MABALACAT CITY – Traffic jams due to the sheer volume of vehicles along the MacArthur Highway, NLEx and SCTEx, a slight drizzle in the afternoon, and jampacked malls were the order of the day here on Wednesday, Christmas Day.
The Picnic Grounds in nearby Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) was also abuzz with people despite the slight drizzle.
The malls were full of people as they opened midday Wednesday.
However, the celebration of Christmas has so far been “generally peaceful” nationwide, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday.
“The PNP finds Christmas Eve and today (Wednesday) to be generally peaceful and orderly with no major untoward incident reported,” PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement sent to reporters.
“We continue providing assistance to LGUs (local government units) and locals affected by Typhoon Ursula, even as we remain vigilant and on full alert to prevent (the) occurrence of crime and possible attacks by armed groups,” Banac added.
Typhoon Ursula (international name: Phanfone) brought very destructive winds and intense rainfall to the southern parts of Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in the afternoon on Wednesday.
The death toll from Typhoon Ursula in Eastern Visayas, has climbed to five, authorities said. The latest fatalities were recorded in Eastern Samar, where the weather disturbance first made landfall on December 24.
But as of press time, the death toll has climbed to eight and at least six have remained unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, the PNP remains on full alert as it preps up to usher in the new year.