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MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 3 - 2:55 p.m.) Incessant rains since Friday have caused water levels at dams and waterways to rise to near critical levels. But the state weather bureau has downgraded rain warnings over several Metro Manila cities Saturday afternoon as the weather slowly improves.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) earlier issued the red warning over Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasay, Pasig, Paranaque and Taguig cities.
At 1:45 pm however, Pagasa terminated the rain warnings but warned Metro Manila residents to stay on alert for "occasional moderate to heavy rains."
"People are still advised to monitor the weather condition and watch out for next updates," it added.
Police units in Metro Manila have been ordered on alert for possible rescue and other emergency operations.
Pagasa initially raised the red warning over Paranaque and Taguig at 7:20 a.m. after observing 30.5mm per hour rainfall over Ususan, Taguig and 32.4 mm per hour at NAIA Station.
Saying that floods are “threatening low-lying areas and those located near river channels,” PAGASA warned "residents in high-risk areas are advised to move to a safer place and monitor the weather condition and watch out for the next warning."
Under its three level color warning system, a red warning is issued when rain falls at more than 30mm per hour or if continuous rains over three hours exceeds 65 mm. At these rates, evacuation is urged as serious flooding can be expected.
PAGASA has raised the "green warning alert" over other parts of Metro Manila where moderate (2.5 to 7.5 mm/hour) to occasional heavy to intense rains will continue to be experienced within the next two hours.
A yellow warning, on the other hand, is issued when rainfall is from 7.5mm to 15mm within an hour and likely to continue.
As of 10 a.m., PAGASA said the Binga Dam in Benguet had opened one gate and began releasing 0.5m per hour of water. The dam's current level is 574.12m; its spilling level is 575m.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that, as of 9 p.m. Friday, the water level at La Mesa Dam had reached 79.19 meters, near the critical level of 80.15 meters.
The water level near Ipo Dam, on the other hand, is currently 99.74 meters, just shy of the spilling level of 80.15 meters.
The following waterways were also nearing critical levels as of 9 p.m. Friday:
- Sto. Nino (Marikina) - current level at 14.02 m; spilling level is 15m
- Rosario Junction - current level at 12.38 m; spilling level is 13.8m
- San Juan River - current level at 11.62 m; spilling level is 12m
- Fort Santiago - current level at 10.81 m; spilling level is 12m
- Pandacan - current level at 11.12 m; spilling level is 12m
- Angono - current level at 11.79m; spilling level is 12m
- Montalban - current level is 23.18m; spilling level is 23.6 m
- Nangka - current level is 17.24m; spilling level is 18.3m
In Lumban, Laguna 31-year old Jonathan Sagodaquiel was reported missing Friday when he was swept away by strong currents while trying to cross the swollen Lumban River in barangay Wawa around 5 p.m., while in Cainta, Rizal, a 17-year old boy, who was reportedly drunk, almost drowned when he fell into General Ricarte Creek in Barangay San Juan at 11 p.m.
Several parts of Makati and some other areas in Metro Manila were flooded Saturday morning, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority reported:
- As of 8:07 a.m., knee-deep floods at Medina-Dela Rosa; not passable for light vehicles
- As of 7:44 a.m., gutter-deep floods at Washington-Buendia
- As of 7:41 a.m., gutter-deep floods at Rodriguez Pasay
- As of 7:39 a.m., gutter-deep floods at Edsa-Estrella southbound loading bay
Floods of 10 to 12 inches were also experienced in Barangay San Antonio in Makati City, particularly in Mayapis, Malugay, Sampaloc, Kamagong, Kaong corner Lumbayao, Santol and St. Paul Streets.
Flooding also hit Shaw Boulevard-Acacia Friday night, the NDRRMC said.