By Liezle Basa Inigo and Freddie Velez
DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan/MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan — Forced evacuations have been ordered by Pangasinan Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino, III in riverside villages as Agno River continued to swell following dam discharges since the weekend.
In Bulacan, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said massive flooding has prompted local governments units (LGUs) to declare a state of calamity in four municipalities and the City of Meycauayan.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, heavy rains continued to increase the level of discharge from the San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, opening Gates 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 to discharge a total water outflow of 1,378 cubic meters per second (cms).
In his order, also posted on Pangasinan’s Facebook account, Gov. Espino said: “All LDRRMCs/BDRRMCs are instructed to conduct a forced evacuation of residents because of the continuous rise in the water level along Agno River due to the dam discharge.”
Authorities were implementing forced evacuation in Sitio Sta. Cruz Macayo and Sitio Patalan San Pedro Ili in Alcala and in Bautista.
Meanwhile, Provincial Information Officer Orpheus Velasco said that released dam water will affect 17 towns and one city, especially those along the Agno River.
Velasco identified these 18 areas as San Manuel, San Nicolas, Tayug, Asingan, Sta. Maria, Rosales, Villasis, Sto. Tomas, Alcala, Bautista, Bayambang, Mangatarem, Urbiztondo, part of San Carlos City, Aguilar, Bugallon, Lingayen and Labrador.
State of calamity
In Bulacan, Gov. Alvarado said 171 villages in 13 towns and two cities of the province continue to be inundated as of Tuesday afternoon.
Citing the report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), he said that the municipalities of Marilao, Calumpit, Hagonoy, and Paombong and the city of Meycauayan have been placed under a state of calamity.
PDRRMO Executive Officer Liz Mungcal said that the number of affected families in the 12 towns and two cities flooded in Bulacan has reached to 126,422 or 619,969 individuals. Of this number, some 1,706 families or 8,526 persons were evacuated to 30 evacuation centers in the different parts of the province.
Death in Rizal
In Rizal, the 34-year old laborer who was washed away by a strong current while crossing a river in Antipolo City last August 11 was found dead in a river in this town yesterday afternoon. Police found the body of Norman Dimaano floating near the riverbank in Teresa-Morong River in Sitio Dulo, in San Guillermo, in this town. (With a report from Nel B. Andrade)