At least 11 missing as tropical storm ‘Falcon’ hits Philippines

June 24th, 2011 - 8:39 pm ICT by BNO News  

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (BNO NEWS) — A tornado struck the central region of the Philippines, while a strong whirlwind hit Quezon City in the north, as tropical storm ‘Falcon’ brings heavy rainfall throughout the country and displaces thousands, officials said Friday.

The Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management said more than 40,000 people had been displaced in the Metropolitan area of Manila, while 11 people have been reported missing due to the heavy rainfall caused by tropical storm ‘Falcon,’ which began nearly a week ago.

According to the Philippine Star, the missing include 10 fishermen off the eastern region of Luzon Province near the island of Catanduanes. In Ligao City, Albay province, a woman named Rose Belga Ordan was reported unaccounted for after flash floods reportedly washed her away.

According to the country’s disaster management, flooding in the northern provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Rizal, Albay, and the National Capital Region (NCR) have affected 32,118 families in 132 villages. Government officials have set up 23 evacuation centers in Albay, Rizal, Zambales and the NCR, where over 10,000 families are already being assisted.

In the village of Barangay Guintas in the Barotac Nuevo town area of Iloilo City, located in the Philippines’ Central Wisaya, at least 24 houses were destroyed by a tornado while another 25 houses were damaged, Barotac Nuevo Mayor Hernani Biron said.

No casualties were reported, however, as Biron said most of the houses were empty when the tornado hit the area since children were still at school and parents were out working. Municipal government authorities set up shelters for those left homeless at schools where they have been provided with food and assistance.

In Quezon City, located on the northern island of Luzon, a strong twister ripped through E. Rodriguez Avenue in the New Manila area at around 12 p.m. local time, toppling trees, iron sheets at a construction site, and damaging several residences and businesses.

Officials confirmed at least one person being injured after a bicycle slammed into his head. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino said rescue personnel had been deployed to assist residents and clear out the area from debris.

Rainfall is expected to continue throughout the region, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Geographical Administration said. The weather administration also said ‘Falcon’ had become stronger although it was moving to the northwest.

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