Towns remain underwater-A A +A
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- All of Guagua town’s 31 barangays are still inundated in floodwaters as of Wednesday, as waters from neighboring towns are still flowing into this catch basin.
Guagua municipal administrator Jun Panganiban said the whole town is still underwater, with water rising at least 5.5 feet in some villages, and 1.5 feet in most barangays. Hardest hit include Barangays Lambac, Natividad, San Jose and San Vicente.
The town ranks as most affected town in the district next to Sasmuan, according to the local disaster response officials.
“We have evacuated 284 families or 1,341 people to evacuation centers here,” Panganiban said.
Classes in all levels here are suspended as of this posting Wednesday as floodwaters have yet to subside.
Local officials here said they are now coordinating relief operations to help the evacuees and those directly affected by high flooding.
Panganiban said the town is currently cut-off from vehicular traffic.
The Guagua-Sasmuan Road along Barangay Bancal and Sto. Nino is currently not passable to all types of vehicles except for watercrafts, said Panganiban.
The Guagua-Bacolor Road in Betis district is also not passable to all types of vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Guagua-Lubao Road and the Guagua-Sta. Rita Road along Barangay San Roque and San Matias are not passable to light vehicles.
Despite this, commercial activity in the town is made possible with the use of watercrafts. People wanting to acquire provisions use “bancas” to maneuver across the town. Officials here said they welcome assistance from different agencies to give assistance to families here affected by the flooding.
Meanwhile, a total of 6,318 families or 29,946 individuals in the municipality of Masantol are affected by floods.
As per information made available by Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Council (MDRRC) officer Edwin Dizon to Alay Bayan Luzon Inc. (ABI-Luzon) a total of 26 barangays of the perennially flooded town were inundated by flood waters ranging from one and half feet to three feet deep.
The barangays affected are Alole, Bangag, Balibago, Bebe Anak, Bebe Matua, Bulacus, Cambasi, Macalule, Nigui, Pagyuba, Palimpi, Puti, Sagrada, San Agustin, San Isidro Matua, San Isidro Anak, San Nicolas, San Pedro, Sapang Cuayan, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia Matua, Sta. Lucia Anak, Sta. Lucia Wakas, Sta. Monica, Sto. Nino and Sua.
While many of the affected barangays were able to evacuate a good number of their affected citizens in relatively safer grounds, some of the residents, particularly in towns along the Manila Bay coast like Sua, Palimpi and Bebe Matua, had to brave the rains and floods to seek safety on the dike walls which relatively elevated.
In the City Of San Fernando, heavy rains submerged low-lying villages here and the nearby town of Sto. Tomas after the ring dike or tail dike in Bacolor breached by almost 100 meters last Tuesday.
Cascading floodwaters coming from Pasig-Potrero and Gugu rivers rolled down through the tail dike near the pumping station in Barangay San Juan here was breached, said City Councilor Renato Agustin.
The continuous flow of rampaging floodwaters through the tail dike marooned barangays San Agustin, Dolores, Sta Teresita, San Felipe, San Jose, Del Pilar, San Nicolas, Lourdes, Sto Nino, Sta Lucia including the provincial Capitol, Agustin said.
Car magnate Levy Laus, together with his fellow members from the Save San Fernando Foundation Inc., shelled out a huge amount of money for the construction of the said tail dike after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in June 12, 1991.
Laus made the bold move and led businessman in San Fernando for the construction of the structure to protect low-lying villages from lahar flows coming down from Mt. Pinatubo.
The ring dike is the extension of the P 1-billion mega dike, which main purpose is to shield western and eastern towns of Pampanga from lahar flowing along Pasig-Potrero River in Bacolor. (Sun.Star Reportorial Team/Ian Ocampo Flora, Fred Villareal and Bert Basa)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 09, 2012.