Robredo assures Cagayan Valley: We heard you, gov’t finding ways to reach you
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has assured Cagayan Valley residents affected by massive floods that the government heard their pleas and are coordinating with local governments and law enforcement agencies on how these areas could be reached.
Robredo said in a Facebook live video on Friday night — just after visiting people affected by Typhoon Ulysses in Cainta, Rizal — that she has read the tweets calling for attention towards Region II provinces like Isabela and Cagayan.
Tweets flooded the Twitter page of Robredo — who after Ulysses’ onslaught converted her social media accounts as a call for rescue mechanism where she relays information from residents to rescuers from local government units (LGUs) and other government agencies like the military and the police.
“Mahinang-mahina po kasi ‘yong signal kanina (pero) nabasa ko po ‘yong lahat ng mga reports, about people asking to be rescued sa Cagayan saka sa Isabela. Kanina po bago kami umalis sa opisina may nagsabi na sa akin about it, and inactivate po namin muli ‘yong aming security team, sila rin po ‘yong naghandle ng call for rescue sa Marikina saka sa Rizal,” Robredo said.
(Our signal was weak a while ago but I’ve read all the reports about people in Cagayan and Isabela asking to be rescued. Before we left the office earlier someone told me about it, and we reactivated our security team which has been involved in handling calls for rescue in Marikina and Rizal.)
“Mamaya po sila ulit ‘yong tumatawag sa AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) sa Cagayan saka sa Isabela, para ‘yong lahat nang nababasa naming reports of people asking to be rescued, ma-relay sa rescue team. Pero hingi lang po kami ng dasal galing sa inyong lahat para po sa mga kababayan natin ngayon,” she added.
(They would also call AFP in Cagayan and Isabela to relay the reports of people asking to be rescued to the rescue team. But we are asking for your prayers, for our countrymen enduring this calamity there.)
[A] LIVE: VP Leni after visiting affected families #UlyssesPH
Posted by VP Leni Robredo on Friday, November 13, 2020ADVERTISEMENT
Earlier, residents of Isabela province’s Sta. Maria town sent photos to INQUIRER.net to show the dire condition they are in, as they experience massive floods after Ulysses hit the country.
A resident from Barangay Quinagabian of Sta. Maria, Isabela showed waters already reaching up to the second floor of their house, with some waters only leaving the backboards of basketball courts.
The floods, they said, may be because Magat Dam was forced to open seven gates to release waters, after it reached the spilling level.
On Twitter, the hashtag #CagayanNeedsHelp also trended with various stories and photos about the devastation that Ulysses and the Magat Dam’s opening brought to the area.
Robredo told residents in the area that they would be monitoring the situation, vowing to send updates from calls for rescue to authorities on the ground.
“‘Yong pinagdaanan no’ng mga kababayan natin dito sa Metro Manila kahapon, pinagdadaanan nila ngayon. Nakakatot at saka nakakapanlumo pong mabasa ‘yong lahat ng calls for rescue kasi sobra tayong layo, parang napaka-helpless,” she said.
(What people in Metro Manila went through yesterday, they are experiencing it now. It is frightening and weakening to read all the calls for rescue because we are too far away, it seems like we are helpless.)
“Pero kami po ‘yong assurance namin, gagawin namin ang lahat, we will monitor everything hanggang mamaya, mag-uupdate po kami kung meron nang update from the ground,” she added.
(But we assure you, we would do everything, we would monitor everything later, and we would update you if there are already updates from the ground.)
Reports of flooding in Cagayan Valley particularly Isabela came as floodwaters in Metro Manila and other areas in Rizal have started to recede. This may be due to Magat Dam’s late release of waters.
Data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration showed that Magat Dam — located at the Magat River which is a major tributary of the Cagayan River — has an outflow of 5,073 centimeters.
Despite the large amounts of water released from Magat the dam’s water level only receded to 192.7 meters, which is only 0.30 meters shy of the dam’s normal high level.
Robredo and hear team have been involved in various relief and rescue operations concerning recent calamities caused by Super Typhoon Rolly and just recently due to Ulysses. Earlier, she visited several evacuation centers in Marikina and Rizal to check on their condition after the floods.
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