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Cagayan rains leave 3 more dead

Henry Fernandez, 18, and Jhon Ace Gudal, 17, students of the Ballesteros National High School, were swept away by the strong current while swimming in Barangay Centro East, Ballesteros. PAGASA/Released

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – Three more persons died as rains battered Cagayan on Tuesday.

Henry Fernandez, 18, and Jhon Ace Gudal, 17, students of the Ballesteros National High School, were swept away by the strong current while swimming in Barangay Centro East, Ballesteros.

The bodies of the victims have yet to be recovered.

In Gonzaga town, the body of Javier Utanes, 57, was found floating in Budad River in Sitio San Francisco, Barangay Ipil.

Police said the victim was crossing a river with his carabao when he was carried away by rushing water. The rivers in the town have become swollen amid heavy rains spawned by the northeast monsoon since last week.

The body of Albert Ravelo, 47, who was buried alive in a landslide in Sitio Linimasan, Barangay San Vicente, Sta. Ana on Monday, was recovered on Tuesday.

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A state of calamity was earlier declared in Sta. Ana due to massive flooding and landslides.

Magat Dam releases water

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) warned of flashfloods after it released water from the Magat Dam in Isabela yesterday.

NIA officials said 200 cubic meters of water were released per second to avoid reaching the spilling level of 193 meters.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council called on the public to evacuate to higher ground and avoid going near the Magat River spillway and Cagayan River during the water release.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said  the northeast monsoon would continue to bring rains over the Cordilleras and Cagayan Valley.

 Ilocos, Central Luzon  and Metro Manila will also continue to experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains.

2 plane crash victims rescued

In Aurora, two people whose light plane crashed on the Sierra Madre mountain in Casiguran were rescued at around 4 p.m. yesterday.

The pilot of the Cessna 152 RPC-1995, Albert Galvan, 23, was able to contact Amado Egargue, Aurora Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council officer, saying that   except for minor injuries, he and his student Alexis Trinidad, 20, are safe.

“We immediately dispatched our team for rescue operations after our conversation with Galvan at 4 p.m. together with our troops from the 56th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Col. Edwin Paredes after confirming their location,” Egargue said. 

The aircraft took off from the Lingayen, Pangasinan airstrip at around 10:20 p.m. It  crashed due to poor visibility amid heavy rains.

Rainy in E. Visayas

Meanwhile, a low-pressure area dumped rains over parts of Eastern Visayas yesterday.

The weather system, which was monitored 340 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, as of 3 p.m. yesterday, was also forecast to bring scattered rains and thunderstorms in Caraga and Davao last night. 

PAGASA warned residents of Eastern and Central Visayas, Bicol, Caraga and Mimaropa regions as well as Capiz and Aklan against flashfloods and landslides.

The low-pressure area was expected to intensify into a tropical depression within the next 24 to 36 hours and  will be named Salome. – With Helen Flores, Victor Martin

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