MANILA - Residents of Alcala, Cagayan need food, clean water, and hygiene kits after historic flooding that reached more than 15 meters submerged majority of the town, its mayor said Tuesday.
Twenty-four out of 25 barangays were inundated in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses, Mayor Cristina Antonio said. Floodwaters have begun to recede, she added.
National highways have been cleared but inner roads remain impassable, the mayor said.
"Three stories high ang baha. Nasira ang crops, umabot sa aming taya ng P42 million, iba pa po sa livestock. Walang belongings ang natira sa mga tao, inanod ng baha. Walang damit, blankets. Mabilis ang pang-angat po ng tubig," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Floodwaters reached three stories high. It destroyed crops, in our estimate, worth P42 million aside from livestock. It took all belongings of residents. They were unable to salvage clothes, blankets. The floods rose quickly.)
Antonio appealed to the public to donate face masks and sanitizers as the threat of COVID-19 remains.
"Sa long-term, ang talagang kailangang tulong ng Alcala ay kung papaano maibsan ang baha nang sa gayon ay hindi na ito paulit-ulit," she added.
Antonio earlier attributed the severe flooding to illegal logging and the narrowing of the Cagayan River in the portion of Sicalao Ridge because of old and deformed sedimentary rocks.
She said she had enlisted the help of scientists to conduct a study on the flood and riverbank erosion on the Cagayan and Pared Rivers in Alcala.
"I hope our leaders, and all of us, will help to save Alcala, and the whole Cagayan Valley. Please, let us listen to our scientists," she said.