IN PHOTOS: Tarlac rice fields turn into a lake

Alecs Ongcal
Farmers are left with nothing to harvest after floods inundate their fields

GONE. Two days ago, this was a rice field with crops scheduled to be harvested next week. All photos by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

TARLAC, Philippines – Heavy rains due to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) inundated the rice fields of La Paz, Tarlac. Flooding became severe after Pantabangan and San Roque dams released water on Sunday morning, September 16.

The flood worsened the woes of farmers who have yet to recoup their losses since the start of the farming season. Last July, the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Henry (Son-Tinh) brought rain, inundating their fields that were already in the clearing phase.

Farmers make up around 80% of the population of La Paz. The province is also one of the country’s major suppliers of palay. Harvest season was just a week away when Ompong came. 

INUNDATED. The release of water from Pantabangan and San Roque dams contributed 20 inches to the floodwaters from Typhoon Ompong'€™s rain.

CRY ME A RIVER. Samuel Castro was just waiting for Monday. He has nothing to harvest now.

SPARING NO ONE. Not just farmers but animals too were affected by the flooding.

CLEARING THE WATERWAYS. A government backhoe clear the fields from water spinach and waterlilies that came from the neighboring province Nueva Ecija.

HELP NEEDED. La Paz Mayor Bong Manuel seeks assistance from the national government not just for relief goods but also for augmentation support from the Department of Agriculture to help the farmers plant again.