Rains, floods disrupt classes in Luzon provinces
Heavy rains and flooding disrupted classes in many parts of Luzon on Tuesday and sent officials preparing for evacuations.
In two Bulacan towns—Obando and Hagonoy—classes were suspended when heavy rains and high tide in Manila Bay combined to bring floods to low-lying areas.
In Rosario, Cavite, a school was submerged in knee-deep floods but mainly because of high tide, according to Mayor Jose Ricafrente.
Ricafrente said water started to rise at dawn Tuesday, prompting the suspension of all classes in the town.
Cavite Gov. Juanito Victor Remulla ordered classes suspended in the towns of Noveleta and Naic, which are along the coast of Manila Bay.
Classes were also suspended in Bacoor and Tagaytay Cities, Cainta in Rizal and Calamba City in Laguna.
Raul Agustin, senior flood officer of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council of Bulacan, said the Ipo Dam yesterday started releasing excess water after the reservoir breached its critical level of 101 meters above sea level (masl) due to heavy rains since Monday.
Agustin said a gate was opened and started releasing water at 48.5 cubic meters per second when the dam level reached 101.05 masl early yesterday.
Agustin said the water release was minimal and would not significantly increase water levels in the province’s waterways.
The water level at Angat Dam, located upstream of Ipo Dam in Norzagaray town, was recorded at 186.05 masl on Tuesday morning, still below its 212 masl spilling level, according to the disaster response council.
In Pampanga, water levels at the Pampanga River, the main drainer of Central Luzon to Manila Bay, had risen slightly, said Hilton Hernando, head of the Pampanga River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Center.
Lulu Alingcastre, head of the Pampanga disaster response council, said floodwater topped the San Juan Bautista Bridge in Barangay Sapang Maragul in Guagua town. Low-lying areas in Betis and the town proper were flooded, she said.
At the eastern coastal side of Masantol, houses and schools were flooded due to high tide.
Village leaders opened the evacuation center built by a Canada-based nongovernment organization near Tarik Suliman High School in anticipation of floods, which last year reached 15 feet when Typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel” struck.
In the Cordillera, police said they would distribute the “blue box,” a kit containing rescue and medical equipment, to policemen in the region for rescue operations.
Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, regional police director, said policemen would also undergo extensive training on search and rescue.
The rains were brought by a low-pressure area off Batangas, according to the weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa). Reports from Carmela Reyes-Estrope and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon; Desiree Caluza, Inquirer Northern Luzon, and Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon
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