Puerto Princesa Underground River tours suspended due to LPA
PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines – The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) has been closed to visitors for 3 days now due to heavy rain brought by a low pressure area (LPA).
"Due to strong wind and big waves, we have advised travel agencies that we temporarily closed the PPUR for the safety of everyone," Park Superintendent Elizabeth Maclang told Rappler on Tuesday, October 17.
Maclang said the community-based eco-tourism sites inside the park have also been closed since Sunday, October 15.
En route to PPUR in Barangay Cabayugan early Tuesday, Maclang also said the downpour had caused landslides and floods along the national road in Barangay Buenavista.
"Floodwaters coming from the farmlands have overflown, inundating the national road," she told Palawan News.
"That's why when we successfully passed through that portion, we immediately phoned it to the City Engineering Office, and the mayor has sent an engineer to assess the area and make necessary actions that would minimize the risks it may bring," she added.
According to Maclang, the river overflowed to the Cabayugan Bridge in Sitio Manturon, and a house nearby became half-submerged. The house's owner had already fled the area before the river swelled.
"It's only now we have witnessed how flooding has brought an impact of this magnitude all over the park," Maclang said.
She added that the coast has also turned brownish due to runoff coming from the mountain.
The PPUR Management Office staff removed pieces of rotted wood that became scattered along the national road in Barangay Bahile.
Maclang said PPUR operations would resume once the weather improves and the floods subside.
Meanwhile, El Nido Tourism Officer Arvin Acosta told Rappler that all island tours, except Tour C, in the world-renowned tourism town already resumed on Monday, October 16, after being canceled on Saturday, October 14.
Though the LPA is located off Coron, Mayor Ajerico Barracoso said tourism has not been affected in his municipality.
"So far, I did not receive any report that it has affected the tourism [industry] in Coron," said Barracoso, who's on an official trip to Puerto Princesa. – Rappler.com