MANILA - The provincial government of Isabela is conducting air, land and sea operations to rescue and send relief to stranded residents, particularly in isolated barangays amid the worst flooding to hit the province in half a century.
“First district tinamaan nang husto ng pagbaha. Hindi namin akalain na ganito babaha dito sa lalawigan ng Isabela. First time itong nangyari in 50 years,” said Gov. Rodito Albano III.
(The first district was badly affected by the flood. We did not expect this kind of flooding in Isabela. This is the first time in 50 years that it happened.)
The province’s first district is composed of Ilagan City and the towns of Cabagan, Delfin Albano, Divilacan, Maconacon, Tumauini, San Pablo, Sta. Maria and Sto. Tomas.
“Sanay kami sa baha pero medyo overwhelmed kami, medyo matindi pagbaha ngayon,” he said.
(We’re used to flooding but we're overwhelmed because the flooding this time is intense.)
The Philippine Coast Guard Aviation Force took aerial video of the situation in some towns in Isabela which were affected by widespread flooding, while on board a helicopter bound for Tuguegarao City.
The crew will participate in the conduct of swift rescue operations in Cagayan province.
“Nung nage-aerial kami kanina, drop na lang kami ng drop ng relief sa mga bubong sa helicopter,” said Albano in an interview on TeleRadyo.
(We undertook an aerial, we dropped relief on roofs through the helicopter.)
Melanio Vitariga Jr, acting spokesman of Isabela's disaster office, earlier said that some 144,241 individuals are affected by the floods and that numbers may rise as they continue to receive reports from other parts of the province.
Five people have been reported missing from the floods, Vitariga added.
The governor said that their evacuation centers were also flooded.
“Ang problema walang makapunta sa evacuation centers. Dadalhin namin sa dry land 'yung nare-rescue,” he said.
(No one can go to the evacuation centers because they're flooded. Instead, we bring people we rescued to dry land.)
Albano also expressed worries over possible health problems caused by the floods.
“Ang inaalala ko 'yung aftermath kasi magkakaroon ng dengue 'yan, may pandemic pa na COVID. Kailangang palakasin resistensiya ng mga ito,” he said.
(I’m worried about the aftermath because there will be dengue and there is still COVID. We need to strengthen their immune system.)