Floods swamp Bulacan as dams release water

Floods swamped several areas in Bulacan province since Thursday night as dams in the province released water in preparation for Tropical Cyclones Quiel and Ramon.

Residents in several towns called for help from authorities as floodwaters reached the roofs of one-story houses in some areas in Bulacan.

"Lumakas ang pagdating ng tubig, biglang bigla mula kagabi. Umaabot na dalawang metro, halos lahat nasa bubong na (at) tumataas pa lalo," Heracleo Pangan, a resident of Frances village in Calumpit town in Bulacan.

He said they had seen no sign of assistance from authorities since Tuesday, when typhoon Pedring (Nesat) lashed Luzon.

Pangan also voiced fears some residents in the area may have drowned.

"Walang makarating dito kahit anong uri ng sasakyan. [Kahit] sasakyang pantubig hindi uubra (It appears no vehicle can reach our area. Even watercraft will have a hard time getting here)," he said.

In Hagonoy town, a dzBB report said people could not sleep for fear floodwaters would enter their homes.

At least 170 families had been evacuated to the San Pedro High School in Hagonoy.

But the dzBB report said local officials in Hagonoy had been advising residents to evacuate as early as Thursday noon.

Floods did not spare a local hospital in Hagonoy, prompting the transfer of patient using a dump truck with two nurses hanging on to the roof while holding dextrose bottles, according to a separate report by dzBB's Allan Gatus.

Dams releasing water

Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) hydrologist Elmer Caringal said the water likely came from Angat and Ipo Dams, which are both in Bulacan.

"The floodwaters that hit Bulacan are from Ipo and Angat Dams. Aside from the dam's excess water, the rainwater from the mountains are now starting to flow into the province's rivers," he said in a separate interview on dzBB.

He said the two dams could not afford to ease the release of water due to the looming danger of rain from Typhoon Quiel (Nalgae).

Earlier, Science Undersecretary Graciano Yumul Jr. also warned of a second cyclone to come after Quiel - a tropical depression to be codenamed Ramon that is expected to enter Philippine territory in the coming days.

"What we are seeing is not just the water from the dam but also water from nearby mountains," Yumul said. — LBG, GMA News

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