Flood-hit Nueva Ecija residents on rooftops

Aaron Lozada, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Oct 19 2015 03:47 AM | Updated as of Oct 19 2015 11:47 AM

A rescue team in Nueva Ecija uses a pump boat to reach stranded residents in flood-hit areas. Photo by Kalvin Joson

MANILA - Residents of flood-hit towns in Nueva Ecija have climbed onto their rooftops as they wait to be rescued by authorities amid the onslaught of Typhoon "Lando."

In an interview with DZMM early morning on Monday, San Antonio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Antonino Lustre said that the entire town of San Antonio, Nueva Ecija was submerged in flood.

"Bahang-baha po ang buong bayan namin, lahat po ng barangay, naka-lubog na po," Lustre said.

According to the town mayor, many residents have climbed onto their rooftops starting Sunday afternoon as floodwaters in some areas of the town reached the rooftops of houses.

"Marami na pong nasa bubong na," Lustre told DZMM. "Hanggang bubong na po yung iba, At dito po, meron pong baranggay na lubog na. Nagpa-rescue kami kanina, at katunayan ngayon, sa gym namin sa harap ng munisipyo, merong mga more or less 450 (katao) ang andito na inilikas po namin."

However, certain areas of the flood-hit Nueva Ecija town remained unreachable to rescuers. Not even the town's rescue boat was able to reach the stranded residents.

"Marami pa pong nagpapa-rescue kaya lamang po ay hindi na mapuntahan. Meron po kaming isang motor boat, tinatangay naman ng agos. Hindi kaya. Hindi naman po marating ng truck," Lustre said.

"Ngayong hapon lang po bago dumilim (umakyat ang mga tao sa bubong). Kaya lang, kahit po mga truck, di na marating. Kaya po ang payo namin, pumunta sa pinakamataas na bahagi ng bahay. Merong nasa kisame na nga, merong nasa bubong na," he added.

Parts of Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija were submerged in floodwaters. Photo by Kalvin Joson

RESCUE OPS ONGOING

Meanwhile, Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio said rescue operations are ongoing in the typhoon-hit province.

"Ngayon po, napaka-rami naming rescue operations na kino-conduct po ngayon, kasi po, at least po, sa aming eksperyensiya in the past, na kapag ang tubig po ay manggagaling sa kabundokan ng Gabaldon at pagka sinabayan po ng tubig galing upper Penaranda, 'pag nagsalubong po ito, ang tatamaan po ay tatlo o apat na distrito ng Nueva Ecija," Umali said in a phone interview on DZMM.

Umali said many barangays are submerged in flood waters in many towns in Nueva Ecija. Rescue operations in these flood-hit towns have been ongoing since Sunday.

"Dito po sa Cabanatuan, halos marami na pong barangay, marami kaming rescue operations na ginagawa ngayon. Iyon naman pong pagtaas ng tubig nagmumula sa upper Penaranda, ito po ang sanhi kaya bumaha ang Gapan kaninang umaga at ito pong San Leonardo," Umali noted.

"Tapos in the afternoon, binabaaha po ang San Isidro at continuous po ang resue operations na ginagawa dito. Sa Cabiao, may tatlo po na mino-monitor," he added.

The governor also said that the province may start evacuating patients inside a hospital, which is being threatened by floods.

"[Sa] San Antonio, specifically, yun pong aming district hospital, may tubig na ang emergency room. Pero iyon pong mga kuwarto ay hindi pa. May contingency na po, na merong malapit dito na mataas-taas na bahay, na ililipat po yung ibang mga pasyente," Umali explained.

DEATH TOLL

Umali earlier said that there were two recorded casualties in the province.

"Upon reaching Palayan City, particularly the Barangay Sapang Buho, the place could no longer be accessible dahil malaki na 'yung baha dun sa area. And 'yung rescue operations na nandoon, I was told na dalawang bangkay po ang nakita nila na inaanod ng malakas na tubig," Umali said in a phone interview on ANC's News Now.

However, Umali said they have yet to identify the two individuals to validate the report as the rescue operations are still ongoing in the area.

Umali said more than 3,000 evacuated individuals, including about 786 families, were staying in temporary shelters in Nueva Ecija as of Sunday evening due to "Lando."