MANILA - Officials have declared Laguna province under state of calamity after tropical storm "Maring" and typhoon "Lannie" triggered massive flooding that forced thousands of residents to seek safer ground, Governor Ramil Hernandez said Wednesday.
The Provincial Council approved the state of calamity in a special session Tuesday, Hernandez said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN News.
A state of calamity means local officials can tap emergency funds for the evacuees and impose a price freeze on basic commodities.
Heavy rains have swamped low-lying areas along river banks and the Laguna Lake. Among the worst-hit areas were the towns of San Pedro, Cabuyao, Calamba, and Sta Rosa, Hernandez said.
Initial cost of damage to property was pegged at P13 million while damage to agriculture was at P6.7 million.
Some 1,600 families or 6,000 individuals have sought shelter at evacuation centers, the governor added.
The body of a drowned 15-year-old boy was recovered from Calamba's San Cristobal River while least 6 others remained missing, Hernandez said.
"Maging alerto po tayo. Kapag po sinabi ng barangay, sinabi ng authorities na kailangan nang lumikas, huwag po tayong magbakasali," Hernandez told his constituents.
"Iyung nangyari po ngayon, karamihan po ng mga missing, iyun po ang mga hindi nag-evacuate."
Maring and Lannie are set to leave the Philippine area of responsibility late Wednesday, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
All storm signals have been lifted, but Maring will still bring light to moderate rains in Palawan, Oriental Mindoro, Zambales, Bataan, and Batangas, PAGASA warned.