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Landslides, flashfloods as #MarioPH hits Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Several areas in the Cordillera region have been experiencing landslides and flashfloods since 9 pm of Friday, September 19, when Tropical Storm Mario (international code: Fung-Wong) brought heavy to intense rainfall with strong winds up to 130 kilometers per hour to the region.

As of 11 am Saturday, September 20, Storm Signal 2 was still raised in Apayao province, while Storm Signal 1 was raised in Abra and Kalinga. (READ: Mario slows down, gains strength)

No casualties have been reported so far. The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council attributed this to the prompt response and pre-emptive evacuation conducted by the local government. (READ: Cordillera dams at critical levels, evacuation ongoing)

The following roads have been closed since 11 pm Friday:

All roads in Apayao were cleared Saturday morning.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines also reported as of 11 am Saturday, that Ambuklao Dam had opened 4 gates at 3.5 m, while Binga Dam had opened 6 gates at 6.5 m. The two dams, both located in Benguet, reached critical level. 

Meanwhile, no gates were opened in San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, Ilocos region, despite continuously rising at 268.8m ALS. The dam’s critical level is at 290m ASL.

Evacuation

In Baguio City, 3 families (15 individuals) were evacuated from Outlook Drive to a home of a barangay official. Floods at the City Camp Lagoon forced 50 families, around 192 individuals, to evacuate to Emilio Aguinaldo High School.

Two families composed of 10 individuals were evacuated from Crystal Dale Subdivision.

In Benguet, 21 families (72 individuals) were relocated in La Trinidad, 22 (66 people) in Tublay, and 9 (29 people) in Tuba due to imminent threat of landslides. Two families (10 individuals) were evacuated in Tadian town of Mountain Province, while 27 families (108 people) were also displaced in Santa Marcela, Apayao.

In Abra, 121 families (585 people) in Bangued town were evacuated to the municipal hall provincial capitol, while 27 families (135 people) were moved from their homes in La Paz town to barangay halls and one family (5 people) in San Juan.

Abra is experiencing a province-wide blackout since 11 pm Friday, while there are intermittent power interruptions in Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, and Mountain Province.

The provincial disaster response council offices of Abra and Apayao discourage all activities near the river due to the fast rising rapids. – Rappler.com