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article imageStorm leaves most parts of Metro Manila submerged in floodwater

By Leo Reyes     Sep 19, 2014 in Environment
Tropical Storm Mario made landfall in Northern Luzon in the Philippines late Friday after dropping heavy rains in Metro Manila, causing widespred flooding that prompted government to suspend classes in grade schools up to college level.
Mandatory evacuation of residents in low lying areas were carried out in Marikina City and in many parts of Metro Manila.
Work in government and in many private offices were also suspended as most of the major thoroughfares were submerged in floodwater.
State weather agency Pagasa says the storm, which was enhanced by a southwest monsoon, dumped more than half of the average rainfall for the month of September.
La Mesa Dam, Metro Manila's source of drinking water hit its spilling level before noon as authorities warned residents of flooding as they started discharging excess water from the dam.
Angat Dam which channels water to La Mesa along with other major dams in Luzon have also reached their critical levels.
The flooding caused heavy traffic on major streets of Metro Manila as water from Pasig River started spilling over major routes in the metropolitan area.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) had alerted the residents on the extent of flooding in the metropolis and provided the residents with a flood gauge which tells of road accessibility, depth and measurement.
On Friday morning rescuers were seen pulling people from top of their houses and brought them to safer grounds.
Rescue operations were hampered by heavy traffic along their routes on their way to low lying areas where many were rescued as floodwater continues to rise.
"We're dealing with floods over a large area. Our local as well as national responders are out there leading the rescue operations," Mina Marasigan, spokeswoman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council told AFP.
Rains have subsided early evening on Friday as Storm Mario made landfall at the northern tip of Luzon and is expected to exit the Philippines on Sunday.
Minimal damage to infrastructure were reported with only two reported casualties as the typhoon weakens on its way out.
One of the strongest typhoons to his the country was Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), a very powerful typhoon that flattened most part of central Philippines last year killing more than 6,000 people and caused destruction millions of homes, government infrastructure and agricultural crops.
The first in a series of landfalls of super typhoon Haiyan took its toll on the fishing town of Guiuan, Eastern Samar in central Philippines, turning the historic town into a pile of rubble with very few structures left standing. Read more.
More than twenty storms and typhoons pass the Philippines every year causing light to heavy damage to crops and infrastructure.
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