MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has appealed to residents in low lying areas affected by Tropical Storm Mario (Fung-Wong) to evacuate immediately as heavy rains are expected to last until Friday night, September 19.
"Sa mga kababayan natin, nakikiusap po kami lalo na sa mabababang lugar na huwag po ninyong ipagsapalaran ang buhay ninyo. Lumikas po kayo sa evacuation center na itinalaga ng mga lokal na pamahalaan," said Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr said in an interview Friday at the operations center of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) inside Camp Aguinaldo.
(We are appealing to our citizens in low-lying areas not to risk their lives. Go to evacuation centers designated by your local governments.)
Ochoa added, "Kung maaari lang po, huwag natin pahirapan ang mga mayor sa pagtulong po sa inyo (Please don't make it hard for the mayors to help you)."
Tropical Storm Mario poured rains that caused severe flooding in various parts of Luzon. It caused the La Mesa dam in Quezon City to hit spilling level, dumping excess water to the Tullahan River.
Classes and government work have been suspended in affected areas.
A red rainfall alert was issued Friday morning in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal, which means forced evacuation is low lying areas like those along the Tullahan River.
From Europe, President Benigno Aquino III has ordered all relevant government agencies to be on top of the situation, Ochoa said.
"Gusto niyang masiguro na lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno ay gumagalaw. Gusto niyang maintindihan (He wants to make sure that all branches of government are moving. He wants to know) that we are indeed informing him as much as we can on a regular basis because he is also busy there," Ochoa added.
Aquino is on a 4-nation trip to Europe. From Germany, the last leg of his trip that has brought him to Spain, Belgium, and France, the President will proceed to the United States primarily for the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York.
Mario is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsiblity Sunday evening or Monday morning. – Rappler.com
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