DRRMC still on Red Alert as southwest monsoon continues to batter Cordillera region

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera region’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) is still on Red Alert status as the southwest monsoon continues to dump rain on the region.

According to the state weather bureau PAGASA, the ‘habagat’ will continue to bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains over the Ilocos region and Benguet province.

Residents of these areas have been warned of possible flash floods and landslides.

Generally, light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms will prevail over the rest of the Cordillera region.

PAGASA also reported that the volume of rainfall collected in the last 24 hours between Aug. 16 and 17 was 102.3 mm, compared to the 108.1 mm collected between Aug. 15 and 16. The agency however cautioned flood- and landslide-prone areas.

According to reports collated from the provincial, municipal and city DRRMCs, a landslide occurred in Barangay Guisad Surong in Baguio City on Aug. 15, affecting five families in two houses. The victims were not seriously injured and were transferred to an evacuation center.

In the Mountain Province seven families in Barangay Alab, Bontoc were affected by soil erosion on August 16. No one was hurt as the victims sought temporary shelter at the Alab Elementary School where the Bontoc DRRMC delivered family food packs.

In Ifugao, a Tamarraw FX was buried in a landslide on Aug. 16 as it was travelling from Abatan, Buguias, Benguet to Pakawan, Tucucan, Tinoc, Ifugao.

Passenger Elvie Basan Olo-an, 32, from Tapapan, Bauko, Mountain Province was pronounced dead at the Abatan Lutheran Hospital while driver Simeon Dionisio Lacbao, 46, was transferred to the Luis Hora District Hospital in Bauko, Mountain Province where he died on Wednesday.

In Abra, two families from Barangay Poblacion, San Isidro were evacuated after a river swelled.

The roads are being monitored by the regional and local offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways, with a backhoe and a bulldozer on standby for clearing operations.

Kennon Road in Baguio City was open but certain portions were open only to one-way traffic due to falling rocks. Authorities warned travelers to take either the J Aspiras – B Palispis Highway (Marcos Highway) or the E Quirino Highway (Baguio-Bauang Road) to and from Baguio City.

The Abra-Kalinga Road was closed due to landslides.

In Benguet, the Gurel-Bokod-Kabayan, Buguias Road was open but the Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya Road was closed due to mud slide and fallen trees.

Guisset, Tinongdan, Itogon was open while the Acop–Kapangan-Kibungan-Bakun Road was closed due to landslides.

The Asin-Nangalisan-San Pascual Road was open.

In Ifugao, the Kiangan-Tinoc-Buguias Road was closed due to landslides.

The Banaue-Mayoyao-Alfonso Lista-Isabela Road was open to light vehicles, while the Banaue-Hungduan-Benguet Road was closed, as well as the Pakawan, Tucucan, Tinoc.

In Kalinga, the Kalinga-Abra Road was closed.

In Mountain Province, the Mountain Province-Ilocos Sur via Tue was closed due to earth and rock slides.

The Baguio-Bontoc Road was passable. PNA/northboundasia.com