Mayor seeks help as residents remain trapped in ‘worst flooding’ in Tuguegarao

Published November 14, 2020, 8:39 AM

by Noreen Jazul

Typhoon “Ulysses” brought the “worst flooding” in Tuguegarao City in years, its mayor said Friday.

Buntun Bridge in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan (DPWH Region 2 / MANILA BULLETIN)

“First time po ito nangyari sa amin. The last time we had this is in 1972 pa po. Ngayon po ang pinaka malaking flooding sa amin sa siyudad since 1972 (This is the first time this happened. The last time we had this [kind of flooding] is in 1972. What we are experiencing now is the worst flooding in the city since 1972),” Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano told DZMM in an interview.

Soriano said 39 out of the 49 barangays in the Cagayan province capital were submerged in deep flood water due to the typhoon.

The mayor said the city was heavily inundated because it is the catch basin of the waters coming from Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Magat Dam in Isabela.

“Tuloy tuloy po yung Magat, ang pinakawalan po ng Magat is more than 2,500 cubic meters per second (The Magat [dam] contitnisouyl released waters, it released more than 2,500 cubic meters per second). It reaches Tuguegarao and nearby town in about seven to nine hours, minsan sa bilis mga five to nine hours andito na po yung tubig na pinakawalan  (sometimes the released waters reach the city in about five to nine hours),” Soriano said.

Soriano, however, said that he understands the greater risk if Magat Dam won’t open its gates and release water.

‘Rescue operations’

The Tuguegarao mayor also sought for more rescue teams as many of the city’s residents remain trapped in their homes.

Soriano said rescue teams in the city are “still not enough.”

“Marami pa po ang nangangailangan i-rescue. Ang hirap po diyan is habang nag su-subside po ang water s aiabng lugar, dito po sa Tuguegarao  lumalaki ang tubig (There are still a lot of people who needs rescuing. The hard part is while waters are submerging in other areas, it continues to rise here in Tuguegarao),” Soriano said, stating anew that the city is the catch basin of its nearby provinces.

As of Friday evening, Soriano said about 500 families or 2,500 individuals have already been rescued.

There are also about 17 evacuation centers in the city, according to the mayor.

Meanwhile, Soriano said he is hopeful that the flooding will no longer rise in the city as the Magat Dam has already decreased its water release.