MANILA (UPDATED) - Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday midnight said Philippine Marine rescue teams were sent to Cagayan Valley to rescue residents trapped inside their homes and rooftops due to severe flooding caused by Typhoon Ulysses and the northeastern monsoon.
"Asking if possible to deploy air assets now. Waiting for feedback. Was assured Marine Rescue Teams are on their way," Robredo said in a tweet.
She later said in another tweet that aerial rescue might not continue at night since it's dangerous.
"Received word from retired military officer that aerial rescue at night is very dangerous and most civilian choppers and its pilots are not night flying capable," Robredo said.
Rescue teams also faced problems making their way to Cagayan, specifically Tuguegarao, because of the strong water current and they still had to load rubber boats on their trucks.
Tens of thousands of residents in Cagayan and nearby provinces part of Cagayan River have been trapped in their homes since the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, with some urgently calling for help via social media.
Due to Typhoon Ulysses and the monsoon rains, Magat Dam in the region had to release excess water after it reached critical level. Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said this "exacerbated" flooding in Cagayan province.
"Kaya ngayon po napakataas ng level ng Cagayan River," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
According to a disaster management official, Cagayan turned into a "Pacific Ocean" due to the deluge in the province.
"Lahat ng mga munisipyo na tabi ng Cagayan River, ay baha ngayon. Grabe ang baha ngayon sa Cagayan, na-surpass niya 'yung previous na baha nung 2019," Col. Ascio Macalan of Cagayan Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Office said.