Floods submerge farms, houses in eastern Laguna town

By Romulo Ponte
Southern Luzon Bureau
Last updated 04:10pm (Mla time) 08/08/2007

SAN PABLO CITY, Philippine — A heavy downpour from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning submerged some portions of ricefields and houses in the eastern Laguna town of Mabitac while disaster officials are monitoring possible overflow of main rivers in the nearby towns of Siniloan, Pangil, Famy, Sta. Maria and adjacent towns.


On Wednesday morning, the active low pressure area east of Northern Luzon intensified into tropical depression “Dodong,” enhancing the southwest monsoon and bringing more rains over Luzon, particularly the western section, the weather bureau said.


In Mabitac, overflowing rivers caused floodwaters to reach knee-deep in the town proper, submerging houses and nearby ricefields as of Wednesday afternoon.


Willy Malihan, operator of the Mabitac Engineering Office, confirmed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the river had overflowed.


African priest Father Yves Dockery, who manages the Poblete Youth House with 50 abandoned children under its wing, said the shelter had been submerged by almost knee-deep water.


He added that if the rains continue more residents in nearby village of San Antonio would be affected.


Father Frederick Villareal of the Servants of the Poor Missionary, who resides in San Antonio, said continuous rains increased the volume and the water level of the river located nearby, which was enough to submerge several hectares of newly planted ricefields.


In Siniloan town, Cresan Bulalayao of the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council told the Inquirer that although the water level of their main river had risen, he was hoping for rains to slow down so that it would not overflow.


Personnel of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) stationed in Sta. Cruz town are on alert.


Earlier, in Lumban, Laguna, a power company official said the heavy downpour overnight of Tuesday improved the water level of the Caliraya Dam, which generates electricity for the Laguna and Luzon power needs.


“God was so good that He heard our prayers for more rains to end the dry spell which was threatening to wreck havoc on the lives of farmers and households, said Carlos Cabrego, revenue production division chief of the First Laguna Electric Cooperative (FLECO).


As of Wednesday morning, Romeo Panisales, spokesperson of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) said rains continued to pour over the main rivers of the towns of Mabitac, Siniloan, Pangil, Famy, Sta. Maria and nearby towns but none had overflowed, yet.


He added that residents in landslide-prone areas in the village of Dambo in Pangil town have been on constant alert in case of any disaster.


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