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Over 100 killed and almost 340,000 affected by 'Ondoy'

September 27, 2009 7:18pm
Over 100 have died from the effects of tropical storm Ondoy, but the figure is climbing as more flooded areas are reached by rescuers and relatives. In Brgy. Silangan in Quezon City alone, near the Batasang Pambansa, 36 people died, while 15 bodies have so far been recovered in Provident Village in Marikina, where flood waters reached rooftops. The government has reported 23 missing, but unofficial reports put that number much higher as family members cannot contact each other with cell phone services and power still down in many areas.

Many senior citizens interviewed by the media say that this is the worst disaster they have experienced in Metro Manila in their lifetimes.

According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council's Situation Report No. 7, 44 people died in Region IV-A: one in Calaca, Batangas; one in Calauag, Quezon; and 23 in Tanay, 10 in Angono, five in Baras, three in Montalban, and one in Theresa, all in Rizal province.

Among those killed was Tony Chua, team manager of professional basketball team Barako Bull and former chair of the PBA Board of Governors, who was reportedly hanging on to a tree along Marcos Highway when he was swept away by rampaging flood waters. Basketball coach Koy Banal was hanging on to a nearby tree and survived.

Seven people were killed in the National Capital Region: three in Muntinlupa City, two in NIA Road, Quezon City; one in Marikina City, and 1 in Brgy. Bato, San Juan. [See: DISASTER EMERGENCY HOTLINES YOU CAN CALL]

Twenty-one died in Region III: nine in Bulacan and 12 in Arayat, Pampanga. In the Cordillera Administrative Region, one was killed in Kabugao, Apayao.

Among the fatalities were a soldier and four volunteers from the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit who took part in the search and rescue efforts for the storm’s victims.

The NDCC’s official tally did not include 36 fatalities and 100 others missing in Barangay Bagong Silangan in Quezon City, according to a report from the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of San Isidro Church .

In a phone interview with GMANews.TV, PPC chairperson Blessy Agsawa said the fatalities were from informal settler communities in the barangay, which is near the Batasan Pambansa complex that contains the House of Representatives. The bodies were brought to Funeraria Tajuana along Commonwealth Avenue. [See: 3 drop-off areas designated for Ondoy victims' donations]

At the badly-hit Provident Village in Marikina, GMA News reported Sunday night that no less than 15 people had been found dead in the village. Among them were two children and six adults left by the roadside awaiting identification by family members who had been prevented by the flood from reaching them in time. Other residents were rescued Sunday after getting stranded for many hours.

The number of affected families across Luzon has swelled to 69,513 (about 337,216 people). The partial total number of evacuees has also reached 11,967 families (about 59,920 people) who are staying in 118 evacuation centers, NDCC data showed.

Twenty-three others were reported missing: 20 in Tanay, Rizal; two in Arayat, Pampanga, and one in Kabayan, Benguet. Four were injured: three in Kabayan, Benguet, and one in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. [See: List of addresses of flood-stranded people needing rescue (with interactive map)]


Classes, number coding suspended

The devastation wrought by “Ondoy" prompted Teodoro to declare the suspension of classes at all levels in Metro Manila and in Rizal on Monday.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority general manager Roberto Nacianceno told dzBB radio that the number coding scheme in the metropolis would be suspended from September 28 (Monday) to October 2 (Friday).

“Ondoy" struck Luzon on Saturday, bringing epic proportions of floodwater in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon. [See: MRT cuts fare to P10 in all stations]

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Sunday visited the Ortigas Extension area in Pasig City to extend her sympathies to residents whose houses have been submerged in deep floodwaters since Saturday.

In his report, GMA News’ Jiggy Manicad said Mrs. Arroyo was accompanied by Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and did not reach the flooded areas.

He said rescue efforts were ongoing in the area, and up to ten life rafts and rubber boats were being used to ferry residents to safer ground.

Some residents, however, attempted to return to their homes to get some of their belongings.

Volunteers from the Philippine National Red Cross also had to rescue Joy Belmonte, an eight months' pregnant woman who was about to give birth. She had to be transferred to another hospital from the Mission Hospital, which had run out of supplies and medicines. - GMANews.TV