LEGAZPI CITY: Massive flooding from heavy rainfall brought by the tail end of a cold front submerged four towns of Camarines Sur on Wednesday while more than 200 vehicles headed to the Visayas and Mindanao were stranded along Rolanda Andaya Highway in Del Gallego town.
Lucena Bermeo, Environment Disaster Management and Emergency Response Office said several rivers and spillways overflowed after heavy rainfall that caused an upsurge of water in the low-lying areas flooding 15 barangay (villages) in the towns of Ragay, Cabusao, Del Gallego and Lupi in the first district of Camarines Sur.
In Barangay Poblacion Ilaod in Ragay town, floodwaters reached hip level affecting 175 families or 735 persons. In Barangay Panaytayan, at least 269 families or 1,022 people were affected when Ragay River overflowed.
The villages of Apad, Amomokpok and Laguio were also flooded.
A public market area in Barangay Sinuknipan, Del Gallego was also flooded as well as the Sitio (sub-villages) of Napatas, Looban and Centro in Barangay Barcelonita of Cabusao town, affecting 219 families.
The spillways connecting the villages of Poblacion, Barrera and San Pedro also overflowed, including other spillways connecting the villages of Napolidan and San Pedro.
The bridge connecting the villages of Colacling and Bulawan as well as San Pedro spillway also overflowed due to the heavy rains, a disaster official said.
Bermeo also reported that at least nine people earlier reported missing in San Vicente, Caramoan were rescued in San Andres, Catanduanes.
Six of the nine missing were being taken cared of in Calolbon, San Andres town, according to the report of Julius Reazo, village chief of Barangay San Vicente.
Meanwhile, the road in Barangay Comadaycaday affected by a landslide was opened to motorists at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday after the DPWH conducted clearing operations.
Claudio Yucot, OCD-Bicol director said that a portion of Barangay Comadaycaday in Del Gallego town was barely passable to vehicles coming from Manila to Bciol and vice versa after a landslide.
At about 6 a.m. on Wednesday, the Del Gallego municipal police station reported a heavy build up of motorists to the municipal disaster risk reduction management office (MDRRMO) and requested for heavy equipment to clear the debris in the national highway.
Yucot warned Bicolanos and disaster officials to be on guard and ready to evacuate specifically in areas identified as landslide and flood-prone.
Santo Domingo town Mayor Herbie Aguas also called on village officials in landslide-prone areas to be ready and enforce localized evacuation if needed to prevent untoward incidents due to the heavy rains.
Aside from a landslide in Camarines Sur, flooding also affected the low-lying areas of Legazpi City on Wednesday morning but the flood subsided before midday.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council has warned that heavy rainfall in Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte will cause possible flooding and landslide.
Moderate to heavy rainfall was also expected over Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Marinduque areas.