By Jonas Reyes
OLONGAPO CITY – Around 16 barangays here were flooded on Sunday, stranding thousands of workers in their areas while forcing more than 661 families to seek shelter in evacuation centers.
According to Vice Mayor Jong Cortez, those families who were evacuated mostly came from Barangay Sta. Rita, a flood-prone area. He added that during the flooding, the central business district of Olongapo City was not passable to light vehicles due to strong flood currents.
He added that the city is currently experiencing a power outage, reiterating that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) control center is flooded, forcing the agency to cut its electricity supply to Olongapo and Zambales.
Meanwhile, the Kalaklan National Highway has been cleared of landslide this morning, making the route to Zambales passable from Olongapo City. Cortez said that the two lane road is now passable to both heavy and light vehicles.
A total shutdown of the Mabayuan Water Treatment Plant (MWTP) was executed to clean the filtration facilities after being covered in thick mud from the flood. According to Subic Water, the backwashing of these filtration facilities will have been completed as of press time.
The water supply department said that operations will resume after the emergency maintenance work has been done.
In Barangay Kalaklan, a landslide occurred that destroyed many graves during its wake. The landslide occurred Monday morning, delaying commuters going to and from Zambales via Olongapo City.
In Balic Balic, a 15-year-old boy was found alive inside a void space after his home was covered in landslide. The boy was taken to James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH) by Sta. Rita FRADRU rescue team for medical checkup.
In Mabayuan, a family was trapped by landslide in 3-B Otero Avenue. The Sebastian family suffered one casualty as five other members were injured during the incident.
The fatality was identified as 35-year-old Maria Victoria Rafael, while the injured were identified as 10-year-old Kyle Sebastian Rafael, 6-year-old Klyde Czelshey Rafael, 36-year-old Bryan Joseph Belleza, 47-year-old Richard Sebastian, and 17-year-old Armarie Jimenez.
In Subic Bay Freeport, a security guard is missing while another was rescued inside a vehicle after being pinned by landslide in Aparri road in the Cubi area. The two security guards were on duty when the landslide occurred.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) emergency response and rescue teams are still searching for the missing security guard.
Clearing operations were done in areas inside the Freeport where mud covered the roads. SBMA Chairman Atty. Wilma T. Eisma led the clearing operations while surveying the area for any debris or landslide on board a helicopter.
Participants of the Salomon X-Trail, a popular off-road running event that was held inside the Freeport, were provided free shelter in areas such as the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) or at the Harbor Point Ayala Mall since areas that connect SBFZ to other areas were cutoff due to flooding.