At least 6 dead as floods swamp Luzon provincesInquirer Central Luzon, Inquirer Northern Luzon, Inquirer Southern Luzon
At least six people, including two sisters, were killed yesterday when floods unleashed by heavy rains swamped provinces north and south of Metro Manila.
Two provinces in the Calabarzon area—Cavite and Laguna—were placed under a state of calamity due to widespread flooding. Calabarzon also embraces the provinces of Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
Four people died in Laguna, including one who drowned in a creek. The two other deaths occurred in Batangas, where two sisters also drowned when they fell into a creek in Tanauan City and swept away by strong currents, police said.
Police identified the sisters as Anna May Pansipani, 9, and Anna Marie, 7.
Here is a province-by-province account of the devastation wrought by the rains and floods:
CAVITE: Bacoor City was the hardest-hit area, with nine villages submerged under 2-meter-deep floods that affected 800 families, according to Gov. Juanito Victor Remulla.
Three villages of Kawit and four villages of Rosario were swamped by waters up to eight feet deep.
The other towns affected were Naic, Ternate, Noveleta and Tanza and the cities of Cavite and Imus.
Remulla estimated at least 2,000 families had been evacuated by noon.
15 towns, cities
LAGUNA: Gov. Jeorge “ER” Ejercito said 15 out of the 18 lakeshore towns and cities in Laguna were severely affected by the floods.
The towns were San Pedro, Los Baños, Bay, Victoria, Pila, Sta. Cruz, Lumban, Siniloan, Famy, Sta. Maria and Mabitac while the cities were Binan, Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao and Calamba.
The floods affected 42,122 families and damaged 52 houses.
Martin Antonio of Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) information office said the Laguna Lake water level rose to 13 meters above sea level. The level reached 14.2 m during Typhoon “Ondoy” in 2009.
RIZAL: Some 3,300 families were brought to evacuation centers but the number continued to rise.
Vice Gov. Frisco San Juan Jr. said floods hit the towns of Rodriguez, San Mateo and Cainta.
In Kasiglahan village, rescue operations were hampered when dump trucks deployed to ferry the evacuees could not pass through the floodwaters.
BATANGAS: A total of 83 families were evacuated from the towns of Malvar, Lemery, Bauan and Tanauan City.
North of Manila, residents of Central Luzon awoke Tuesday with floodwaters rising fast, submerging town centers and residential areas and rendering major roads impassable.
PAMPANGA: For San Fernando City engineer Marni Castro, it was a case of déjà vu all over again. He said the last time he was confronted with this kind of scene was on Oct. 1, 1995, when Mt. Pinatubo’s lahar, as high as 15 meters, buried Bacolor town and spilled to San Fernando.
The villages of San Pedro Cutud and Sta. Lucia were flooded after water breached the San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin tail dike. Sandbagging operations were carried out.
“This is a disaster all over again,” said Castro.
The provincial boards and governors of Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales placed their provinces under a state of calamity.
North Luzon Expressway’s (NLEx) entry in Balintawak, Quezon City, and a section near the northbound entry of the Mindanao Avenue exit were flooded.
Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda asked residents near the Porac-Gumain River to move to higher ground or to designated evacuation centers.
BULACAN: Continuous rains forced authorities to keep open the floodgates of the province’s major reservoirs, including irrigation dams, said Felicisima Mungcal, head of the Bulacan disaster relief agency.
Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado directed the operators of these dams to coordinate their releases because the discharges had aggravated flooding in the province.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the water elevation in Angat Dam had risen to 204.93 meters above sea level (masl), still below its 210 masl spilling level.
Many sections of MacArthur Highway, from the town of Calumpit to Meycauayan City, were impassable to light vehicles.
ZAMBALES: In Olongapo City, over 200 families were taken to six evacuation centers.
Angelito Layug, a member of the city’s disaster response team, said rescue teams had been working since Monday night when the water rose in the Mabayuan and Sta. Rita Rivers.
Paul Mina, chief of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) fire and rescue team, said they rescued 178 families in the village of Sta. Rita.
“A lot of the people we rescued were children,” he said.
The Dinumagat River overflowed, prompting 60 families to move to higher ground.
BATAAN: In Bataan, the towns of Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, Pilar, Bagac and Morong, and the capital Balanga City were submerged under up to four feet of floodwater.
The Olongapo-Gapan Road in Dinalupihan and the MacArthur Highway in Hermosa were impassable to all types of vehicles.
TARLAC, NUEVA ECIJA: Nine villages in Paniqui town were flooded.
Worst hit were the villages of Salomangui, Apulid, San Isidro and Tablang.
The Camiling River overflowed, causing knee-deep floods.
Josephine Salazar, operations manager of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System, said Pantabangan Dam would not release water because its elevation as of Tuesday was at 208 masl, still below its spilling level of 213 masl.
PANGASINAN: Gov. Amado Espino Jr. directed local officials to conduct preemptive evacuation due to heavy rains and possible release of more water from San Roque Dam in San Manuel town.
Espino issued the order following a warning from Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo that intense rains were forecast to fall in La Union, Benguet and Pangasinan.
Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan said aside from the continuous heavy rains, the threat for towns and cities in eastern and central Pangasinan was the possible massive release of water from San Roque Dam.
At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the dam’s water elevation was 283.03 masl, 0.33 meter lower than its level of 283.36 masl recorded on Monday.
Binga Dam’s water level was recorded at 574.21 masl, or 0.79 meter from its maximum level of 575 masl.
Nine villages in Calasiao town were flooded while four villages in Dagupan City were under two to three feet of floodwater.
ISABELA: Saturnino Tenedor, Magat Dam instrumentation section chief, said the water level at the reservoir was 191.49 masl, still below its spilling level of 193 masl.
BENGUET: Strong rains prevented policemen and firemen from rescuing a miner trapped in a tunnel in Bokod town since Friday. Felipe Plimaco, 33, is alive but has been stuck for days inside the tunnel.—Reports from Maricar Cinco, Mar S. Arguelles and Marrah Erika Lesaba, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Tonette Orejas, Jo Martinez-Clemente, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Anselmo Roque, Armand Galang, Robert Gonzaga and Greg Refraccion, Inquirer Central Luzon; and Gabriel Cardinoza, Yolanda Sotelo, Villamor Visaya Jr. and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon