Photo courtesy of the media office of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte showsresidents wading through the flooded walkway of the Saint Agustine Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte yesterday.
2 dead as rains batter Ilocos
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Ineng in Northern Luzon triggered heavy flooding and landslide that killed two people in Ilocos Norte, the provincial disaster office reported yesterday.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office officer Marcell Tabeji said floods inundated several villages in Bacarra, Pasuquin, Pagudpod and Laoag City in Ilocos Norte.

The state weather bureau said Ineng was expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) last night.

Tabeji said one of the fatalities, Ricky Manglanlan, drowned after he was swept by floodwaters from an overflowing creek in Barangay 16, Laoag City.

Pasuquin police chief Capt. Ralph Dayag said Pauleen Joy Corpuz was killed when her house was buried by a landslide in Barangay 28 Surong, Pasuquin, Ilocos Ilocos Norte yesterday.

Dayag said the victim was left alone in her house when her relatives went to a local evacuation center.

“Aside from two confirmed dead, livestocks were also lost to the severe flooding. Farm animals like cattle and goats also drowned,” Tabeji said.

He said the floods had forced at least 8,000 residents to evacuate their flooded villages in Ilocos Norte.

“Rains were really heavy last night. But weather has already started to improve today (yesterday)” Tabeji said as he excused himself from a phone interview to rush to a provincial board meeting on a proposal to place the entire province under the state of calamity.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte declared a State of Calamity in the entire province.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Laoag City had earlier declared a State of Calamity in the city after heavy rains spawned by the storm forced residents to evacuate from their flooded villages.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Melvin Medel Manuel said at least 12 areas in the city were submerged by floods while two bridges in Nangalisan and Gen. Segundo Avenue were rendered impassable.

At least 150 persons were brought to 11 evacuation centers, Manuel added.

Laoag Mayor Michael Keon has also suspended classes and government offices due to the flood spawned by heavy rainfall since Friday.

Manuel also said 24 houses were destroyed by landslide and tornado incidents in Barangays 23 and 24. However, no casualties have been reported even as rescue operations are still ongoing.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Vintar City declared a state of calamity after floods submerged 33 barangays and killed livestocks.

The weather bureau had earlier raised Storm Signal No. 2 over Batanes and the Babuyan Island Group and Storm Signal No. 1 over Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Apayao and Northern Abra as Ineng, continued to cross the Bashi Channel en route to Taiwan.

The National Risk Reduction and Management Council-Office of Civil Defense (NDRRMC-OCD) said that moderate to heavy rains will prevail over the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Batanes, Cagayan, the Babuyan Island Group, Zambales, Bataan, Mindoro Province, northern portions of Palawan including the Calamian and Cuyo Islands, Aklan and Antique.

NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said that residents in these areas should be on alert, especially those living along shorelines, riverbanks and mountain slopes, for possible flash floods and landslide.

Jalad also said that sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas under storm signals as the seawaters in Luzon and Visayas will still be very rough.

The weather bureau said storm signals were lifted over Ilocos Norte, Apayao and Cagayan.

Weather forecasters said occasional gusty conditions will still prevail over most of Luzon due to the southwest monsoon.

Last night, moderate to heavy rains affected Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Batanes, northern portion of Cagayan (including Babuyan Islands), Zambales and Bataan.

Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains were experienced over Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Laguna, Mindoro Provinces, northern portion of Palawan (including Calamian and Cuyo Islands), and the rest of Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon.

Residents of these areas, especially those living in flood-prone villages were advised to take precautionary measures and coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices.

Schools closed

Several schools and local government units suspended classes yesterday due to heavy downpour caused by Tropical Storm Ineng and the southwest monsoon.

In Metro Manila, the government of Makati suspended classes in all levels before noon.

The Arellano University in Manila also suspended classes in all levels, while the Polytechnic University of the Philippines said classes were suspended in all of its campuses in Metro Manila.

Other local government units that suspended classes were San Fernando and Baguin in La Union, Batac and Laoag in Ilocos Norte, La Trinidad in Benguet and Noveleta, Cavite.

Officials of the Agno River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (ARBFFWC) said that Agno River remained below alert level status despite the enhanced southwest monsoon brought by Tropical Storm Ineng to Pangasinan.

In an advisory issued yesterday morning, ARBFFWC said the Pantal-Sinocalan and Bued-Cayanga-Patalan Rivers (Sub- Basins) will be above alert level status today.

The ARBFFWC advised the public and the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils within the basin to take appropriate actions to mitigate the adverse impact of river flooding in low-lying riverside areas.

Areas to be affected are San Nicolas, Tayug, Asingan, San Manuel, Sta. Maria,Rosales, Balungao, Sto. Tomas, Alcala, Bautista, Bayambang, Mangatarem, Urbiztondo, Aguilar, Binalonan, Urdaneta City, parts of Asingan, San Manuel, Sta. Barbara, Calasiao, Dagupan City, Binmaley, Pozorrubio, Manaoag, San Jacinto, Mapandan, San Fabian, Mangaldan in Pangasinan, portions of Tarlac City, Gerona, Paniqui, Moncada, Camiling, Mayantoc.

The Cagayan Valley OCD reported that Ineng’s strong winds and rains blew the tents in the evacuation center for at least 700 survivors of the twin earthquakes that hit Itbayat Island in Batanes last July 27.

Dante Balao, director of the Cagayan Valley OCD, said the quake survivors were again evacuated to safer areas in nearby barangay halls, schools and other government buildings yesterday.

He said the other quake survivors sought refuge in houses of relatives and friends.

According to reports, the tents for quake victims were also destroyed by the storm’s strong winds.

At least nine people were killed while hundreds were injured after twin earthquakes with magnitudes ranging between 3.2 and 5.9 rocked Itbayat last July 27 destroying their limestone houses including a centuries-old parish, schools, hospitals and other ancestral establishments as well as roads.

Reports said that some boats of local fishermen were also destroyed by the earthquakes while fishing boats not damaged by the tremors have not been able to sail since last week because of the bad weather.

Balao said at least 288 potable toilets are needed by the affected residents.

Meanwhile, Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco also ordered the forced evacuation of residents along the shorelines of every Island in the whole province due to the huge waves and strong winds. - With Janvic Mateo, Raymund Catindig, Eva Visperas, Artemio Dumlao

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