Philippines: Pampanga in state of calamity as floods continue

Pampanga under calamity state due to floods

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Pampanga was declared under a state of calamity Monday after heavy and continuous rains last week flooded 18 of 20 towns in the province.

The Pampanga provincial board, in a session on Monday morning, issued the declaration so the provincial government could use its calamity funds to help flood-hit towns.

Although heavy rains have stopped, at least 273 villages in 18 Pampanga towns remained flooded on Monday, with water level reaching at least 4 feet, reports from the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council showed.

At least 2,029 families in the towns of Guagua, Sasmuan, Floridablanca, Bacolor, Sto. Tomas and Mexico and the City of San Fernando have been evacuated to barangay halls and school buildings not reached by floods. PDRRMC reports said other families chose to stay with relatives.

Department of Education officials in the province suspended classes in more than 100 schools swamped by floodwaters on Monday.

On Sunday, a search and rescue team recovered the body of 15-year-old Marlo Jay Musni, who drowned while gathering kamaru (crickets) at a flooded rice field in Barangay Sta. Cruz in Mexico town.

Police said Musni was with four cousins gathering crickets on June 25 when he slipped and fell into an irrigation canal. Strong currents carried him into the culvert box.

In Nueva Ecija, classes remained suspended in three public elementary schools in Cabanatuan City on Monday as their facilities were being used for the evacuation of families displaced by floods.

The Nueva Ecija PDRRMC said at least 119 families were evacuated in anticipation of floodwaters from the province’s upstream areas.

Abraham Pascua, PDRRMC co-chair, said the provincial government teams of soldiers and rescue volunteers were sent to flood-prone areas, including Licab town, which serves as catch basin for floodwaters from the Cuyapo, Nampicuan and Guimba towns. With reports from Tonette Orejas, Jun Malig and Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon.


Pampanga in state of calamity as floods continue

PAMPANGA -- The Provincial Board here on Monday declared a province-wide state of calamity after heavy rains spawned by Tropical Storm "Falcon" last week flooded 18 of its 20 towns.

The declaration will allow the Provincial Government to use its calamity funds to rehabilitate flood-hit towns.

Even as Tropical Storm Falcon exited the country last Saturday, 273 villages in 18 towns in the province have remained flooded on Monday, the PDRRMC report said.

Candaba town was among the hardest hit with 33 barangays still flooded, while Guagua has 31 villages still under water, with floodwater reaching at least four feet.

The PDRRMC reported that at least 2,029 families in the towns of Guagua, Sasmuan, Floridablanca, Bacolor, Sto. Tomas and Mexico and the City of San Fernando are still in various evacuation centers.

The report said the floods have displaced 18,795 families.

Governor Pineda initially pegged the flood's damages to infrastructures and agriculture at P300 million.

Among the damaged infrastructure in the province is the river in Caulaman, Potrero in Floridablanca town.

Pineda said the rehabilitation of the river would cost about P50 million, excluding the reconstruction of the slope protection on its downstream.

Once the funds are ready, she said, the clearing and desilting operations will start.

She said flooding persisted in some villages due to water hyacinths blocking the waterways. Heavy equipment will be deployed to remove the thick mound of water hyacinths in water tributaries, she added.

Provincial Board Member Ricardo Yabut on Monday revealed the province's plan to create "Task Force Flood-Free Pampanga", which will oversee anti-flooding measures, rehabilitation and assessment of flood mitigation projects.

Yabut, who chairs the Provincial Board's public works committee, said the proposal will be presented during Friday's scheduled flood summit at Capitol.

He said a technical working group composed of representatives from concerned agencies, local government unit executives and the private sector will be the core of the task force.

"We must be kept updated always and assessment must be done regularly to prevent wide-scale flooding like this in the future," he said.

In the regional scale, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) said on Monday that 636 villages in Central Luzon are still underwater.

The affected families count to 201,872 or 955,794 from the provinces of Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija and Olongapo City.

One case each of drowning was reported in Bulacan, Olongapo City and Mexico town, while three others are still missing.

The RDRRMC reported that some 744 families have remained in evacuation center: 27 in Olongapo City, 2,029 in Pampanga, 6,507 in Bulacan, 179 in Bataan, 201 in Tarlac, and 1,770 in Nueva Ecija.

The Romulo highway at Barangay Tuac section Camiling, Tarlac is not passable to light vehicles due to knee-deep floodwater on Monday, the report said.

The national road in Barangay Bilad and Barangay Sawat sections both in Camiling, Tarlac are not passable to all types of vehicles, it added.

In Zambales, the roads in Barangays Pundakit, Angeles-Nagbayan and San Antonio provincial road are not passable to all types of vehicles.

On the other hand, the damages on Central Luzon's palay crops has now reached P93,190,681.60, according to the Damage Assessment Report of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday.

The DA said affected farms have so far reached 13,287.60 hectares based on consolidated reports of provincial agriculturist from the different provinces of Central Luzon.

Half of the total number of hectares affected, or some 5,671.20 hectares, have been identified as destroyed, while 5,101 hectares have been damaged.

Some 8,799 hectares of palay fields in Magalang, Floridablanca, Guagua, Sta. Rita, Lubao, Porac, Arayat, Mexico, City of San Fernando, Sta. Ana, Apalit, Candaba, San Simon in Pampanga have been hit by flooding.

The current damage reports so far include Zambales, Pampanga and Bataan.

The DA said the damages may still go up as consolidated reports from Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Bulacan provinces have yet to be included in the report, pending reports from respective provincial agriculturists.

The DA, in its report, said Central Luzon lost some 5,481.80 metric tons of palay.

DA Regional Director Andrew Villacorta, in an earlier phone interview, said they are monitoring the situation in other areas of Central Luzon to identify the immediate support and assistance to be given to farmers.

Meanwhile, damages to corn crops have been registered at P1,193,400 for Bataan and Pampanga provinces, with 161.40 hectares of corn fields affected in the said areas. Damage to other crops has also reached P62,500, the DA report said.

The DA also said damages to livestock have reached P379,980 for Bataan province alone. (Sun.Star Pampanga/PNA/Sunnex)


'Falcon' causes P33-M damage to agri crops in Dinalupihan, Bataan

DINALUPIHAN - Floods brought about by heavy rains from tropical storm "Falcon" caused destroyed more than P33 million worth of agriculture in Dinalupihan, Bataan, the municipal agriculturist reported on Tuesday.

Dinalupihan was placed under the state of calamity over the weekend after heavy floods inundated 36 barangays, affecting 12,200 families.

The massive rains caused breaches in two dikes, the Pagalanggang and Daan-Bago dikes.

Agriculturist Fidel Felipe said crops in 23 agricultural villages were damaged, affecting 842 farmers tilling 482 hectares of lands.

Felipe said standby crops in 447 hectares almost wilted due after being soaked in flood waters for several days.

Menawhile, newly-transplanted palay in 35 hectares of ricelands had to be transplanted again, Felipe said.

About 1,033 cavans of palay seedlings sown in seedbeds were also destroyed, he added.

Felipe placed the total damage at P33.7 million with loss in production farm gate of 2,410 metric tons of rice.

Sangguniang Bayan resolution

Mayor Joel Payumo said the Dinalupihan Sangguniang Bayan (SB) passed a resolution asking Secretary Proceso Alcala of the Department of Agriculture to help in the rehabilitaton of agricultural lands damaged by the floods.

The SB also asked authorities to provide subsidy to farmers in the form of certified palay seeds. - VVP, GMA News


Bulacan braces for more floods

HAGONOY, Bulacan— Two days after floods subsided in the most part of Bulacan, three towns in the province are bracing for back floods from the Candaba Swamp in Pampanga.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) said that they have evacuated closed to 100 families from Calumpit and Pulilan towns.

The two towns are located on the boundary of Bulacan and Pampanga, and some of their villages are lying on the southern bank of the Pampanga River, which swelled due to heavy rains brought by tropical storm Falcon.

In the case of this coastal town, roving vehicles warned residents early today to brace for back floods.

This town lies at the end of the 50-kilometers Angat River that drains to Manila Bay and like the nearby Calumpit and Pulilan towns. It served as a natural catch basin for back floods that comes from eastern Central Luzon.

Backfloods normally hit the three towns of Bulacan three to four days after a weeklong heavy downpour on eastern Central Luzon plains.

This as rain that fell on Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga and eastern Bulacan usually found its way to Pampanga River and settles briefly on Candaba Swamp, before draining downstream to Pampanga River.


Pampanga under state of calamity due to floods

Pampanga was placed under a state of calamity on Monday afternoon after floods left by Tropical Storm Falcon (Meari) continued to swamp majority of its 21 towns.

The floods — which currently inundates 18 municipalities — are caused by water coming down from mountains surrounding the province, according to a GMA News TV report Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Lilia Pineda told GMA News TV's News To Go that even if Falcon has already left the country, they still needed to declare a state of calamity so they could use the province's calamity fund in repairing dikes, cleaning up tributaries, and ridding rivers of water hyacinths.

"Nag-declare kami ng state of calamity kasi ngayon lang kami talaga maglilinis at maggagawa ng dike kasi pag hindi ka nag-delcare ay hindi mo magagamit ang calamity funds," Pineda said.

"Ngayong walang ulan, ngayon kami dapat nagtatrabaho kasi kapag tumaas uli ang tubig baka magkaproblema kami," she added

Pineda said most affected by the flashfloods are the low-lying towns in the province like Candaba, Masantol, Macabebe, Guagua, Sasmuan, and parts of Lubao — which all remain inundated by knee-deep foods.

Aside from a state of calamity, classes in these affected towns remain suspended.

Latest government data showed more than 100,000 families from 283 villages were affected by the floods since Friday last week.

Damage to agriculture in the province was pegged at P148 million, while damage to poultry, fisheries, and livestock was placed at around P3.3 million.

"Kailangan magkaroon ng government study kasi iba ang lugar namin. Kami ang puso ng central Luzon... Ang tubig sa Auora, Tarlac, Mount Pinatubo, etc, dito lahat bumabagsak sa amin," she said.

Pineda said it takes a long time for floodwaters to flow out of Pampanga, which is a "catch-basin" of rainwaters coming from neighboring provinces.

The governor appealed to the local provincial governments of neighboring Bulacan and Tarlac to "share" the funds channeled to them by the national government to create sturdier concrete dikes.

Authorities feared it would take around a week before the floodwater subsides in Pampanga, the television report added.

Falcon left the country last Saturday and headed towards Japan, causing weather disturbances in Taiwan, which was along its path. The government said Falcon left at least three people dead. — Mark Merueñas/RSJ, GMA News



NDRRMC: 1 dead from floods in north Luzon

At least one person was reported killed in the floods caused by monsoon rains in northern Luzon, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said late Monday.

In a report posted on its website Monday night, the NDRRMC identified the fatality as Cresencio Jacob Estraila Jr., 39, of Brgy. Camantiles, Urdaneta City in Pangasinan.

Estraila died due to drowning, the NDRRMC said.

The NDRRMC also said the monsoon rains since Saturday had affected at least 15,631 families or 89,367 people in 159 villages in nine towns and two cities.

As of Monday, the NDRRMC said the Bani-Agno Road at Cayungan section and the Bangan-Oda section are not passable to light vehicles.

It added that the Zambales Road (km 353+400 to km 353+800) is still flooded, with motorists advised to take a detour at Lingayen-Labrador Road.

In Ilocos Sur, the Cervantes-Quirino Road is impassable to light vehicles due to the swelling of the Katkating River. — RSJ, GMA News


6 Bulacan bgys still under water

MALOLOS City — While most parts of the province are slowly recovering from the flooding brought by typhoon “Falcon,” six  barangays in two towns were submerged under the back floods before noon yesterday.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said floodwater that receded from higher areas inundated the villages of Dampol 1st, Dulong Malabon, Inaon and Tibag in Pulilan, and Meysulao and San Miguel in Calumpit.

PDRRMC executive officer Felicisima Mungcal said at least 811 families in Meysulao and 982 in San Miguel were affected by the back floods.

Mungcal said the towns of Pulilan, Calumpit and Hagonoy are the perennial catch basins of back floods coming from higher areas and from the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado dispatched relief and rescue teams in the affected areas and also in Hagonoy which is expected to be hit by receding floodwaters.

The PDRRMC alerted municipal disaster coordinating councils early Sunday morning in anticipation of the back flood.

As of press time, the provincial government released an initial P2,495,150 worth of relief goods for flood victims in 281 villages  in 17 towns and three cities of Bulacan



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Comment by Stanislav on June 28, 2011 at 10:57am

Several areas in Camanava still flooded

Despite the improvement in the weather with the departure of Tropical Storm “Falcon,” some streets in the Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela) area were still impassable due to flooding.

In Malabon City, Barangay (village) Dampalit—which was one of the areas worst-hit by floods—water levels in Merville Subdivision remained thigh-high with some residents forced to hitch a ride on inflatable boats just to get to their destination.

Although floodwater levels in the area have gone down since last week, local officials ordered the suspension of classes on Monday at Dampalit Elementary School-Unit 1 to ensure the safety of students.

“We are just waiting for the water to subside so that classes can resume,” barangay treasurer Jaime Cruz told the Inquirer.

On the other hand, classes pushed through at Dampalit Elementary School-Main although the ground floor remained submerged in floodwater.

School officials, however, devised a way so that students could go straight to the second floor from the main street. A submersible pump was also being used to suck out the water from the ground floor.

In nearby Doña Juana Subdivision, water levels were knee-deep as of Monday morning but this did not stop residents from venturing out of their homes. In previous days, the floodwater reached from 12 to 15 feet and the only way for people to move about was to ride in inflatable boats.

Because the situation had “significantly improved,” barangay officials said that seven families who were evacuated on Friday from the area had returned to their respective houses.

In Valenzuela City, however, local officials suspended classes in nine schools that had been used as evacuation centers to give way to cleaning operations so that classes could resume soon.

Ahna Mejia, chief public information officer, identified the schools as P. R. San Diego Elementary School, Arkong Bato National High School, A. Deato Elementary School, Pasolo Elementary School, Coloong Elementary School, Pio Valenzuela Elementary School, A. Fernando Elementary School, Polo National High School and Tagalag Elementary School.

“We have to make sure that the buildings are cleaned before classes resume,” Mejia said.

The nine schools—on top of three other facilities—were used as evacuation centers by some 200 families who were forced to leave their houses due to floods caused by heavy rains on Friday.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, only 30 to 40 families remained in evacuation centers, Mejia said. She added that the evacuees were expected to return to their houses by the end of the day.

Although major streets in Valenzuela City were now passable to all types of vehicles, the areas of Polo and Balangkas, which were still submerged in floodwaters at least six inches deep, remained closed to light vehicles.


(Those who think that this storm Falcon I tell them that the two papers ago, this storm has already left the Philippines)

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