Evacuation centers hit by worst floods in Tuguegarao
Raymund Catindig (The Philippine Star) – November 15, 2020 – 12:00am
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines — With 37,327 people displaced by floods following the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, where to bring those who were rescued has become a problem.
This was the predicament expressed by Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba on the ongoing flooding in the province.
The latest report by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) said the evacuees came from 11,392 families in 24 municipalities and this city which were submerged by floodwaters.
“The worst is yet to come,” Mamba told The STAR, saying the situation was made worse by the rising cases of COVID-19 infections in Tuguegarao.
Mamba said the deluge caused by Ulysses is much worse than the flooding in the 1970s.
The governor said they were surprised with the rush of floodwaters coming from Magat Dam, which opened seven spillway gates when it reached the spilling level on Thursday evening.
Authorities said only two evacuation centers in the city are functional – the East Central School and another maintained by the Catholic church.
“That’s why I encourage evacuees to seek shelter with their relatives instead of taking the risk of contracting virus in evacuation centers,” Mamba said.
Board member Maila Cue-Ting said Barangay Carig Norte residents here stayed on the street because the barangay hall, which served as an evacuation center, was flooded.
Tuguegarao City accounts for 5,144 residents displaced by floods in 12 barangays.
The governor said he had to call off the rescue of residents trapped on the roof of their houses here on Friday evening because of poor visibility and strong currents.
A rescuer from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources died after being electrocuted in Barangay Linao on the same evening, he added.
The death of the rescuer brought the typhoon toll in Cagayan to eight, according to PDRRMO figures.
Four people were killed in a landslide in Baggao while two were electrocuted and one drowned in Alcala.
As of 3:30 a.m. yesterday, rescuers of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) resumed operations and extracted 180 trapped residents in four barangays in this city.
There were no immediate reports on where the rescued residents were taken. The PCG rescue operation is still ongoing in Cagayan and Isabela.