2 dead, hundreds flee as tropical storm hits Florita Luzon

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August 24, 2022

MANILA – A passenger bus skidded off a slippery road here before hitting a power pole and landing on its side, killing two people and injuring six others during the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Florita (international name: Ma-on) on Tuesday.

Naguila Police Chief Maj Junneil Perez said the bus was coming from Tuguegarao City and en route to Metro Manila when it overturned and narrowly missed a roadside house in Barangay San Manuel around 11 a.m

In an interview, Perez identified the fatalities as Oliver Corpuz and his wife Myrna, both from the town of Diffun in Quirino province. The driver, the conductor and four other passengers were taken to a hospital.

Florita dropped heavy rains across most of Luzon, displacing at least 150 families (500 people) in Cagayan province.

The heavy rains triggered widespread flooding in at least 10 low-lying villages in Cagayan, according to the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Cagayan Provincial Information Officer Rogelio Sending Jr. said the displaced families were from Baggao, Gonzaga, Gattaran, Lal-lo and Iguig towns.

He said strong winds uprooted trees in Tuguegarao and downed power lines, cutting power to 15 out of 28 cities in Cagayan.

At least 76 residents in low-lying areas in Isabela’s coastal town of Divilacan took shelter in temporary shelters because of the threat of flooding, according to Constante Foronda, Isabela Province Disaster Preparedness and Management Officer.

Flooding in the city of Ilagan rendered the Baculod Bridge impassable.

landing
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Florita landed near the town of Maconacon in Isabela around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The No. 3 tropical cyclone wind signal was hoisted over the mainland of Cagayan, northeastern part of Isabela, northern part of Ilocos Norte, Apayao and southern part of Babuyan Islands at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday on Tuesday.

Mark Timbal, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), advised those planning vacation trips to storm-hit areas to postpone their trips.

“Some local government units may close some roads as a precautionary measure to avoid accidents, especially in areas prone to flooding and landslides,” Timbal said.

The Philippine Army said it has mobilized its 5th Infantry Division in Isabela for disaster response in Cagayan and Apayao, while its reserve units in the region are on alert.

The NDRRMC has reserved about 848 million pesos for storm victims under the Rapid Response Fund, while about 480,000 food packages for families worth 283 million pesos are in stock.

In the Cordillera, 29 families (116 people) in Abra and Mountain Province took refuge in various evacuation centers due to the risk of flash floods and landslides, reports from DSWD in the region showed.

lessons suspended
In Cagayan and Isabela, classes have been suspended at all levels, both in public and private schools.

In Dagupan City, elementary schools in the villages of Malued, Bacayao Sur, Carael, Calmay and Lomboy were also submerged in floodwaters, according to Aguedo Fernandez, the city’s school principal.

Classes at all levels of schools in Dagupan were suspended on Tuesday due to flooding, aggravated by the tide that inundated the city’s central business district.

In Pampanga province, floodwaters, monsoon rains and water runoff from the upper Pampanga River inundated 26 villages in the city of Masantol and eight villages in the city of Macabebe, the province’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

In Macabebe’s Barangay Tacasan, San Gabriel and San Esteban, the floods were up to 1.52 meters high.

As of 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, classes were suspended at all levels in public and private schools in Pampanga’s 16 towns and two major cities.

According to the Pampanga River Flood Forecasting Center, water from the Pampanga River flooded the banks and flowed into riverbank areas in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, and in Candaba and Apalit, Pampanga.

Classes were also suspended in the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur due to persistent rain.

In southern Luzon, classes were suspended in public and private schools in Camarines Sur, Camrines Norte and Albay provinces in the Bicol region, and in Quezon and Laguna provinces in the Calabarzon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) on Tuesday exposed.

IMPASSABLE | The Baculod spillway bridge in the city of Ilagan in Isabela province becomes impassable on Tuesday as water levels in the Pinacanauan River rise due to heavy rains from severe Tropical Storm Florita. (Photo by VILLAMOR VISAYA JR. / Inquirer Northern Luzon)

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