The Low Pressure Area (LPA) inside Philippine area of responsibility has developed into Tropical Depression Saturday, the state weather bureau reported.
Jori Loiz, a weather forecaster at Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said they named the fourth cyclone to enter the country “Dante.”
Loiz said the tropical depression was spotted at about 690 kms. east of Casiguran in Aurora province with maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center as of 4 a.m Saturday.
Moving northwestward at 11 kph, the weather expert explained “Dante” is still too far from any point in Luzon for Pagasa to raise storm signals.
“Dante” is expected to be out of PAR by Tuesday should it continue to move with its slow pace.
While “Dante” is not expected to make landfall in any part of the country, the weather forecaster clarified it may become a tropical storm in the next few hours.
He explained this will affect rain-causing Southwest monsoon or Habagat, which will bring more rains in the provinces along the western part of the country.
He added “Dante” will dump moderate 5 to heavy 15 mm amount of rains in areas that will be covered by the weather disturbance’s 300-km diamter.
But Loiz clarified Pagasa cannot yet officially declare the onset of the wet season since at least five weather bureau stations in the country have not collected the required volume of rains.
In its advisory, Pagasa said that due to its extended cloudiness Mindanao and Eastern Visayas will experience cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms.
This prompts Pagasa to maintain its advisory warning about flashfloods and landslides in Visayas and Mindanao.
It noted that the Bicol region and the rest of Visayas will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will have partly cloudy skies and experience isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.
Malacanang Palace suspended work, classes in Metro Manila, nearby provinces
Aug. 07, 2012. Tuesday morning 9:30am , Palace suspended work in Private offices in Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan.
Around 8:50 A.M. Meralco company announces that it was switching off the power in various areas badly hit by flooding in the National Capital Region (NCR) for safety reasons.
Landslide has been reported at the Batasan in Q.C, with at least 4 houses affected, says Elmo San Diego of the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center.
The Government announced this 3am, work has been suspended in NCR and nearby provinces, the Office of the President announced Tuesday.
The recommendation of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and in view of the continuing inclement weather brought about by southwest monsoon (habagat), work in government offices and classes in college level in the National Capital Region and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal are hereby suspended today, 07 August 2012," the Palace said.
Reports now on TV show that the heavy rains have placed many areas in the Metro Manila under water. The North Luzon Expressway-Balintawak area is already flooded, with traffic being diverted.
Marikina river has also breached 19-meter level, prompting residents near the area to evacuate.
Continues heavy rains on Monday evening and La Mesa Dam's spill prompt local governments to suspend classes for Tuesday, as floods hit Quezon City, Valenzuela, and Malabon.
Typhoon Sendong kills 436 people
The national disaster agency said 987 were killed and 58 missing on Mindanao after Typhoon Sendong (aka Typhoon Washi) triggered the slides. Most of the casualties were in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and tens of thousands remain homeless, many sheltering in evacuation centers.
Pres. Aquino met officials in the two cities worst hit by the cascades that swept down mountainsides as residents of riverside and coastal villages slept in the early hours of Saturday.
The first priority is to relocate to areas that no longer pose a danger to them, Aquino told a meeting in Cagayan de Oro, issuing instructions to implement disaster mitigation programmes, including reforestation.
He later told a gathering at a school: "We have no desire to engage in finger-pointing or to assign blame at a time like this. Yet, we have an obligation to find out exactly what has happened."
Aquino said he had formed a task force to investigate the reasons behind the disaster and to determine whether a nationwide logging ban had been violated.
He declared a state of national disaster, a move intended to release greater funding, and ordered the speedy restoration of power and drinking water supplies in all affected villages.
"If we want this tragedy to be the last of its kind, we need to learn from our mistakes," he saidd."
THE NATIONAL CALAMITY
The disaster agency said more than 348,000 people in 13 provinces were affected by the disaster, with nearly 43,000 still in schools, churches and gymnasiums.
More than 10,000 houses were damaged by the typhoon sendong and the flash floods, of which nearly a third were ruined. Many schools, roads and bridges were also badly damaged.
More than 15.1 million pesos ($340,000) worth of crops, mostly rice and corn, were damaged, but the Agriculture department said losses were minimal as the crops were in the early planting stage.
Pres. Pinoy said the government can also access funds from multilateral financial institutions, including $3 million from the Asian Development Bank and about $500 million in low-interest loans from the World Bank.
The survivors said huge logs thundering down mountainsides crushed residents. Television footage showed many recovered bodies with arms or hands raised as if reaching out for help or clinging on to something.
Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were struggling to prevent disease from spreading in evacuation centers, with construction proceeding quickly of burial vaults and plots in public cemeteries to bury decomposing bodies.
Iligan has started burying truckloads of bodies, with some family members or residents of the same villages entombed in a single sepulchre. A Reuters photographer saw bodies lined up along the highway in Cagayan de Oro outside a small funeral home.
An official of the British-based Christian relief and development organisation World Vision said people were fighting for space at evacuation centers.
"It is really overcrowded, there is almost no space in between people," group official John Salva told ANC Television. "Diseases are starting to appear."
It's really a struggle to manage those evacuation centers, there's a shortage of water and a shortage of food," he said.
The state-run Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said it had warned authorities in the area last year about the need to relocate families living along riverbanks that swelled after one month's worth of rainfall fell over the weekend.
"This tragedy that happened in Cagayan de Oro ... will be repeated in the future. And therefore, there needs to be appropriate preparation to prevent fatalities," Leo Jasareno, acting director of the MGB said in a television interview.