14 towns, cities in Pangasinan flooded anew

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan — A few weeks after Pangasinan was placed under state of calamity due to severe flooding, some of its towns and cities went under water anew since Monday due to heavy rainfall brought about by Tropical Storm Karding that intensified the southwest monsoon.

A total of 155 barangays of Dagupan City, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Bayambang, Mangatarem, Binmaley, San Carlos City, Bautista, Villasis, Aguilar, Manaoag, Binalonan, Urdaneta City and Mangaldan are still flooded as of Thursday, said Christalene Laoang, reporting officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

Laoang said a total of 2,506 families are still in evacuation centers, while evacuees from Lingayen, Urdaneta City, San Nicolas and Alcala have returned to their homes since flooding subsided in their areas.

“Some 168 families from barangay Poponto Bautista and 38 families from barangay Vacante Bautista were forced evacuated during the onslaught of Karding,” she said.

Laoang disclosed that two casualties due to drowning have been reported.

The victims are identified as Kenneth Villarte, 24, resident of Sta. Barbara town; while the other victim is Alipio Duquino, 79, resident of Bautista town, she said.

“Villarte was allegedly drunk when he dived into the river on August 12 and until now, he was not yet found, although our team, with the help of the Philippine Coast Guard, is conducting retrieval operation. They were not able to immediately conduct retrieval operations because of the strong water current of the river and they were also conducting rescue operations in other flooded areas,” Laoang said.

“Duquino, on the other hand, was allegedly cleaning his flooded backyard Thursday morning when he went to an area with high water level and eventually he was swept by the strong current of floodwaters. His body was retrieved immediately,” she added.

Laoang further said the incidents are still under validation if these are disaster-related.

Meanwhile, classes in seven towns and cities of the province are still suspended as of Thursday.

Laoang said electric power in Sitio Cuarenta and Sitio Namuluan Sur in Bautista town was turned-off upon the request of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in the town to prevent any untoward incident.

“The flooding in the town is still severe and the water current is also strong according to the head of the MDRRMO in the town,” she added.

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office has distributed family food packs to 7,350 families in 11 municipalities of the province as of Wednesday.

Laoang said San Roque Dam continues to discharge from its four open gates until it reaches its normal level at 280 meters above sea level (masl).

The water level in the dam reached 283.72 masl as of 1 p.m. Thursday, she added. Hilda Austria/PNA-northboundasia.com