Trapped residents seek help as floods rise in Tuguegarao
CAGAYAN, Philippines – Disaster teams tried to rescue residents who were trapped in a low-lying village in Tuguegarao City on Sunday evening, October 18, due to the onslaught of Typhoon Lando (Koppu).
Rescuers from the provincial disaster management office reached several families in a Muslim community in the city. Some houses were already submerged in floodwaters, with residents shouting for help and asking for relief goods from the second floor of their houses.
But rescuers refused to go near some houses, as barbed and open wires blocked the rubber boat. They even denied the request of one man who asked that his 5-month old baby be taken.
The floods were already reaching as high as 10 feet, but there was still supply of power.
The rescuers said they had advised the residents Sunday morning to take pre-emptive evacuation. But, they said, the residents refused because the weather was fair.
Tuguegarao had not suffered heavy rains the entire day, but the water level of Cagayan River continued to rise, an effect of the ongoing release of water in Magat Dam.
A portion of Cagayan River in the village of Buntun in Tuguegarao used to have small islets and a big portion of landmass on its sides. But now, even the trees are already under water.
The province is considered a catch basin, receiving large amounts of rainfall from the provinces of Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, and Mountain Province.
The towns of Peñablanca, Alcala, Lasam, Piat, Santa Praxedes, and Santa Teresita were also submerged in floodwaters, forcing residents to leave their houses.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council-Cagayan reported 1,800 affected residents.
As of 5 pm, 188 families or 623 individuals were evacuated to higher areas. – Rappler.com