Residents move to safer grounds their belongings and livestock during the flash flood that inundated Ilagan City, Isabela on Thursday.
Raymond Catindig
Thousands displaced in Isabela, Cagayan floods
Raymund Catindig, Victor Martin (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2019 - 12:00am

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela –  Thousands were displaced as non-stop rains inundated 19 towns and three cities in this province and Cagayan in the past two days.

Ilagan City in Isabela, one of the worst-hit areas, was placed under a state of calamity yesterday. The declaration will allow the local government to tap calamity funds for relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The towns of Cabagan, Roxas, San Mateo, Luna, San Pablo, San Isidro, Benito Soliven, San Mariano, Alicia, Cabatauan and Cauayan City were also severely affected by flooding.

Also flooded were several villages in Ramon, Angadanan, Dinapigue, Cabatuan, Sta. Maria, Tumauini, Mallig, Quirino, San Guillermo, San Manuel, Aurora, Delfin Albano, Echague, Quezon, Jones, Sto. Tomas Burgos and Naguillan towns.

The Isabela Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said eight bridges remained not passable to motorists as of 11 a.m. yesterday.

In Tumauini, two persons swept away by floodwaters in Barangays Balug and Lanna were reported missing. 

Isabela Gov. Rodito Albano said relief operations for displaced residents along the Cagayan and Pinacanauan Rivers were ongoing yesterday.

Col. Mariano Rodriguez, Isabela police director, said rains over the Sierra Madre mountain range cascaded to tributaries of the Cagayan River, inundating low-lying areas in Isabela and Cagayan.

Work, classes suspended

In Cagayan, Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano suspended work in government and private offices as well as classes in all levels due to the floods.

Soriano said at least 25 barangays in his city were submerged in floodwaters.

Rosendo Calayan, 71, died when he was gored by his carabao while pulling the animal to higher ground in Barangay Linao Norte.

The Cagayan PDRRMC said residents of Lasam, Rizal, Baggao, Tuao and Pamplona were also hit by flooding. 

As of 1 p.m. yesterday, floodwaters in affected villages in the province have yet to subside.

Not due to Tisoy

Ramil Tuppil, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration resident meteorologist, clarified that the rains were not spawned by Typhoon Tisoy.

Tuppil said the rains were due to the northeast monsoon and tailend of a cold front, which are affecting Northern Luzon. He said heavy rains are expected in the area until weekend.

Meanwhile, the National Irrigation Administration said it would release water from Magat Dam in Ramon, Isabela today.

The water level in the dam is nearing its spilling mark of 193 meters. The dam’s water elevation was recorded at 191.77 meters at around 11 a.m. yesterday.

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