The municipality of Allacapan in Cagayan province was placed under a state of calamity over heavy flooding brought about by continuous rains during the onslaught of Tropical Depression “Odette,” while several road systems in the Cordillera were closed to vehicular traffic caused by landslides on Friday.
Mayor Harry Florida said nearly all the 27 villages in the town have been submerged resulting in the isolation of six villages and destroying some P2 million-worth of agricultural crops.
”We have lost more than 50 percent of the rice plants ready for harvest in 9,680 hectares that were heavily flooded,” Florida said, adding that the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) is experiencing difficulties to reach the area to bring relief goods to the residents.
“Our roads are flooded up to waist level. At least three overflow bridges in the town are not passable and its approaches were also washed away,” he said.
Floodwaters coming from a washed out irrigation canal in Barangay Dagupan also aggravated flooding in Allacapan while flashflood affected the villages of Cabagu and Nanaragan in Ballesteros town.
A landslide occured in Barangay Alingeden in Baggao town.
Task Force Lingkod Cagayan-Quick Reaction Team (TFLC-QRT) confirmed at least one missing person, Victorino Fajardo Jr., of Barangay Batalan, believed to have drowned in Sicalao village in Lasam town.
In the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the Abra–Kalinga road particularly along the Gacab–Malibcong section in Abra were closed to vehicular traffic while the Conner– Kabugao road along the Badduat and Luttuacan section; Calanasa, Apayao–Ilocos Norte road at the Sadel section; Banaue–Hungduan–Benguet boundary road particularly at Tulludan, Tinoc, Ifugao and the Junction Talubin-Barlig-Natonin-Paracelis road particularly at the Balabag section in Barlig were impassable because of landslides.
Government officials suspended classes from the pre-school to secondary level in Abra early Friday morning while all pre-school to high school students in Apayao province were not allowed to attend school.
Classes in all pre-schools were also suspended in Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mt. Province as these provinces were under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal number 1 since Friday morning.
In Mt. Purgatory in Itogon, Benguet, trekkers and hikers were barred from mountain climbing or trekking to avoid accidents.
Meanwhile, at least five boats with a total of 17 passengers on board were forced to remain in Santa Ana town and Batanes province since Thursday as they awaited the passing of “Odette.”
The Philippine Coast Guard in Northern Eastern Luzon said wharves were completely closed to vessel traffic until Saturday for the safety of sailors and passengers.
with THOM F. PICAÑA