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Floods hit Bulacan, Pampanga; no classes

/ 09:07 PM June 18, 2012

Heavy rain prompted officials in Pampanga and Bulacan to suspend classes in elementary and high schools yesterday as water levels in central Luzon’s rivers rose and coastal villages were swamped by high tide, local officials said.

In two areas in Rizal province, a 12-year-old girl drowned and some 100 families fled their homes amid fears of flooding in their community.

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Mayor Ricardo Rivera of Guagua town in Pampanga called off classes in public and private elementary schools.

Water spilled over a dike in Barangay (village) San Juan Nepomuceno and town employees started clearing it of lilies to hasten the flow of water from Sta. Rita and Porac towns, he said.

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Some 200 houses and several schools which had earlier moved to the base of a dike along eight eastern coastal villages in Masantol town were submerged under a foot high of water due to water draining from the upper Pampanga River and high tide from Manila Bay.

Hilton Hernando, chief of the Pampanga River Basin Flood Forecasting and Monitoring Center, said, however, water levels in various monitoring stations of the Pampanga River remain below alert level.

Water levels rose minimally downstream due to high tide, he said.

Operations of airlines at the Clark International Airport at the Clark Freeport were normal, said Victor Jose Luciano, president and chief executive officer of Clark International Airport Corp. He said there was no diversion or cancellation of flights.

Bulacan

In Bulacan, floods forced officials in Norzagaray, Donya Remedios Trinidad and Obando towns to suspend classes in elementary and high schools.

Felicisima Mungcal, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) head, said the Ipo and Bustos dams started releasing water yesterday morning following continuous rains.

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Water level at Ipo reached 100.78 meters above sea level (masl), slightly exceeding the spilling level of 100.1 masl.

Mungcal said the Bustos Dam had to also release water because it is located downstream of Ipo and catches water released by that dam.

She, however, said the water released from the two dams was very minimal.

Water level at the Angat Dam was recorded at 189.09 masl, still below its spilling level of 212 to 214 masl.

In Nueva Ecija, Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara suspended classes for kindergarten and elementary schools.

Dr. Abraham Pascua, cochair of the PDRRMC, said the body’s command posts were activated in Barangay Puncan in Carranglan town, San Casimiro in Licab town and one each in the towns of Rizal and Jaen to respond to any emergency as heavy rains hit the province.

New gymnasiums built by the provincial government were elevated and designed to be used as evacuation centers, he said.

Baguio City

In Baguio City, heavy rains on Saturday and Sunday triggered minor rock slides along some Cordillera roads, reports from the Office of Civil Defense in the region.

These roads, however, were opened yesterday.

Work crews started clearing the Talalay section of the Abra-Kalinga Road and had opened a section of the Shilan-Beckel Road in Benguet to traffic, it said.

A lane along Kennon Road in Barangay Camp 3 in Tuba, Benguet, was cleared of rocks and mud and opened to traffic.

Personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways also cleared a lane of the Itogon-Dalupirip Road in Benguet, which is also prone to landslides during the rainy season.

Rizal

Kiana Maru Obleada, 12, drowned in Bibit Falls in Barangay Mayamot in Antipolo City at around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, the lone casualty reported in Rizal province amid incessant rain brought on by Typhoon “Butchoy,” said Vicente Tomazar, director of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

In Rodriguez town, some 100 families from Barangay Burgos fled their homes early yesterday amid reports that the water level at the San Mateo River was rising and could inundate their community. Most of them live along the banks of the river.  Tonette Orejas, Carmela Reyes-Estrope and Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon; Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Maricar P. Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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TAGS: Clark International Airport at the Clark Freeport, Education, floods, Office of Civil Defense, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, rains, suspension of classes, Weather
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