Evacuation enforced in Apayao high-risk areas

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LANDSLIDE. Huge rocks block the road near Bubulayan bridge in Pudtol, Apayao on Friday (Nov. 8, 2019). The public is advised to stay alert and take precautionary measures du to flooding and landslides in the province. (Photo courtesy of the Local Risk Reduction and Management Council of Pudtol)

LAOAG CITY –The Local Risk Reduction and Management Councils in the northern Philippines maintained red alert status as of Friday as the Apayao River and its tributaries continue to swell due to torrential rains, affecting hundreds of residents living in high-risk areas prone to flood and landslides.

As a precautionary measure, Apayao Governor Eleanor Bulut-Begtang has ordered all Municipal Risk Reduction and Management Council Offices covering the seven municipalities of Apayao to conduct pre-emptive and forced or assisted evacuation immediately.

In Pudtol town, some residents are posting photos of their homes underwater on social networking sites as they were brought to evacuation centers.

“We thought of evacuating already but we keep on praying the rosary for the rain to stop. God has mercy,” said Felisa Yanos in Imelda village.
Employees and several volunteers at the Amma Jadsac District Hospital are also putting sandbags in front of the hospital to prevent the entry of floodwaters.

As of posting time, preemptive evacuations are ongoing in the municipalities of Santa Marcela, Flora, Kabugao, and Pudtol in Apayao, according to the provincial disaster management council. At least 25 families or 93 persons were evacuated so far.

STRANDED VILLAGERS. Rescue teams help stranded villagers in Pudtol, Apayao on Friday (Nov. 8, 2019). (Photo courtesy of the Local Risk Reduction and Management Council of Pudtol)

Local government unit emergency response teams are also prepositioning goods and rescue vehicles.

The public is also advised to be careful of falling rocks and landslides when passing through the Bubulayan bridge in Pudtol town as the road was temporarily closed due to rockfall.

Even before Typhoon Quiel entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), torrential rains already spawned flood and several landslides in the northern Luzon provinces, such as Ilocos Norte and its neighboring provinces of Cagayan and Apayao.

“We are again appealing for everyone especially those located along flood-prone and landslide-prone communities to be vigilant and evacuate if necessary. Life is sacred, let’s help one another to save it,” said Albert Bacuyag, Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer III in Conner, Apayao on his Facebook account while monitoring the weather condition in his hometown.

In Calanasan town, members of the town council led by Vice Mayor Shamir Bulut convened a special session on Thursday as they declared Calanasan, Apayao under a state of calamity due to the occurrence of the landslides, flash floods and swelling of rivers which affected farmlands and road infrastructure projects. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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