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MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) — More than one million Filipinos are now affected by the southwest monsoon rains enhanced by tropical storm Maring (international codename Trami). This consists of 223,991 families or 1,060,094 individuals who live in Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Southern Tagalog), and Metro Manila.
At least 15 were killed and damage to agriculture and infrastructure was estimated initially at P67-M.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recorded at least 8 dead Tuesday afternoon, August 20: 1 in Apayao, 1 in Bataan, 3 in Pampanga, 2 in Cavite, and 1 in Rizal. Many of them died of drowning.
The 9th fatality was reported by the 1st Civil Relations Group of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Mountain Province. A criminology student identified as Monching Makidan, 21, died in a flashflood at Chico River in Mountain Province.
Several towns and provinces have declared a state of calamity to allow them to draw emergency funds for affected residents. They are the provinces of Bataan, Cavite, and Laguna and several LGUs in Metro Manila, Ilocos Sur, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Occidental Mindoro.
A total of 280,000 were also displaced from their homes. They are staying either in the 425 recorded evacuation centers or with friends and relatives.
Heavy rain pounded the Philippine capital and surrounding areas for a third day Wednesday, adding to the misery of the exhausted people displaced from their flooded homes.
The crisis had eased from Tuesday, August 20, when more than half of the city was submerged and the rain was heavier.
One of the worst-affected areas was the coastal areas of Cavite, where residents were enduring waist-deep water streaming through countless homes.
Moderate to heavy rains were expected to continue to fall across Manila and the northern regions of Luzon throughout Wednesday, the state weather bureau said.
Tropical storm Maring (international codename Trami) has exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Wednesday morning.
The storm exited the PAR at around 7 am, state weather bureau PAGASA said, and is now near Taiwan.
As of the last PAGASA bulletin, Maring packed maximum sustained winds of 105 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 130 km/h.
Despite Maring’s exit, the storm is still expected to enhance the southwest monsoon bringing rain over large parts of Luzon.
Weather in the areas affected by the Maring-enhanced monsoon is forecast to improve in the coming days.
The Southeast Asian archipelago endures about 20 major storms or typhoons annually, generally in the second half of the year and many of them deadly.
More than 460 people were killed in 2009 when Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana) left 80% of Manila submerged.
And in August last year, 51 people died when more than a month’s worth of rain was dumped in and around Manila in 48 hours. – With reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com