Storm weakens in Manila but schools to stay closed
Tropical storm Feria (Nangka) has spared Metro Manila as it weakened into a tropical depression after crossing Mindoro province, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) said late Wednesday evening.
Pagasa lowered the storm signal no. 2 in Metro Manila to signal no. 1. Despite the lowered typhoon signal, classes in the elementary and high school level in Metro Manila, Bataan, Batangas and Cavite will remain suspended for Thursday because of the expected heavy rains.
In its 11 p.m. bulletin, Pagasa said Feria was moving northwest at 17 kph with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center, much milder than the original 75 kph wind forecast for Metro Manila.
Still no classes
National Disaster Coordinating Council chief Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said in a news conference late Wednesday night that Pagasa has predicted that Feria will still enhance the southwest monsoon and dump rains in Metro Manila and other regions at noon Thursday.
The NDCC said the suspension of classes in the colleges and universities is up to the decision of officials of colleges and universities.
The death toll from tropical storm remained at six as of Wednesday evening, while 11 people have been reported missing, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said. In its report updated 7 p.m., the NDCC said four of the six were fishermen who died after a tornado hit their boat in Quezon, while the other two drowned in Cebu.
Around 10 p.m., winds were blowing moderately in Metro Manila and there was no sign of rainfall. Traffic along EDSA and the Elliptical area in Quezon City was moving smoothly.
A large portion of Malabon City however was flooded as of 5 p.m. despite the absence of heavy rain, according to a report on QTV's "News on Q." Bong Tengson, the city's Civil Defense Coordinator, said this was due to the "higher than usual" tide level of the nearby Tullahan River.
In Muntinlupa City, strong winds and dark clouds forced people to go home early after office hours causing heavy traffic on both sides of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Giant billboards and tarpaulins were also put down along the expressway to prevent accidents.
In Manila, rain fell sporadically, with people even finding time to visit Baywalk in the afternoon, according to a report by Tina Panganiban-Perez on GMA's "24 Oras."
NDCC identified the latest fatality as Vicente Layague, 70, of Bantayan Island in Cebu province. It said a strong current swept him away.
At least 11 were reported missing, including a four-year-old in Romblon, one fisherman in Cebu, five fishermen in Eastern Samar, and two fishermen each from Sorsogon and Aklan.
Those missing from Sorsogon were identified as Tito Mireballes, 52; and Joshua Virata. Those from Aklan were identified as Jun Mark Graciano, 15; and Aldrin Nicolas, 13.
Three were reported injured, including two in Southern Leyte, and Domingo Ilustrisimo, 69, who was hit by a coconut tree felled by strong winds in Cebu.
Meanwhile, the NDCC said at least P2.8 million in property was damaged in the wake of tropical storm "Feria" (Nangka) as it continued to pound parts of the country Wednesday.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said this included P2.5 million in infrastructure including school buildings, seawall and pier; and P300,000 in agricultural crops.
But the NDCC report dated 7 p.m. noted the estimated damage only included the properties in San Vicente town in Northern Samar.
"Feria" had pounded Eastern and Central Visayas, and parts of Bicol and Southern Luzon, as well as parts of Mindanao.
At least four people previously listed as missing were found alive. They included fisherman Wilmo Cantilan; Justino Munda, 63, of Southern Leyte; and Rey Pelague and Rudy Bederos of Hernani, Eastern Samar.
The NDCC said at least 678 families or 3,291 people in Southern Luzon and Eastern Visayas had been affected.
Some 30 houses were destroyed while 39 were damaged in the two regions.
On the other hand, some 9,978 passengers, 108 trucks, 61 cars, 347 rolling cargos, 61 vessels, 106 motor bancas and 61 passenger buses were stranded as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the NDCC report said all 69-kv transmission lines affecting Eastern Samar have been energized, while some parts of Samar are still undergoing clearing operations.
In Romblon province, power was cut in some areas as portions of electric lines affected by flooding were automatically shut down.
Not passable due to landslides were the Calatrava-San Agustin Road in Tablas Island in Romblon; and the San Agustin-Sta. Maria Road.
Also not passable in Sibuyan Island in Romblon was the Cantingan RCDG Bridge, Cantingas Bailey Bridge, Cantingas Box Culvert, Pili Steel Bridge, Ipil RCDG Bridge, Cansapay Steel Bridge, Silum Bridge, Ituralba RCDG Bridge, and Sibuyan Circumferential Road in San Fernando town.
Hardly passable due to heavy flooding was the Ferrol-Odiongan Road.
In Eastern Visayas, several roads were closed or hardly passable due to rockslides, or trees that fell along the roadway.
Among the affected roads were Leyte III Tabango-Manlawan-Gimarco Road, Tabing-Tugas-Tabango Road and Cabyngan-Tabunok-Consuegra Road (hardly passable); Leyte IV Libungao-Matag-ob-Palompon Road; Leyte V Bato-Bontoc Road (minor landslide); and Northern Samar II Palapag-Mapanas-Gamay-Laping Road (hardly passable).
Samar II along Daang Maharlika was closed to traffic for more than four hours due to rockslide, while Catbalogan-Calbiga Road Jiabong Section was passable despite fallen big trees along the roadway. - GMANews.TV
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