‘Crising’ Death Toll Rises

22 February 2013

MANILA, Philippines --- The death toll from tropical depression "Crising" rose to four as of yesterday morning, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

In its update, NDRRMC identified the most recent fatalities as Nelson Jeminez, 40, of Barangay Sampao, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, who drowned while trying to rescue residents in his barangay; and Namatyagan Namones, 12, who died in a landslide at the border of San Fernando in Bukidnon and Davao Oriental.

Four people were reported injured while two remain missing, the NDRRMC added.

The disaster agency said "Crising" has affected 36,407 families or 183,966 people in 137 villages in Regions 8(Eastern Visayas, 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao Region), 12 (SOCCSKARGEN) and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Of these, 5,683 families or 25,709 people were served in 37 evacuation centers.

At least 1,383 passengers and 12 vessels were stranded, including 309 passengers and one vessel in Palawan.

The NDRRMC said at least three roads, one footbridge, and six bridges were affected in Regions 8, 11, and Caraga.

As this developed, monsoon rains that hovered over the entire metropolis yesterday forced four international flights to be diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga as the visibility in approaching the Ninoy Aquino International Airport became poor.

The four international flights that were diverted to the Pampanga airport included China Airlines flight CI711 from Kaoshiung, Cathay Pacific flight CX907 from Hong Kong, Jet Star Asia 3K761 from Singapore and Korean Airlines flight KE621 from Incheon.

As of 12 noon, the four international flights were still in Pampanga waiting for the weather in Manila to improve.

The airport's Media Affairs Division also recorded 19 domestic flights as having been cancelled due to the bad weather affecting parts of Luzon and Visayas.

Cebu Pacific cancelled a total of 11 flights between Manila and Busuanga, Caticlan and Cagayan de Oro.

Air Philippines cancelled a total of four flights from Manila to Caticlan and Busuanga.

Zest Air and Sky Jet both cancelled their turn-around flight services between Manila and Busuanga.

The inclement weather also resulted in the suspension of classes in some public and private schools in elementary, high school, and college levels.

The Department of Education (DepEd) reiterated the Executive Order 66 s 2012 which stated that: "In the absence of typhoon signal, localized cancellation of classes may be implemented by local chief executives (LGUs)."

In Manila, Mayor Alfredo Lim announced the suspension of classes in public schools on all levels, particularly for all city-owned schools from elementary to college including Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and the Unibersidad de Manila (formerly City College of Manila). For private schools, colleges and universities, Lim said that "suspension of classes in other schools will be at the discretion of the school administrators."

Classes in all levels - from pre-school to college for public and private schools - in Parañaque City were likewise suspended by Mayor Jun Bernabe.

In Quezon City, Mayor Herbert Bautista also announced the class suspensions in both private and public elementary and high school levels.

Classes in Taytay Rizal were also suspended in both elementary and secondary levels.

Colleges and universities also continue to announce the suspension of classes in their respective Twitter accounts. Some of the HEIs that issued class suspension include the University of Santo Tomas, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Philippine Women's University, Colegio San Juan De Letran, Arellano University, San Beda College and St. Scholastica's College.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) "the northeast monsoon caused moderate to heavy rains in Metro Manila." The weather bureau has also raised the "yellow rainfall warning" as of 8 a.m. this morning which indicates "moderate to heavy rainfall in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Rizal for the next three hours." Light to moderate rains over Metro Manila, Aurora, Bataan and Bulacan is also to be expected. Due to possible flooding, PAGASA has issued warning to residents in low-lying areas and those who are near river channels. (PNA, Anjo Perez, Ina Malipot, and Chito A. Chavez)