Areas in Southern Luzon Declared under ‘State of Calamity’

By , on August 20, 2013

No, not a river -- it's a road in Pasig City. Photo from Junerey Baladhay.
No, not a river — it’s a road in Pasig City. Photo from Junerey Baladhay.

Steady torrential rains brought by the southwest monsoon and amplified by tropical storm ‘Maring’ rendered 4 provinces, 3 towns, and 3 major cities devastated and soon declared under state of calamity.

These provinces are Pampanga, Bataan, Laguna, and Cavite – all of which are just an hour or two away from Metro Manila. The towns of Cabacan in Ilocos Sur and San Mateo and Taytay in Rizal were also placed under the state of calamity. Metropolitan cities of Paranaque, Muntinlupa, and Pateros were also declared to be in a state of calamity.

Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon Ejercito has placed the entire province of Laguna under the state of calamity, calling for rescue assistance and relief operations for his constituents. 69 barangays in the province of Laguna are heavily flooded.

The local government is trying its best to assist 47 local evacuation centers in the municipalities of San Pedro, Biñan, and Sta. Rosa, which were all declared under the state of calamity Monday morning.

San Pedro Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz said that their situation is even worse than Typhoon ‘Ondoy’ in 2009.

In the municipality of Biñan, Roman Carencia of the Biñan Public Information Office informed the media that relief goods and operations are on their way to over 9,000 residents who were evacuated due to severe flooding.

While according to Sta. Rosa Mayor Arlene Arcillas, their local rescue team has evacuated communities to higher elevations to avoid casualties. Since Sunday night, 15 out of the 18 barangays in sta. Rosa, Laguna are flooded because the entire municipality is a catch basin.

Puno na rin mga school at ibang evacuation center…may mga area na ‘di mapasok. Ang pinakamababa ay hanggang baywang at pinakamataas ay abot hanggang bahay nila kaya nandoon sila sa itaas ng bubong (The schools and evacuation centers are full. There are some areas that are isolated and beyond reach. Some people sought refuge on their roofs because the flood waters have reached the top of their houses; the lowest flooding is about waist-deep.)” Arcillas said.

Boats and dump trucks are required to gain access to areas where flood waters are too high. Many factory workers are stranded in Barangay Balibago and it is the local government’s priority to get the stranded individuals to safety.

While in Metro Manila, the Marikina River has gone beyond its 18-meter critical point and has started affecting nearby areas, forcing many families to evacuate. While in Quezon City, the La Mesa Dam has reached its critical spilling level Tuesday morning.

The steady rains, which started pouring on Saturday, has affected over 600,000 individuals as of date or 125,000 families according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and between 60 to 75% of Metro Manila is now submerged in flood water, about 347 areas in a total of 42 municipalities. Areas vary from gutter-deep waters to perilous chest-deep floods.

With reports from Louis Bacani, Dennis Carcamo, Jullianne Love de Jesus