LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pangasinan passed a resolution declaring the entire province under a state of calamity, due to flooding brought about by the intensified southwest monsoon and onslaught of Tropical Depression Josie, during its special session Monday morning.
Provincial Information Officer Orpheus Velasco, in an interview, said the declaration was upon the request of Governor Amado Espino III with the recommendation from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Pangasinan.
Based on the latest assessment of PDRRMO, as of 11 a.m. Monday, 381 out of the total 1,364 barangays in the province are flooded, with 1,820 families temporarily evacuated from their homes due to severe flooding. Some national roads and bridges were declared not passable to vehicles.
The highest flooding reached 12 feet in Barangay Balayang Alaminos City, said Avenix Arenas, spokesperson of PDRRMO.
Prior to the province-wide declaration of state of calamity, nine towns and two cities in the province have declared state of calamity in their localities, she added.
“There were reported casualties but we are still validating if these are disaster related. Two of these incidents are drowning incidents and one electrocution, all for validation,” Arenas said.
The PDRRMO of La Union, Philippine Navy, Philippine Army and Philippine Coast Guard have been assisting the local government units in rescue operations since Saturday.
The provincial government also suspended classes in all levels, both in public and private schools on Monday, as well as provincial government work, while some municipalities and cities have also suspended work in government offices in their jurisdictions.
Some parts of the province have no electricity due to the high level of floodwaters, specifically in some portions of Dagupan City, Calasiao and Sta. Barbara, according to lawyer Randy Caspillan, spokesperson of the Dagupan Electric Corporation.
Engr. Rodrigo Corpuz, general manager of the Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative Inc., said Bugallon and Aguilar towns have no electricity as of Sunday night due to flooding in their substation in Bugallon, causing them to force shutdown of the power station.
“We hope the water level goes down, so we could turn back the electric power in these two towns,” Corpuz said.
Meanwhile, the PDRRMO advised all Pangasinenses to stay alert and pray for good weather in the coming days.
The water level at the San Roque Dam is at 267.27 meters above sea level (masl) against its 280 masl spilling level as of 11 a.m. Monday with no gates opened. Hilda Austria/PNA-northboundasia.com