ISABELA, Philippines – A rescue and relief operation team finally reached on Tuesday, October 20, the isolated town of Santo Tomas in Isabela province – the first time since Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu) caused massive flooding in the area.
Santo Tomas can be reached through an overflow bridge that connects it to Cabagan town, but the public works department in the province had declared the bridge impassable. Some residents have been stranded, forcing them to stay at evacuation centers outside the town.
Volunteers from Oceana Gold Mining Corporation, together with army troops, led the relief operations in the town, sending clean drinking water and food supplies through a ferry.
According to Constantino Foronda, provincial disaster management chief of Isabela, the trapped residents are not in a life-threatening condition.
He said the town cannot be reached only because the current of the water was still strong.
Floods in the towns of Tumauini, San Pablo, and Cabagan, and in the city of Ilagan continued to subside as the Cagayan River’s water level also dipped. But Foronda said some areas in Ilagan were still submerged, either knee-deep or waist-deep.
He feared that the amount of damage in agriculture would continue to soar. The province is still under state of calamity due to a prolonged dry spell. (READ: Damage from Typhoon Lando soars to P6B)
Vice President Jejomar Binay was scheduled to visit Isabela, his home province, on Tuesday, but his staff came earlier and announced that his visit would not push through because of the impassable roads along Santa Fe town in Nueva Vizcaya. Binay visited the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Tarlac instead.
Rescue equipment from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority also arrived on Tuesday. – Rappler.com
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