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Classes resume in CamSur as massive flooding subsides

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur --- The memorandum for class suspension that took effect January 19 to 20 issued by Camarines Sur Governor and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) Chairperson Luigi Villafuerte was lifted on Sunday, January 22, after rainwaters in most parts of the province subsided.

The trough of the low pressure area (LPA) along with the shear line that impacted the eastern section of Southern Luzon rendered widespread flooding, damages to properties, poor transportation service, and even casualties in the region last week.

Heavy floodings were reported in the towns of Nabua, Libmanan, Buhi, Presentacion, Garchitorena, Baao, Lagonoy, Tinambac, and the City of Iriga as reported by the PDRRMC Secretariat headed by Environment Disaster Management and Emergency Response Office (EDMERO) Chief Luzena N. Bermeo.

Buhi was the most affected among the municipalities with nearly 70% of its barangays submerged in floodwater.

A rock slide was reported in Sitio Malitbog, Iraya, and a rain-induced landslide in the barangays of Pagsangaan and Liwacsa both in Buhi, Camarines Sur.

Minor landslides were also seen in Barangay Del Pilar in Garchitorena; Cristo Rey in Baao; San Sebastian and Agosais in Lagonoy, and in Sitio Dancalan, Brgy. Pantat, Tinambac, Camarines Sur.

At the height of the heavy rains, one hundred 155 families, totalling to 500 people, sought temporary refuge in 14 evacuation centers situated in different areas. As of press time, 153 families (495 people) were still at their designated evacuation centers (ECs).

A destruction was noted at a bridge in Barangay Balaynan in Goa, Camarines Sur due to heavy rains last January 18-21. Source: MDRRMO Goa/PDRRMC/EDMERO

“Thirty-one Harrison Integrated School students from Brgy. Harrison and Garchitorena were holed up in their school. They were not permitted to return home because of flooded areas. The students were later fetched by their guardians,” Bermeo stated.

As of press time, 15 of the nearly 45 spillways that overflowed were still impassable. These spillways are in the municipalities of Lupi, Nabua, Baao, Buhi, Bato, Pasacao and Iriga City.

The PDRRMC issued a memorandum for the province-wide suspension of classes, which lasted for 4 days from January 19. Prior to this, ten municipalities issued localized suspensions of classes on January 17 to ensure the safety of the students, especially those who cross rivers and spillways on their way home.

This municipalities include Caramoan, Garchitorena, Lagonoy, Sipocot, Siruma, Goa, Libmanan, Presentacion, San Jose, and Lupi. LGUs Siruma, Sipocot and, Sagñay, also issued work suspension on Jan. 17.

A “No Swimming and Island Hopping Policy,” which was issued by the PDRRMC, took effect on January 18 and was implemented until the Gale warning was lifted.

“PDRRMC deployed a WASAR team to assist BFP Pili in conducting a search and retrieval operation at Sitio Cabucludan in Brgy. San Jose, Pili. We also sent a WASAR team to help CDRRMO Naga in its search and retrieval operation which was conducted due to a drowning incident happened at Inarihan Farm,” Bermeo added.

Bermeo said that response teams and resources were on standby at the Emergency Operations Center, ready for deployment anytime as they continue to coordinate with BDRRMCs, C/MDRRMOs and other PDRRMC members. Advisories from DOST- PAG and were also sent on real time via SMS and through the PDDRMC’s Facebook page, and Infolinks.

The team also delivered potable water to the barangays which were affected by the heavy downpour where potable water from local sources may be contaminated with dangerous toxins that might produce harmful effects to human beings. (PIA 5/Camarines Sur)


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