LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Torrential rains spawned by the tail end of a cold front have caused floods and landslides in the Catanduanes and Camarines Sur Friday, January 12.
Just last week, Albay, another Bicol province, was inundated by floodwaters due to Tropical Storm Agaton.
Landslides struck the national highway leading to Barangay Sagrada in Viga, Catanduanes Friday morning said Senior Inspector Maria Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson of Philippine National Police-Bicol.
Calubaquib said the cascading soil and rocks swept an Elf truck (RNJ 213) driven by Gerald Tabor, 39. Also in the truck were helpers Jesus Olat, and Alvin Oboso 39, all residents of Viga.
So strong was the landslide that it dragged the truck from the circumferential road all the way to the river at the base of the mountain.
The driver and his companions swam to the riverbank for safety. They were brought later to the Viga District Hospital.
Flooding was also reported in low-lying communities in Naga City and neighboring Magarao town, Calubaquid said.
Naga City Mayor John Bongat ordered the suspension of classes in all levels in public and private schools in the city. Also mired in neck-deep floods were the Sitios of Tabog, Burabod in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur.
The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) reported that landslides struck the Lagonoy-Presentacion road in barangay Caguiscan and Patrocino in Lagonoy town in Camarines Sur.
Lucy Cataneda, DPWH regional spokeperson, said that the Lagonoy-Presentacion Road was not passable due to flooding at Barangay Caguiscan, while there were landslides at Barangay Patrocinio Lagonoy, Camarines Sur
“The Lagonoy-Presentacion road networks are not passable due to flood but our men are working hand in hand to remove the fallen debris along Pili-Tigaon-Albay bounderies. Our engineers and maintenance crew were already deployed for clearing operations,” Castañeda said.
Chris Ian Pan of Camarines Sur’s Environment, Disaster Management and Emergency Response Office (Edmero) said they were verifying the number of affected families and reports of damage due to landslides.
Naga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Ernie Elcamel said responders and other local government agencies were conducting rescue operations in affected barangays. He also advised the residents to stay alert.
Erwin Ocampina of Naga’s Response for Emergency and Disaster-Technical Assistance Group shared on Facebook that roads in Deca Homes Subdivision and the Pacol-San Felipe boundary were not passable even to light and small vehicles. – with a report from Abigail Abigan/Rappler.com
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