Several flooded villages remain isolated

PAMPANGA -- Several villages and towns in Pampanga province and Bulacan remain isolated a few days after the onslaught of back-to-back typhoons, affecting thousands of people.

Still submerged in 15-feet high floodwaters are the towns of San Simon, Candaba, Apalit, Masantol, San Luis and Macabebe in Pampanga province. Also affected are some barangays in Arayat, Sta. Ana and Mexico, including parts of Bacolor.

In Bulacan, Mayor James de Jesus of worst-hit Calumpit town said that at least 15 villages were still inaccessible and evacuation centers crowded with about 15,000 people.

The floodwaters slowly receded Monday though, amid appeals for more boats to bring food and water to residents refusing to abandon inundated homes.

Many residents staying on rooftops for days still refused to leave their homes for fear of burglars and instead asked to be delivered food and supplies. Others who took advantage of rescue boats lined up in long lines with containers to get drinking water.

"For now, we need rescue teams with rubber boats. We need to distribute food and water to the families stranded by the floods. I cannot reach all of them personally," de Jesus said in a radio interview.

He also appealed for additional police to guard against looters, with some people complaining about stolen property.

"Floods are receding, but some areas remain flooded," said Bulacan provincial disaster official Raul Agustin, adding that rescuers had difficulty reaching riverside villages because of strong currents.

Aside from the flooding, at least 59 people were killed by Typhoon Pedring (international codename: Nesat) that hit the northern Philippines last week. Typhoon Quiel (international codename: Nalgae) killed at least three people Saturday.

Officials in Pampanga and Bulacan continued with the rescue and relief operations Monday, especially in areas badly-hit by the typhoons.

Mayor Oscar Rodriguez of the City of San Fernando said they have extended assistance to neighboring towns adversely affected by deep flooding brought by Typhoons Pedring and Quiel.

“Except for some real low-lying areas in the city like Barangay Pandaras, which is a water repository ever since, there are serious damages to infrastructure and no deep flooding that are alarming,” he told Sun.Star Pampanga.

Last Sunday, Rodriguez sent drinking water, relief goods and rescue personnel to the eight isolated villages of Masantol town.

“What we are doing right now is helping our neighboring towns with people who are still in deep floodwaters by giving relief goods and extending other aid. We are thankful we were generally spared but we are prepared for any eventuality. Our Sagip Ilog helped a lot in averting massive flooding. If not for that, we could have been affected too,” he said.

The Fernandino team, led by City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao, meanwhile, had to take the alternate route in Calumpit, Bulacan to reach the isolated Kapampangan villages. The team boarded a special vehicle that withstood strong water current.

Some of those who received the assistance said they are glad that government officials provided them relief goods that are enough for a couple of days.

“Salamat sa relief na ipinamigay. Malaking bagay ito sa aming mahihirap lalo na hindi kami makapagtrabaho ngayon (I am thankful for the relief goods. This is a big help for us),” said Francis Salac, a resident of Candaba, Pampanga.

Salac, a tricycle driver and father of five, is afraid though that if floodwaters do not subside, his children will get hungry.

“Wala kaming mapagkunan ngayon. Hindi ako makapamasada dahil sa baha. Sa ngayon, umaasa lang kami sa ibinibigay na relief ng mga nasa gobyerno (I cannot go to work because of the flooding. We only rely on the relief goods provided to us by the government),” he added.

As the Candaba town is submerged in floodwaters, local traders have temporarily left their stalls in the public market and moved to higher ground to continue with their business.

Some of them even use small boats -- tied near the public market -- to sell goods and other basic necessities to the residents.

The residents, however, are complaining about the prices of rice being sold by some traders which according to them is “too much”.

“Yung NFA na dapat ibenta sa mas mababang halaga ay ginagawa nilang commercial rice. Noong unang nga ay nakabili ako ng NFA dyan sa halagang P35 (They are selling NFA rice as a commercial rice. I even bought an NFA rice at P35 per kilo),” Eustaquia De Leon, another resident, said.

Over the weekend, only boats and tractors, locally called "tora-toras", can enter Candaba and other submerged towns in Pampanga and Bulacan.

As of Monday, three dump trucks owned by Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo serve as the only means of transportation going to the town proper.

Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda said Monday that Provincial Capitol might seek the assistance of the National Government in establishing a resettlement site for residents living near the banks of the Pampanga River.

She said the Provincial Government has enough evacuation centers with facilities that could accommodate some 35,000 families or 175,000 residents in case they voluntary evacuate from their flooded homes, where water has reached rooftops.

Officials called on the public and concerned groups to help in the relief and rescue operations, especially that another weather disturbance is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility by next week.

As of Monday, Typhoon Quiel was headed for China’s Hainan Island and central Vietnam, where the worst seasonal flooding in more than a decade has killed 11 people, including five children, over the past week in the southern Mekong Delta.

Quiel, which followed closely after Typhoon Pedring last week, is the 17th storm to enter the Philippines this year. (With Jovi de Leon and Charlene Cayabyab of Sun.Star Pampanga/AP/Sunnex)

Related story: Floods hit Mati, 13 towns in Maguindanao


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Mayweather picks off Pacquiao to join greats
    Mayweather picks off Pacquiao to join greats

    Floyd Mayweather's emphatic win over Manny Pacquiao sealed his status as a boxing great, but triggered an outcry in the Philippines and divided opinion amongst the sports legends. Feinting and dancing his way to a unanimous decision, Mayweather comfortably picked off Pacquiao over 12 rounds to extend his 19-year unbeaten record to 48-0. Yet the jeers could not obscure a clear win for the skilful Mayweather, with judges awarding him the decision by margins of 118-110 and 116-112. Mayweather, …

  • Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat
    Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Sadness and disappointment gripped Filipinos after Manny Pacquiao's defeat in his much-anticipated fight against American Floyd Mayweather Jr. but they still considered the boxing icon a national hero. …

  • Philippine rebels kill most wanted Islamist militant in south

    The Philippines' most wanted Islamist militant, who escaped after a raid in January that killed 44 police commandos, was killed on Sunday in firefight with Muslim rebels, officials said. Protracted police operations to arrest three Islamist high-value targets had become the biggest political crisis in five years for President Benigno Aquino and put at risk his government's peace efforts with Moro Islamic Liberation Front. A proposed law creating a new autonomous government for minority …

  • Disappointed Filipinos cry foul as Pacquiao loses
    Disappointed Filipinos cry foul as Pacquiao loses

    Boxing fans in the Philippines cried foul and groaned in bitter disappointment on Sunday as national hero Manny Pacquiao lost to American rival Floyd Mayweather in the "fight of the century". Filipinos filled gymnasiums, cinemas and bars as the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people stopped for Pacquiao's battle with Mayweather in Las Vegas, which he lost in a unanimous points decision. A devastated Pacquiao said immediately afterwards that he thought he had won, and many at home agreed …

  • Steamy fight...and weather as well
    Steamy fight...and weather as well

    Filipinos who will flock to steamy public gymnasiums today to watch free live screenings of Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. are advised to drink lots of water as the heat index is expected to reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday the forecast for heat index in Metro Manila may reach 39.8 degrees Celsius. It could go as high as 40.3 degrees …

  • POEA asks advertisers to help fight human trafficking
    POEA asks advertisers to help fight human trafficking

    The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has invited advertisers and public relations (PR) agencies to help combat illegal recruitment and human trafficking. POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac conveyed his invitation through his Twitter account @HansLeoCacdac posted last April 29. “Any ad agencies, PR firms or their industry associations interested in joining the campaign against illegal recruitment and human trafficking?” he said. Cacdac made the invitation to prevent …

  • Even soldiers will take a break today
    Even soldiers will take a break today

    It’s all systems go with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) live stream viewing of today’s fight between Filipino boxing icon Sarrangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and  Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Soldiers will take a break today,” said Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief, referring to military’s free-viewing event of the most awaited Pacquiao-Mayweather bout. The same preparations have already been done by the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, …

  • ‘No sign of Mount Bulusan’s imminent eruption’
    ‘No sign of Mount Bulusan’s imminent eruption’

    The government is on alert to ensure public safety as Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon province exploded on Friday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday. Despite the alert, Valte said there is as yet no need to evacuate residents, with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reporting that “there is no threat of imminent eruption” and that the volcano remains at Alert Level 0. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options