Homes submerged by floodwaters in Barangay Barong-barong in Brooke's Point town, Southern Palawan. | Contributed photo

Persistent rains brought by a low-pressure area (LPA) affecting the province of Palawan flooded several barangays in the towns of Brooke’s Point and Sofronio Española early Wednesday morning.

Brooke’s Point Mayor Cesareo R. Benedito, Jr. has issued a memorandum suspending classes in all levels and work in government and private offices.

The memorandum was issued in reaction to the Red Rainfall Warning raised by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in the town, including Rizal.

Later in the day, the towns of Sofronio Española and Bataraza were placed under Orange Rainfall Warning, while Balabac, Quezon and a portion of this city was placed under Yellow Rainfall Alert.

Imulnod-Cabinbin Bridge in Brgy. Imulnod, Brooke’s Point, washed away by raging flood waters. | Photo by Gee Na

In the situational report released by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) at 1:30 p.m., barangays Tubtub, Pangobilian, Barong-barong, Mainit, Aribungos, Ipilan, Imulnod, Mambalot, Maasin, Mainit, and Saraza are already submerged in flood with neck-deep waters in some areas. A landslide also occurred in Brgy. Mainit.

The municipal DRRMO has already deployed personnel to various areas in cooperation with the 24th Marine Company of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) to conduct rescue operations and evacuate affected families.

PDRRMO head Jeremias Alili said the municipal DRRMO is still conducting validation of the number of families evacuated.

A portion of national highway in Brgys. Mambalot, Ipilan, Barong-Barong, Aribungos, Pangobilian, and Oring-oring are unpassable to light vehicles leaving hundreds of motorists stranded. Mainit Spillway and Tigaplan Bridge are unpassable to light vehicles leaving hundreds of motorists stranded. Cabinbin Hanging Bridge in Brgy. Imulnod has also collapsed due to sudden rise of waters.

Flooding in Sofronio Española

Electricity and communication lines have already been severed, making it difficult for rescue workers to reach remote places where residents have been advised to relocate to higher ground.

“Ginagawaan na namin ng paraan, umapaw na kasi ang tubig sa tigaplan brigde kaya di na makatawid ang mga rescuer, may mga nakatawid na na iba pero sa ngayon hindi namin alam kung saang area na sila,” a personnel from MDRRMO said.

In Sofronio Española, barangays Punang and Iraray were also reportedly flooded.

The PDRMMO is still assessing and evaluating the number of evacuees who were brought to temporary shelters.

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