BAGUIO, Philippines – Ilocos Norte’s provincial council declared a state of calamity on Monday, October 17, following floods spawned by the trough of Typhoon Neneng (Nesat) even as it exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Sunday night, October 16.
A few hours after the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) told the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of its P103.5-million ($1.76 million) estimate of damage to infrastructure and agriculture, it revised its figures upward to P177.6 million ($3.01 million).
At a press conference, Governor Matthew Manotoc said Adams town remained isolated as of 3 pm, with Mayor Rosalia Dugapen reporting that residents had to walk 10 kilometers to Pancian, a barangay in Pagudpud town, to use their mobile phones.
“We have sent a payloader to help in the road clearing operations in Adams,” Manotoc said, adding that Pagudpud was also hard hit, with two barangays, Pancian and Balaoi, reporting impassable roads.
The Pagudpud local government on Monday morning reported the gradual clearing of roads.
The provincial public works office also said road clearing operations have been ongoing the whole day on the national highway, although work was delayed when a landslide toppled heavy road equipment.
The governor added the Adams and Vintar bridges also showed damage in their approaches.
Infrastructure represented the greatest damage at P95 million ($1.61 million), according to the PDRRMC.
Manotoc said the province’s experience highlights the lack of equipment and personnel. He echoed the sentiments of Abra officials following the July 2022 earthquake: that air assets need to be more accessible to hasten rescue operations and surveys of damage in towns and cities.
While not directly related to floods, a bus suffered a brake failure and toppled on its side along the slippery Halsema Highway in Barangay Caliking, Atok town in Benguet province on Monday afternoon.
A report by the Benguet Provincial Information Office said four of the bus’s 27 passengers were injured and brought to the Benguet General Hospital.
Neneng’s rain caused a landslide Sunday night at the Labey-Lacamen road, but the province said public works crews had cleared it by Monday afternoon.
The Philippine Information Agency in Benguet also said the town of Bakun had punched through the Gov. Bado Dangwa Road in Gakian, Gambang, around 2 pm Monday. – Rappler.com
$1 = P58.93