100,000 flee Cagayan Valley flood

Published November 15, 2020, 11:15 AM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Almost 100,000 people, 85,000 of them from Cagayan and Isabela, were forced to flee their homes as a result of the massive flooding triggered by typhoon “Ulysses” in Region 2 or Cagayan Valley, the Philippine National Police reported Sunday.

This handout aerial photo taken and received on November 14, 2020 from the Philippine Coast Guard shows submerged houses in Cagayan province, north of Manila, on November 14, 2020, days after Typhoon Vamco hit parts of the country bringing heavy rain and flooding. (Photo by Handout / Philippine Coast Guard / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP spokesman Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said 50,326, or 12,842 families, are currently staying in 1,288 evacuation centers in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Batanes.

Cagayan and Isabela have the most number of evacuees with 39,573 people (9,467 families) and 10,322 individuals (3,724 families), respectively.

Usana said 44,266 persons were also displaced but are not staying in evacuation centers – 14,317 (4,118 families) of them are from Cagayan and 21,190 (5,921 families) from Isabela.

“Those rescued and are staying outside of evacuation centers have actually been adopted by households with two or three stories. Those who were rescued are with bungalow-type houses,” said Usana.

“They were all accounted for and there were no casualties on their side. This is another proof of ‘bayanihan’ (community cooperation) of the local residents,” he added.

The massive flooding, which submerged bungalow-type houses, was also blamed on the release of water from the Magat Dam. 

Quoting data from the ground, Usana said 23 people were reported killed in the region with five others are missing.

Fourteen died due to landslides in Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya while six people died of drowning in Cagayan, Isabela, and Quirino.

Three people, on the other hand, died of electrocution in Cagayan.

Based on the latest PNP data, 167 barangays in Cagayan and 10 in Isabela remain flooded. Sixty-eight roads in Cagayan and 11 roads in Isabela remain impassable.

Overall in the region, Usana said 183 barangays remain flooded and 79 roads remain impassable.

Six landslides were reported in Cagayan Valley, two of them resulting in the death of 14 people.

In Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, 10 people were buried alive in a landslide at 2 a.m. last Nov. 12.

In Cagayan, four people died in a landslide at the Asassi-Temblique boundary road in Baggao, Cagayan at around 11 a.m. last Nov. 12. 

PNP chief Police Gen. Debold Sinas assured there is no-let up in the conduct of rescue operations for trapped residents by the police.

“In cooperation with the military and the Coast Guard, we assure the local residents of our continuous operations to rescue people at risk of flood,” said Sinas.

Forty-three watercraft are currently deployed in Cagayan and Isabela for rescue operations.