Residents seeking shelter in evacuation sites in Southern Palawan.

A total of 512 families, or 2,560 individuals, from seven barangays in the municipality of Brooke’s Point, were evacuated on Wednesday after river water levels rose due to continuous rains caused by the low-pressure area (LPA).

The families who were brought to different evacuation centers were from the barangays of Amas (150), Maasin (4), Pangobilian (100), Poblacion District I (8), Poblacion District II (80), Saraza (100), and Tubtub (70).

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Jeremias Alili, however, said that they are still validating the reports because they are having difficulty connecting with other barangays.

“Medyo struggling kami sa pagkuha ng report sa mga barangay ng Brooke’s Point, particularly Ipilan, Barong-barong, Maasin, Mambalot, Mainit, at Imulnod,” said Alili, adding that the floods caused by the LPA in Brooke’s Point were worse than what happened on December 26 when the shear line also displaced residents.

Rescuers saving a resident from flood waters in Brooke’s Point. | Photo from Brooke’s Point MIO Facebook page

With rescue operations still going on, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (MDRRMO) of Bataraza, Narra, and Quezon have sent augmentation personnel and equipment to assist in the evacuation of affected families.

In a situational report released by the PDRRMO at 5 p.m., sections of the national highway in Brgys. Ipilan, and Tubtub, Mainit Spillway, the Tigaplan Bridge in Brgy. Pangobilian, and a portion of the road in Brgy. Mambalot are still submerged in floods and are unpassable.

In addition to Brooke’s Point, a stretch of the national highway in Sitio Salongsong, Brgy. Iraan, Rizal, was also flooded early in the morning but was passable by 5 p.m., while Lamikan Bridge in Brgy. Calumpang, Quezon, is also inundated.

Rescue operations are also ongoing in the flood-affected areas of Sofronio Espanola based on this video from PDRRMO chief Jerry Alili.

Electricity remains out in Brooke’s Point and its neighboring towns of Sofronio Española and Bataraza.

In an advisory released by the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), the Substation of National Power Corporation (NPC) and the power plant of DMCI Power Corporation were also submerged in floods. PALECO also said linemen cannot be deployed and mobilized as roads in the area are still unpassable.

“Sa ating mga Kamay-ari sa Munisipyo ng Brooke’s Point, Sofronio Espanola hanggang Bataraza, ang aming paumanhin sapagkat hindi pa maibabalik ang kuryente dahil sa sama ng panahon at tuloy-tuloy na pagbaha sa mga nasabing lugar,” PALECO said.

“Pinasok na ng tubig baha ang substation ng National Power Corporation (NPC) sa Brooke’s Point at maging ang power plant ng DMCI.
Hindi rin maka-mobilize ang ating mga lineman sapagkat hindi na kayang daanan ng ating mga sasakyan ang mga kalsadang binaha sa nasabing mga lugar,” it added.

The suspension of classes at all levels that were earlier implemented by the local government units in Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Sofronio Española, Rizal, and Linapacan in the northern part of the province remains in effect for tomorrow.

Work in government and public offices is also suspended in Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, and Sofronio Española.

In Sofronio Española, the affected barangays are Iraray, Labog, Panitian, Pulot Center, Pulot Shore, and Punang. As of 5 p.m., an undetermined number of families had already been moved to evacuation sites by the town’s MDRRMO.