Pangasinan, Northern Luzon not spared by Maring

MANILA, Philippines - While the bulk of the affected citizens reside in Regions III and IV-A, other areas of Luzon were not spared from the onslaught of heavy rains brought by tropical storm Maring and the southwest monsoon.

In Western Luzon, Sta Barbara town in Pangasinan was placed under a state of calamity. Being put under a state of calamity means calamity funds are readily released to aid those affected in the area, and prices of basic goods are controlled to prevent price increases.

Over 2,000 families or 13,065 individuals were affected in Sta Barbara alone.

According to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), at least 169 hectares of rice plantations and 4 hectares of vegetable plantations are under water, while 14 barangays of Sta Barbara are flooded.  In Pangasinan a total of 9 local government units or LGUs were reported to have been affected by Maring. 

Manaoag town, also in Pangasinan, faced a different problem as the Manaoag Water District was destroyed by the rain. The damage meant at least 300 families did not have water supply.

Flood waters had also reached over 4 feet in Calasiao town where residents used bancas to move around and access food and water. As of 6 pm, the San Roque Dam water level was at 265.49 meters above sea level, still beneath its spilling level of 280 meters.

Adequate supplies

But Provincial Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Officer Emil Samson gave assurances they have enough supply of relief goods for Pangasinan evacuees. 

The DSWD said they have handed out 2,000 food packs to Pangasinan and 500 packs to Ilocos Sur.

National Food Authority (NFA) Eastern Pangasinan branch manager Ramon Cuaresma also said NFA has 200,000 bags of rice available for the province's LGUs to loan through its Rice Loan Program for their relief operations.

NFA said the provincial government can loan at least 5,000 bags, cities can loan 2,000 bags, while towns can loan up to 1,000 bags of rice.

Northern Luzon casualties

Meanwhile provinces in Northern Luzon were also affected by the torrential downpour.

According to the government news and information bureau, one is dead and 3 are missing from the Cordilleras.

Among the missing is a tourist who visited Sagada cave, a man swept away by the Chico River as he tried to cross it, and a farmer-fisherman missing in the Abra River.

A landslide also forced 47 families to be evacuated from Tublay, Benguet.

In La Union, the PIA said the power situation in the Ilocos Region remained normal despite non-stop rain.

Over 600,000 families have been affected nationwide. - Rappler.com