Disaster authorities closely monitor Cagayan River for possible overflow

Marje Pelayo
Cagayan River as TS Ramon hits the province. (11/14/2019)

ISABELA PROVINCE, Philippines – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) is closely monitoring the level of water in Cagayan River as tropical storm Ramon has started to affect the area.

The river is seen to burst its banks as the storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall in the place and might endanger residents living near the river.

Among the areas that are expected to experience the heavy impact of tropical storm Ramon are Sta.Maria; Cabagan; Sto.Tomas; Delfin Albano; Benito Soliven and Don Mariano in Isabela.

“Iyong mga tao nasanay na sila. Ayaw na nila ng forced evacuation (The people have been used to it. They no longer wait for forced evacuation),” said Col. Basilio Dumlao, Asst. Officer of PDRRMO Isabela.

“Iyong pre-emptive evacuation meron na kaming message: “Please lumikas na kayo. Otherwise they will be forced to be evacuated. Iyong PNP at iyong Army bubuhatin ka. So you have no choice (During pre-emptive evacuation we send them message to evacuate otherwise they will be forced to be evacuated. The PNP and the Army would pull you out. You have no choice),” he added.

Residents in Sta. Maria town in Isabela said it is normal that river water to rise during the onset of a tropical storm.

But should the situation worsen this time, they are ready to evacuate for safety.

“Ready naman kumbaga meron naman kaming evacuation center sa Municipal Gym. Kumpleto naman yung facility, kumpleto naman ang mga gamit especially sa rescue (We’re ready and we have an evacuation center at the Municipal Gym. They have complete facility and equipment especially for rescue),” explained Isabela resident Benido Panganiban Jr.

“Lilipat kami dyan sa magandang bahay na yan kasi kamag-anak namin iyan kasi sabi ng may-ari kapag may bagyo o baha dyan kami lilipat sa mataas na bahay na bago (We will move to that beautiful house because the owner of that is our relative and they said when there is storm or flood we can evacuate to their house),” added Maria Salas, another resident.

There is no order for evacuation at the moment in Isabela.

But the provincial government has already suspended classes in all levels and office work across the province in preparation for the impact of tropical storm Ramon. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

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