towns cut off from northern Aurora due to landslide brought by rains

By Jason de Asis


DIPACULAO, Aurora, November 5, 2010–A series of landslides along the mountains in this town, cutting off three in northernmost towns from the rest of the province since Thursday night brought by continues rains and strong winds.


Hundreds of commuters are stranded due to the landslides which occurred  in Sitio Pimpolisan, Barangay Dianed here bound to Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag, adding that the approach of the Dibet Bridge in Casiguran was destroyed by the floods.


A dozen of vehicles were forced to stop when the landslides dumped tree trunks and large boulders along the roads at Sitio Pimpolisan. Among those caught up in the stalled vehicular traffic were an Army truck loaded with rubber boats, a STAR vehicle and CMN News Van which came from Manila.


Elmer Dabbay, district engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways here in Aurora also reported the series of landslides in Barangay Abuleg in Dinalungan.


Dabbay said personnel from the DPWH are now conducting road-clearing operations and that the debris might be removed late afternoon yesterday, adding that they are waiting for the floodwaters to subside before they can conduct full road-clearing operations and hopefully they can make Dinalungan passable.


According to Casiguran Mayor Reynaldo Bitong, waist-deep floodwaters submerged villages in Casiguran due to heavy rains the past three (3) days and no casualties have been reported.


The numbers of families affected by the flash floods have yet to be determined.  


A team from the Philippine Coast Guard had been deployed to help in the evacuation of the affected residents. 


Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said that they have pre-positioned goods to the affected areas in Casiguran. Angara-Castillo said they are still assessing the extent of the damage, mostly to rice crops, adding that after they have come up with the damage assessment, that’s the time when they could possibly declare a state of calamity.


She said that they are not considering forced evacuation in Casiguran unless the situation requires it.


One person was allegedly died in Northern Aurora. Continues retrieval and rescue operations are on-going in the areas affected. (Jason de Asis)