Rescue trucks make way to flooded hospitals, villages in Nueva Ecija

Pia Ranada

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Rescue trucks make way to flooded hospitals, villages in Nueva Ecija
Waist-high floods in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, complicate response efforts

NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines – Several flooded roads in the province of Nueva Ecija are posing challenges to response operations in the wake of Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu). 

One road in Valdefuente village, Cabanatuan City, was impassable for all but loaders, firetrucks, and military rescue trucks as of 10 pm, Sunday, October 18. Other vehicles were left with no choice but to wait for the flood to subside.

Throughout the night, such rescue vehicles were seen cutting through the water to reach the flooded areas beyond where hundreds of residents await rescue.

Valdefuente residents said two hospitals, Premiere Medical Center and Eduardo L. Joson Memorial Hospital, have been breached by flood waters.

These two hospitals have been the target of several rescue operations already, according to Nueva Ecija provincial government employee Bobby Balagtas. 

Many villages further down this road are under water, said Balagtas. Three in particular – Aduas Central, Aduas Sur, and Aduas Norte – experienced head-high floods, with many residents stranded on their roofs until help came.

Under water ang Aduas, Sumakab, basta marami na, pati ang Burgos may tubig na rin yung city proper may tubig na,” said another Valdefuente resident Marion Bernabe. 

(Aduas is underwater, also Sumakab, many others. Even Burgos in the city proper has been reached by water.)

The flooding began around 6 or 7 pm and gradually expanded through the night. Most likely, the water came from nearby Valdefuente River, which had swelled because of Lando’s rains, said Balagtas.

The same obstacle faced motorists in other parts of Nueva Ecija. As of 8 pm, one part of the Tarlac-Santa Rosa road was submerged in fast-moving waters, prompting many vehicles to turn back.

As of posting, Nueva Ecija was under Storm Warning Signal Number 3. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.