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Typhoon Ulysses paralyzes public transport

Typhoon Ulysses which crossed Luzon with wind gusts of more than 200 kilometers per hour and triggered heavy flooding in coastal and riverside communities forced authorities to close ports, airports and mass transit services Thursday morning.

Flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were suspended early Thursday, but the Clark International Airport in Pampanga announced its reopening at 12 noon.

A tanker slams into a bridge in Navotas City. Source: PCG Facebook
The Department of Transportation said to ensure safety of passengers, the Manila International Airport Authority suspended all flight operations at NAIA beginning midnight of Nov. 11 until 6 a.m. of Nov. 12.  

"In consultation with the Airline Operators Council, the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines, PAGASA NAIA station and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General Jim Sydiongco, the Manila International Airport Authority announces suspension of all flight operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport beginning midnight until 6 a.m. of  Nov. 12," the MIAA said.

A stretch of North Luzon Expressway in Bocaue, Bulacan was impassable Thursday morning after Bocaue River swelled because of the heavy rainfall triggered by the typhoon.  Angat Dam and IPO Dam released water that inundated several riverside villages in Bulacan province.

NLEX Corp. said that as of 12 noon, the north and southbound lanes of NLEX and the whole stretch of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway became passable. 

"Patrol crews and traffic enforcers are deployed to assist the motorists. All customer service centers and RFID installation sites are closed for safety," the company said.

The DOTr announced the suspension of operations of Metro Manila rail lines, including Metro Rail Transit Line 3, Light Rail Transit Line 1 and Line 2 and Philippine National Raiways.  Operations of the EDSA Busway were also temporarily halted Thursday morning.

The DOTr said the Philippine Coast Guard declared "No Sail Policy" in 24 provinces for all types of vessels. 

Forty ports suspended operations as of 9:30 p.m. of Nov. 11, it said.

The DOTr said concerned departments and agencies focused on providing relief, rescue and assistance to those affected by the typhoon.

Philippine Coast Guard personnel were deployed in Cavite, Manila, Marikina, Montalban and Rodriguez, Rizal to help local government units in rescue and relief operations.  

"Let us help one another and demonstrate the Filipino bayanihan spirit in this time of need. Together, we will overcome and recover," the DOTr said.

PCG personnel deployed newly-procured rubber boats during the massive evacuation and rescue operations in Metro Manila and nearby provinces which reported flooding.

The PCG earlier purchased 41 rubber boats to boost humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

The PCG said that in Navotas City, it responded to a reported maritime incident involving motor tanker M/TRK Bulusan that allegedly drifted at the seaside of Ignacio Street amid big waves and strong winds on Thursday morning.

Several Metro Manila roads also became impassable because of flooding Thursday morning.  Flood in most of these roads subsided in the afternoon.

Typhoon Ulysses directly affected Quezon and southern portion of Aurora, northern and eastern portion of Bulacan, Metro Manila, Rizal, southeastern portion of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Zambales on its way to the West Philippine Sea.

Local officials in Marikina City and Rizal province said the flood caused by Typhoon Ulysses can be compared to the one caused by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009.

Topics: Transportation , Roads , NAIA , ports , Typhoon Ulysses , flood , DOTr , operations
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