Flash floods submerge houses in northern Luzon
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union—Floodwaters submerged houses, business establishments and farms in this city and 11 La Union towns during the onslaught of Tropical Storm “Egay” due to excessive rainfall and run off water from the Cordillera mountains, a provincial official said on Monday.
The La Union provincial board, in a special session, placed the province under a state of calamity following the widespread flooding caused by the storm, internationally known as “Linfa.”
Torrential rains on Saturday and Sunday inundated this city’s business center and adjacent villages, including the Manila North Road from Bauang to Bacnotan towns.
The assistant provincial administrator, Bobby Valdriz, said in a telephone interview that floodwaters had receded and all roads had opened to traffic.
Flooding, in some areas chest-deep, hit 183 villages in the province, affecting about 9,619 families. At least 669 families were taken to 28 evacuation centers.
The weekend rains brought up Angat Dam’s water level from 169.31 meters above sea level to 169.33 masl on Monday. Raul Agustin, a senior disaster officer in Bulacan province, said the increase was slight, equivalent to 9.7 million drums of water.
In Pangasinan province, forecaster Virgilio Garcia of National Power Corp. said water elevation of the San Roque Dam in San Manuel town was 234.54 masl Monday morning, still far from its spilling level of 280 masl.
Police said a flooded road in Barangay (village) Bonuan Gueset in Dagupan City remained closed Monday to light vehicles.
In Ilocos Norte, 61 families (1,035 people) in Barangays Callaguip and Masintoc in Paoay town were evacuated to the Municipal Civic Center due to a storm surge warning.
In the Cordillera on Monday, government workers and volunteers managed to open roads shut down by landslides, said Edilberto Carabbacan of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Rocks and mud that fell on portions of Kennon Road leading to the iconic Lion’s Head were cleared by noon, he said.
The DPWH also cleared rocks that blocked the Poyopoy and Bigis sections of Marcos Highway in Tuba, Benguet. The agency also opened on Monday a lane in a rockslide-hit section of Naguilian Road in Baguio City Road.
Other roads opened to traffic were Pico-Lamtang Road (a bypass road linking Baguio to Benguet’s capital, La Trinidad), Shilan Beckel Road, Acop-Lapangan-Bakun Road, Asin-Nangalisan-San Pascual Road and the road linking Benguet to Nueva Vizcaya province.
The Baguio-Itogon (Benguet) Road, however, remained closed on Monday afternoon as clearing operations continued.
All major roads in Apayao, Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province were passable on Monday.
In La Trinidad, six families from Barangay Puguis were evacuated on Sunday after a mudslide damaged a house, said Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan.–Reports from Cristina Arzadon, Leilanie Adriano, Yolanda Sotelo, Gabriel Cardinoza, Kimberlie Quitasol and Joshua Tan, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Tonette Orejas, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Greg Refraccion and Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon
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