MANILA - The release of water from the Pantabangan Dam on Thursday - due to continuous rains still brought about by tropical depression Pepeng (international code name Parma) - has caused flooding in parts of Pampanga, the province's disaster response council said.
The Pampanga Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council confirmed that the Pantabangan Dam released excess water at around 5 p.m. Thursday, causing a sudden rise in water levels in several barangays in Candaba, which is along the Pampanga River.
Candaba is already inundated by floodwaters, brought about by days of rains. Only boats and tractors, locally called "tora-toras", can enter the town due to the floods.
Around 30 people were evacuated from Barangays Buas, Paralaya, Gulap, and Lanang, but some residents elected to remain in their homes, saying they are already used to the situation.
Meanwhile, Barangay San Agustin, still in Candaba, cannot be entered by the police due to chest-deep floodwaters.
The evacuees are currently staying at the Pampanga Agricultural College in the town.
Candaba police and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are monitoring the rise of water levels in the town.
The town also has speedboats and lifesaving equipment ready, as well as preemptive evacuation plans in case water levels rise further.
The PDCC also said barangays are also underwater in Macabebe (7 barangays), Guagua (5), San Simon (9), Masantol (7), and San Luis (7). A total of 9 barangays in Candaba are flooded. With a report from Gracie Rutao, ABS-CBN Pampanga