Alert raised in 3 Quezon towns due to strong rains
LUCENA CITY, Quezon—Still haunted by the memory of a killer flash flood 12 years ago, officials in Real, Infanta and General Nakar towns in Quezon province have warned residents in coastal and riverside communities in their areas to be on alert due to continuous rains since this week.
Infanta and General Nakar officials have started monitoring the flow of Agos River. Classes in the three towns were suspended on Thursday and Friday.
“We have to remain vigilant during rainy days. We don’t want the repeat of another flash flood,” Leovigildo Rozul, former mayor of General Nakar and now municipal administrator, said in a telephone interview.
Residents along river banks have also started evacuating, Rozul said.
He said several landslides were reported in some sections of the town nestled in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. The local government, he said, did not receive any report of casualty or damage.
In Infanta, Mayor Grace America said a team from the municipal disaster risk reduction and management council has been watching the water level of Agos River as several residents sought safer grounds.
In Real town, Mayor Diana Abigail-Aquino said the local government was prepared “to meet all contingencies.”
In 2004, the Agos River overflowed as northern Quezon experienced continuous heavy rain dumped by three successive typhoons in November that year.
READ: Fearful of another flash flood, Quezon residents stay away from Agos River
The towns of Infanta and General Nakar were inundated with mud and water. The flash flood carried logs and other forest debris cascading from the Sierra Madre, where the river originates.
READ: 3 towns learn from landslide tragedy
More than 900 people died in the flash flood in Infanta. The fatalities in General Nakar included more than 100 members of the Agta tribe.
In Real, mud and water knocked down the two-story Repador building, burying more than 100 people who sought shelter there on the night of Nov. 29, 2004.
Massive logging in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges was blamed for the tragedy./rga
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