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Flash floods hit La Union

Families in San Fernando City seek safety in barangay halls, schools as water level rises following continuous rain
By: - Correspondent / @yzsoteloINQ
/ 05:18 AM September 10, 2019

NORTHERN DOWN POUR Vehicles pass through a flooded section of San Fernando City’s business district on Sunday. A large portion of northern Luzon experienced heavy rain in the past three days, prompting local officials to suspend classes on Monday. —PHOTO COURTESY OF SAN FERNANDO CITY LGU

At least 132 people from eight villages in San Fernando City in La Union province were evacuated after heavy and continuous rain enhanced by the southwest monsoon, or “habagat,” spawned floods in the area and other low-lying villages, local disaster response officials said.

The evacuees belong to 36 families who are temporarily staying in barangay halls and school buildings, said Reiden Vizcarra, staff member of the city disaster risk reduction and management council. Vizcarra said the city social welfare and development office had been giving food aid to the affected families.

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Adamor Dagang, La Union provincial information officer, said waist-deep flood also hit the central business district in San Fernando that forced the suspension of work in several government agencies on Monday.

Other flooded areas were the villages of Tanqui, Sevilla, Parian, San Franciso, Barangay I, Pagdaraoan, Cabaroan and Biday.

Clogged drainage

Joey Ortega, a resident in San Fernando City, blamed clogged drainage for the flash floods.

But Dagang said the city’s drainage system could not handle the large volume of floodwater. “The floodwater took a while to recede because the rains were continuous for three consecutive days,” he said.

Local officials in 11 La Union towns suspended classes on Monday due to the continuous downpour.

As of 9 a.m. on Monday, five national roads in the Ilocos region were either damaged or flooded and remained impassable due to the heavy downpour, according to the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

These were Cape Bojeador Road, Cayungnan section of Bani-Agno Road, Ilocos Norte-Apayao Road, Ilocos Norte-Abra Road and Pangasinan-Zambales Road.

Classes suspended

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In Pangasinan, Gov. Amado Espino III on Monday canceled afternoon classes and government work in the province due to threats of flash flood.

Espino asked mayors and disaster response officials to conduct preemptive evacuation in low-lying and landslide-prone areas.

In Pampanga and Zambales provinces, classes were also suspended on Monday at all levels in both public and private schools.

Pounding rain over the weekend prompted Benguet officials to cancel Monday classes from preschool to grade school.

HELP COMING A rescuer braves waist-deep floodwater to reach trapped residents at a village in San Fernando City, La Union. —PHOTO COURTESY OF SAN FERNANDO CITY LGU

From 8 a.m. on Saturday to 8 a.m. on Sunday, the southwest monsoon dumped 92.4 millimeters of rain in Benguet, according to the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The towns of Itogon, Mankayan, Kibungan and Tublay in Benguet also canceled high school classes as a precaution. In Atok town, also in Benguet, St. Paul’s Academy canceled classes from preschool to high school.

Three villages in Olongapo City experienced flooding, prompting the local government to suspend classes and government work.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), scattered rainshowers were expected in parts of northern and central Luzon on Monday due to the southwest monsoon.

Pagasa warned of possible flash floods and landslides in the Ilocos, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions.—With reports from Joanna Rose Aglibot and Vincent Cabreza

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TAGS: La Union flash flooding, Southwest Monsoon
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