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Some 2.3 million customers of Manila Electric Co. remained without power as of early Thursday, a day after Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun) blew through Luzon.
"(As of 2 a.m.), ang natitirang walang kuryente 43.36 percent. Ang katumbas nito 2.3 million customers," Meralco call center coordinator Cecille de Guia said in an interview on dzBB radio.
She said the biggest areas affected include southern Batangas and Quezon.
De Guia said they are checking the circuits before checking isolated trouble at the house-to-house level.
On Wednesday, Meralco said Glenda knocked out power lines involving up to 90 percent of its franchise areas, which include Metro Manila, and parts of Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan.
Twenty persons died, seven people were injured and five remain missing when Typhoon Glenda cut across some Luzon provinces and Metro Manila, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said Wednesday evening.
NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan said Typhoon Glenda had also affected 105,520 families or 505,264 individuals. She said 76,659 families or 423,119 persons were staying in evacuation centers.
The eye of Glenda, the strongest storm to hit the country this year, passed south of Manila after cutting a path across the main island of Luzon, toppling trees and power lines and causing electrocutions and widespread blackouts.
By Wednesday evening, the storm was easing in the capital and markets and public offices were due to reopen on Thursday. Some schools were to remain closed.
Major roads across Luzon were blocked by debris, fallen trees, electricity poles and tin roofs ripped off village houses. The storm uprooted trees in the capital, where palm trees lining major arteries were bent over by the wind as broken hoardings bounced down the streets.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and Admiral Alexander Pama, the executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, surveyed the typhoon-affected areas by helicopter.
Singson and Pama said the government was more prepared after the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November, evacuating people at risk in coastal and landslide-prone areas well before the typhoon made landfall.
Parts of the Philippines are still recovering from Haiyan, one of the biggest cyclones known to have made landfall anywhere. It killed more than 6,100 in the central provinces, many in tsunami-like sea surges, and left millions homeless. — with Reuters/Joel Locsin/ELR, GMA News