Editor's Note: The photo above showing the Paoay Church was mistakenly credited to another Facebook user. The caption has been corrected to reflect that it is a photo by Chris Stolk.
MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte was placed under a state of calamity on Saturday, August 25, due to continuous heavy rainfall in the province brought by the southwest monsoon.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the province's communications and media office reported that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board declared the state of calamity in an emergency session.
"Heavy rainfall, flooding, and road blockages and closures have been reported throughout the province over the past week, with tertiary-level classes and government work being suspended shortly after noon on Friday" said the Ilocos Norte media office.
It also noted that the damage in infrastructure and agriculture due to the monsoon rains was estimated at P111 million as of Saturday. More than 14,000 residents were also affected.
Photo from Bacarra municipal government
On Friday, the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office issued an advisory for tourists and locals to stay indoors and avoid traveling for the meantime. Many tourist spots were also closed until further notice.
Provincial officials have launched initial relief operations in the towns of Paoay, Pasuquin, and Burgos.
The southwest monsoon or hanging habagat was enhanced by Tropical Depression Luis, which exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday evening.