‘Vicky’ leaves 9 dead; rain seen to persist

By: Jeannette Andrade, JHESSET O. ENANO - Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 21,2020 - 07:41 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Rainy weather is expected to persist across Luzon on Monday, even as Tropical Depression Vicky left the Philippine territory on Sunday, the government weather service said.

After heavy rain that inundated swaths of Mindanao and parts of northern Luzon on Saturday, Vicky left the country’s area of responsibility at 2 p.m. It is seen to further intensify into a tropical storm as it moves south-westward, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its severe weather bulletin on Sunday.

Kalayaan Islands remained under tropical cyclone wind signal No. 1, as of Sunday afternoon.

Residents in the islands should prepare for rain with gusty winds, Pagasa said.

Moderate to heavy rain were dumped across the country during the weekend due to the combined effects of Vicky, the northeast monsoon, or “amihan,” and the tail-end of the cold front.

In northern Luzon, towns in Cagayan Valley that were still reeling from floods caused by Typhoon “Ulysses” (international name: Vamco) in November found themselves once again scrambling for safety, as floodwaters rose anew.

As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, five spillway gates in Magat Dam were opened, with a total gate opening of 10 meters, according to the National Irrigation Administration.

With its water level at 191.36 meters above sea level, the dam released water at 2,397 cubic meters per second (cms), with the inflow recorded at 2,306 cms.

On Monday, the tail-end of a frontal system is also expected to bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in Aurora and Quezon provinces and in the Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, and Bicol regions.

Ilocos and the rest of Central Luzon may also have rain due to the northeast monsoon. Metro Manila and the rest of the country, meanwhile, may have isolated showers due to local thunderstorms.

Floods, landslides

Vicky left at least nine people dead after it caused floods and landslides in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Vicky affected some 5,200 families in Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and Caraga.

Floods caused by Vicky’s heavy rain displaced 1,328 families or some 5,400 people in Caraga and the Davao region.

Mark Timbal, deputy spokesperson for NDRRMC, said they received a report of three fatalities in Mahaplag, Leyte.

“Verification is still ongoing,” he said.

Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. said at least three people died in San Francisco town while another went missing due to heavy floods caused by torrential rain.

Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel said on Sunday that three people reportedly drowned in floodwaters in Lianga town.

He said the fatalities were swept away by strong currents while fleeing to higher ground. INQ

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