HERMOSA, Bataan — Intermittent light to heavy rains triggered by the southwest monsoon or “habagat” since Saturday last week have caused two- to six-feet flash floods in at least 12 barangays in three towns in Bataan province.
Of the flooded villages, the hardest hit was reportedly Barangay Almacen in Hermosa town as the Almacen River overflowed, immersing the village in up to six feet of floodwaters, and where bancas charging each passenger PHP20 were the only means of transportation going in and out of the village.
Alejandria Santiago, 86, lives in a concrete house near the river. She said there has been flooding in her village for more than 70 years now. “Ever since I was a kid, floods occur every rainy season,” she said. “We do not evacuate. We just stay home.”
Liezel Limpiada, Almacen barangay secretary, said they have been experiencing rains since Friday last week and that the village began to be inundated in the afternoon of Friday, June 15.
Limpiada said at least 1,500 families in the village are affected but they prefer to stay home.
“The barangay officials are strictly monitoring and checking the level of floods so that we can inform the residents if there is a need for them to evacuate,” she said. “It is the order of village chair Emeterio Villafania for everyone to take extra caution.”
Hadji Galura, a resident, said floodwaters in Almacen rose on Saturday morning. “The flood reached beyond the people’s height. The only mode of transportation is banca,” he said.
Floodwaters in Almacen swept through the neighboring villages of Daungan and Pulo.
A big portion of the land planted with rice in Barangay Pulo was like a vast sea while floodwaters in Barangay Daungan rose two to three feet.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported that two barangays in Dinalupihan town were also affected with two-feet-deep floodwaters.
Seven barangays in Orani town, on the other hand, have been swamped in more than two feet of water. PNA-northboundasia.com