5 dead in Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija as rains continue in Northern Luzon
The death toll from continuous rains brought about by the southwest monsoon in northern Luzon since last week rose to five, while Angat Dam in Bulacan province neared its spilling level.
On Sunday, Virgilio Alvaro, 46, a farmer, was found dead with his right hand holding a live wire in a farm in Jaen town, Nueva Ecija province.
Another farmer, Alipio Satulan, 41, drowned in a fishpond in Zaragoza town, also in Nueva Ecija. On Friday in Ilocos Norte province, Ernesto Manzano, 71, a fisherman, died of hypothermia when he went fishing in Badoc town despite the intense rains. Manzano also had a heart ailment.
The Ilocos Norte Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Emmanuel Ubibi, 57, a poultry farm caretaker, was buried in a landslide in Nueva Era town. A drowning victim was also reported in San Nicolas town.
State of calamity
The provincial board had placed Ilocos Norte under a state of calamity when monsoon rains, enhanced by Tropical Depression “Luis,” damaged P282 million worth of infrastructure projects, mostly for flood control.
Floods submerged rice fields and destroyed P3.5 million worth of crops, P1.5 million worth of fish and aquaculture structures, and P779,000 worth of livestock.
In Bulacan, officials were monitoring the water elevation in Angat Dam as its reservoir neared its spilling level of 210 meters above sea level (masl) on Monday.
Floodwaters from Pampanga and Nueva Ecija and the continuous release of water from Bustos Dam had kept 23 villages in three Bulacan towns under 0.91 m (3 feet) of water.
On Monday, the Angat elevation was measured at 209.5 masl, up from 209.3 masl on Sunday afternoon.
Intermittent rains and cascading water from Angat Dam flooded 16 villages in Calumpit town, four in Paombong town and three in Hagonoy town.
Felix Robles, the officer in charge of the water control coordinating unit of the National Irrigation Administration in Bulacan, said water discharges from Angat that flowed into Bustos Dam had been reduced to only 42 cubic meters per second.
In Pangasinan province, major streets and villages in the coastal city of Dagupan remained inundated since the southwest monsoon dumped rains for almost three weeks now.
The Agno River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Center said water at the Sinocalan River was receding but still threatened to flood Dagupan and the towns of Calasiao and Santa Barbara.
Agri, infra losses
In a recent report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said agriculture in the Cordillera was worst hit by the effects of the enhanced southwest monsoon, losing around P29.7 million worth of crops and livestock.
The NDRRMC said that as of Aug. 22, the estimated cost of damage to agriculture was more than P38.8 million while infrastructure damage was placed at P33.5 million in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera regions. —REPORTS FROM CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE, LEILANIE ADRIANO, ARMAND GALANG, GABRIEL CARDINOZA AND JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
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