1 dead, 1 missing, 7 hurt in Olongapo, Zambales due to floods

OLONGAPO CITY — The onslaught of Tropical Depression Josie on Sunday resulted in flooding of 16 of the 17 barangays here and a number of landslides that killed a woman, left a security guard missing, and seven others injured.

City rescue officials identified the fatality as Maria Veronica Rafael, 35, of Otero Avenue in Barangay Mabayuan, who was trapped inside their home when a landslide occurred Sunday evening.

The incident also resulted in the wounding of five others. The City Disaster Risk and Rescue Management Council (DRRMC) identified them as Richard Sebastian, 47; Bryan Joseph Belleza, 36; Armarie Jimenez, 17; Kyle Sebastian Rafael, 10; and Clyde Czelshey Rafael, 6.

Meanwhile, an unidentified security guard at the Subic Bay Freeport is still missing as hours of heavy rains brought by southwest monsoon and enhanced by the typhoon pounded the city and the whole province of Zambales Sunday.

The security guard was manning his post along Aparri Road inside the Subic Bay Freeport when a landslide occurred, trapping him in mud.

Another security guard suffered injury but rescuers were able to pull him out of the mud.

In Barangay Santa Rita, a 15-year-old boy was found inside a void space after a landslide covered their home.

He was rushed to the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH) for treatment.

Village officials in Mabayuan evacuated affected families to the barangay hall after another landslide occurred in the same area.

Some 661 families or 2,088 individuals were taken to various evacuation centers here, most of them coming from Barangay Santa Rita, a low-lying village hardest hit by floods.

City Mayor Rolen Paulino declared the suspension of classes in all levels on Monday and Tuesday and declared administrative leave for government employees for Monday amid threats of more rains and possible landslide.

The entire Olongapo City and parts of Zambales also experienced power outage.

Power outage is expected to persist in Olongapo and Zambales on Monday as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced that floodwaters entered their control center and they had to temporarily cut power supply to Olongapo Electricity and Distribution Company (OEDC) and Zambales Electric Cooperative (ZAMECO).

A landslide along the Tipo Road of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) also temporarily caused inconvenience to motorists passing the area.

Residents and travelers passing through Barangay Alusiis were stranded while in San Marcelino, Zambales, water level rose at the bridge due to heavy rains.

Subic Mayor Jay Khonghun advised travelers to avoid going to Olongapo City through Subic town, or they might be stranded in the national highway because of floods.

Rice fields also reportedly overflowed in the northern most town of Santa Cruz.

Reports also said that heavy rains brought down logs from the mining areas in the mountains.

Provincial Administrator Izelle Iamly Deloso, accompanied by the provincial rescue team, has been making the rounds of the towns as far as Subic in the southern-most part of the province, including remote areas, to determine whether residents needed to be assisted or evacuated and to assess infrastructure damage caused by the southwest monsoon rains. Mahatma Datu / PNA -northboundasia.com