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Monsoon rains increase risk of landslides in Baguio, Benguet

BAGUIO, Philippines – Expect more landslides in Baguio and Benguet, and flooding in the lowland areas of La Union and Pangasinan, as monsoon rains continue to batter the uplands. 

The synoptic station of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Baguio said rainfall from 8 am of Friday, July 20, until 8 am on Saturday, July 21, amounted to 201.6 mm, its highest daily rainfall amount this year. 

Its 3-day rainfall total since 8 am of Wednesday, July 18, was 415.4 mm.

As a result, at least 9 families in Baguio have already evacuated and have been staying with relatives. The Office of Civil Defense in Cordillera recorded 17 landslide incidents, including 9 in Baguio and 4 in the rest of Benguet.

All roads leading to the city are open, however, except for a portion in Topdac, Atok, Benguet along Halsema Highway, which is open for one lane because of landslides.  

Kennon Road has remained closed since June 17, and all schools along that highway are also closed. 

All 3 dams in Benguet are way below spilling level. Ambuklao Dam's reservoir level is at 748.67 m which is below its 752 m critical level. 

Binga Dam's reservoir is currently at 573.6 m, which is a couple of meters below its critical level of 575 m. San Roque is now at 253.48 meters, way below its critical level of 280 m. 

However, DPWH said that as of 9 am, all national roads within Dagupan City, Calasiao and Santa. Barbara in Pangasinan are no longer passable to light vehicles while the Calasiao-San Carlos City Road and Bani-Agno Road are not passable to all vehicles. – Rappler.com