sep 29 10:10:42 PHT 2006
Typhoon batters Metro Manila, Bicol
By Blanche Rivera, PDI Southern Luzon Bureau
Inquirer Last updated 01:36am (Mla time) 09/29/2006 Published on Page A1 of the September 29, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE STRONGEST typhoon to hit Metro Manila directly in 11 years toppled trees and billboards, triggered flash floods and landslides, shuttered offices and the financial markets, and caused a Luzon-wide power outage on Thursday.
Typhoon "Milenyo" (international name: Xangsane) brought Metro Manila to a near-standstill with all flights and sea travel in and out of the region canceled. It also forced officials to suspend operations of two commuter train systems.
At least 18 persons were reported dead in the cities of Muntinlupa (2), Makati (1) and Legazpi (1), and the provinces of Albay (8), Quezon (3) and Antique (3) in the wake of the typhoon.
Eleven were confirmed dead in the five-province Calabarzon area south and east of Manila, including four children in Taytay town in Rizal province.
Worst hit provinces
Among the worst hit provinces was Albay in the Bicol region, disaster coordination officials said. It had no water supply, electricity and landline communication link. Albay and five other provinces in Bicol had been without electricity since Wednesday night as high winds toppled power lines.
In Camarines Sur province, Gov. Luis Ray Villafuerte placed the initial damage to schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure at P200 million. He said that 85 percent of the crops in the province were damaged.
Milenyo on Thursday weakened into a storm with winds of 110 kilometers per hour but picked up speed by 17 to 19 kph when it smashed through Metro Manila capital at around 10 a.m. It was packing maximum winds of 130 kph and gusts of up to 160 kph when it made landfall in Northern Samar province on Wednesday morning.
Forecasters said Milenyo would likely strengthen back to a typhoon when it hit the South China Sea. The storm is headed westward and is expected to reach Vietnam late on Sunday. "The worst is over for Metro Manila," weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz said. "You cannot expect a 180-degree turn immediately, of course. It will continue to rain for the next several days but we have improving weather," he said.
Milenyo was headed for Bataan and Zambales as of 4 p.m. yesterday, its center spotted 100 km south of Metro Manila. It had slightly weakened.
Ship passengers stranded
The Office of Civil Defense reported that as of 8 a.m. Thursday there were 3,029 ship passengers stranded in the Bicol region. Matnog town had 2,130 stranded passengers; Pilar, 376; Tabaco City, 358; Masbate, 61; Bulan, 48; Pioduran, 22; Pasacao, Camarines Sur, 21; Sabang, Camarines Sur, 10 and Virac, 3.
At the Batangas port south of Manila, stranded were at least 350 passengers bound for the provinces of Aklan, Iloilo, Mindoro and Romblon in the central Philippines.
The Camarines Norte national highway, roads in Camarines Sur and the road from Legazpi City to Sorsogon were passable as of 3 p.m. Thursday. However, the road out of Bulan, Sorsogon, was not passable due to fallen trees, electric posts and scattered roofing materials. In Albay, the Maharlika Highway in the second and third districts was passable to light vehicles only. The road in Barangay Padang in Legazpi was not passable because it was blocked by boulders and old volcanic debris from Mayon volcano.
The circumferential road from Virac to Pandan in Catanduanes was hardly passable. It was under construction when damaged by the storm. A minor rock slide blocked a section of the Panabananon road and a minor landslide hit a section in Barihay in Catanduanes.
A total of 833 people were evacuated to eight centers in Calabanga, Camarines Sur. Thirty-six families were evacuated in Pamplona, 50 in Gainza and five in Libmanan.
The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council said 20 families from the coastal village of Sala in Balete, Batangas, were evacuated to Balete Church. Initial reports from the Philippine National Red Cross said that 45 families were evacuated in Lipa City, 38 in Tanauan City and 11 in San Juan town.
Highway operator Star Tollway Corp. said billboards and fences had tilted toward the road in Santo Tomas. Water overflowed on the Santiago Bridge and portions of Kilometer 64 to Kilometer 61 in Sambat, Tanauan, were flooded. But no vehicular accidents were reported, Star Tollway said.
Many houses were rendered roofless, electricity was cut off and floods threatened the towns of Siniloan, Mabitac, Famy, Sta. Maria and other parts of eastern Laguna.
Manila airport closed
Debris -- from pieces of galvanized iron sheets, tree branches, leaves and even migratory birds -- as well as poor visibility forced the five-hour closure of the two runways of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) at the height of Milenyo.
It was the first time in 15 years that the country's premier international airport was closed. In 1991, the Naia was closed for 10 days because of the ash fall brought about by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
The closure affected numerous arriving and departing flights, and stranded hundreds of passengers at the Naia 1, the Centennial Terminal and the Manila Domestic Airport.
>From The Philippine Star 09/29/2006
Typhoon "Milenyo" - the strongest to hit Metro Manila in 11 years - slammed into the metropolis and parts of Luzon and the Visayas yesterday, killing at least 15 people and leaving behind widespread destruction.
More than 40 million people were without electricity after the typhoon, packing winds of 130 kilometers per hour, destroyed power lines in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.
The storm toppled trees and triggered landslides, blocking some provincial roads. School authorities suspended classes, flights were canceled, ferry boats were grounded, the country's financial markets were halted, and officials were forced to suspend the operation of two commuter trains in Metro Manila as the typhoon wiped out all normal activity.
Classes at all levels in Metro Manila remain suspended today. Work in government offices, except those engaged in health, security and disaster relief and response, also remain suspended. Work in private companies is up to the discretion of employers, Malacañang said.
Milenyo was the strongest typhoon to directly hit Metro Manila in 11 years, after super typhoon Rosing, packing 260 kph, battered the metropolis and nearby provinces in November 1995, leaving 936 people dead.
President Arroyo ordered yesterday the release of P240 million from the calamity fund to be made available to local government units battered by Milenyo.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said that during a teleconference with Cabinet and disaster management officials, Mrs. Arroyo directed the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Metro Manila Development Authority to speed up the cleanup of debris, fallen trees and billboards on roads.
She also ordered Trade Secretary Peter Favila to deploy price monitoring teams in markets and stores to prevent undue increases.
Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. assured local officials in typhoon-ravaged areas of the immediate release of aid to repair damaged infrastructure.
Mrs. Arroyo also ordered Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral to provide quick relief operations in affected communities.
Favila told a press briefing at the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) at Camp Aguinaldo that the power outage was reported by the National Transmission Corp. at around 12:58 p.m. He said Transco is still determining the cause of the collapse of the entire Luzon grid.
The President was trapped by the typhoon at the Clark Special Economic Zone where she attended several engagements. She was able to return to Manila at around 4 p.m. and immediately inspected the damages and debris near Malacañang, including a giant acacia tree that was uprooted from the courtyard of the nearby St. Jude Church that blocked the entire J. P. Laurel street.
Ros Manlangit, spokesman for the Department of National Defense, said Cyril del Callar, president of the National Power Corp. (Napocor), had reported that the power plants were shut down following reports that transmission lines and electric posts were damaged in various areas.
Defense Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina said that the disaster response teams of the Armed Forces have been deployed to assist in the affected areas.
Debris and tree branches littered the streets around Metro Manila while trees and electric posts were uprooted in many areas in Bicol and most parts of Luzon where the typhoon passed.
Airport authorities in Manila suspended all flights around noon because of the power failure. Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced that normal operations will resume today.
All domestic and international flights will be operated according to published schedules, including three regional flights from Manila to Nagoya, Kansai and Narita, PAL said. The three flights were originally scheduled to leave yesterday but were reset for today due to the storm.
The Philippine Coast Guard reported that over 4,000 ferry passengers were stranded in various ports in the Visayas, Bicol, Central and Southern Luzon.
>From Manila Times 09/29/06
>From the "White House" at the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) compound, the President addressed NDCC officials and issued a string of instructions, among them:
* for Trade Secretary Peter Favila to order the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to suspend the collection of toll fees at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Thursday and Friday;
* for Favila to ensure that there is no undue increase in the prices of vegetables and other basic commodities;
* for the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Health to ensure supply of relief goods and medicines to communities severely affected by the typhoon; and
* for the military to be prepared for emergency relief and evacuation operations.
Favila, on the other hand, informed the President that the blackout affecting Luzon including Metro Manila, was caused by the tripping of the Luzon Grid, which he claimed was the information relayed to him by National Transmission Corporation (Transco) chief Arthur Aguilar.
In Pampanga, the President held a brief meeting with regional disaster coordinating council (RDCC) members and was informed of the damages caused by Milenyo to the area and other Central Luzon provinces.
>From GMA7 09/29/06
At least 500 families in Tondo's Del Pan, Parola, Baseco and Happy Land districts were evacuated to shelters, the city's social welfare department reported.
>From Inq7.net 09/29/06
Evacuation operations were underway in Rizal province where four children were reported missing.
Officials are still confirming reports that four children fell into a river in Taytay in the middle of a heavy downpour, social welfare officer Monette Martin told the Inquirer.
"We are still hoping they could just be somewhere," she said.
Martin added that more than 1,200 families were evacuated in several barangays in Rizal: 308 families in Barangay San Vicente, 380 families in Poblacion Itaas and 250 families in Barangay Kalayaan, all in Angono; more than 500 families in Barangay San Luis in Antipolo City and 140 families in Taytay.
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