Heavy rains trigger floods in Albay and Sorsogon
by MA Loterte
Legazpi City (14 October) -- Heavy rains spawned by a Low Pressure in the eastern part of Visayas triggered flooding and lahar to cascade down from the slopes of Mt. Mayon rendering some major roads in Albay and Sorsogon provinces temporarily impassable to both heavy and light vehicles.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol reported flooding in the towns of Camalig, Guinobatan, Pioduran, Libon including the cities in Ligao and Legazpi, all in Albay, and in the towns of Gubat, Prieto Diaz including Sorsogon City following a 12 hour rains pelting these places Wednesday.
OCD reports said flooding affected portions of road networks along Camalig-Guinobatan Maharlika Highway, Tagaytay road in Camalig, Libon-pantao Road in Libon. Ligao-Pioduran Road in Ligao City, Padang road in this city.
Flash floods also affected the Gubat-Prieto Diaz road and Gogon-San Isidro Sorsogon road in Sorsogon City.
Except for the Padang road in this city which was covered by heavy volume of lahar that cascaded down the slopes of Mayon volcano all these road network were now cleared by government engineers and are now open to traffic.
In Albay, Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda directed various disaster councils with flood and landslide prone areas to be on high alert and prepare for selective evacuation in case heavy rains might further trigger flooding and landslides.
He said villages prone to flooding and landslides are the towns of s Libon, Sto Domingo, Malinao, Manito, the cities of Ligao and Legazpi.
Salceda quoting PDCC report said some 172 families or 897 people from the villages in low lying areas Camalig and Guinobatan were evacuated to safer grounds on Wednesday.
Army Col. Marlou Salazar, commanding officer of the 901st Army Brigade said he has dispatch 10 Army trucks prepositioned for preemptive evacuation measures of residents threatened by flooding and landslides.
Lt. Darwin Nieva Philippine Navy, OCD Bicol spokesman, said the navy, police and DPWH Bicol have also deployed additional six trucks for evacuation purposes.
Salceda also suspended classes in the elementary and secondary level across the province as a preemptive disaster measure.
He also cancelled the Provincial Boy Scout Jamboree set on Wednesday in Manito, Albay because of the bad weather prevailing in the province. Scouters from across the province were sent home via Army trucks.
Disaster managers here, meanwhile, said flood waters submerged the main road networks leading to the town in the 1st district of Albay in barangay Padang, here.
Salceda said as a precautionary measure to prevent loss of lives he directed the various town disaster councils affected by flooding to set up holding areas as temporary evacuation sites for residents affected by flooding and landslide.
Elsewhere in Bicol, roads traversing the Maharlika Highways in the provinces of Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte are passable to light and heavy vehicles. (PIA V) [top]