Punang Elementary School in Sofronio Española flooded during the first day of new year. (Photo courtesy of Agnes Sala)

Five-feet high flood water swamped an elementary school in Barangay Punang, Sofronio Española, causing serious damage to equipment and around 12 classrooms on the first day of 2019, school officials said.

Punang Elementary School (PES) principal Dora Abid said the flooding damaged their electric fans, instruction materials, books, refrigerator, bags of rice for the feeding program and laptop computers.

“Wala na rin ‘yong baha ‘yon nga lang ang damages marami. Basa ang mga aklat, ‘yong mga instructional materials ng mga teacher, lahat ng mga equipment namin dahil flashflood (The flood has subsided but it caused a lot of damages. Books were left wet and destroyed, instructional materials of the teachers too, all our equipment because of the flash flood),” Abid said.

Abid added their school is not new to flooding but the volume of water caught them unprepared.

She said they noticed that the flooding situation in PES only got worst after the road was repaired and elevated.

“Paulit-ulit na ‘yan pero meron din time na medyo mababaw lang din, ngayon talagang malalim sya. Simula noong mataasan ang kalsada, syempre kung gaano kataas ang kalsada ganoon na rin kalalim ang tubig dito sa school kumbaga ang mga outlet, kaya naipon ang tubig (This happens every now and then but only of little depth, however, recently it’s already deep. When the road was repaired and elevated, it became like this in the school, it sort of became an outlet for water to collect),” she said.

Abid said most affected areas in Punang are the barangay proper and their school.

She said there is an ongoing clearing operation in the school but it needs more manpower to fast-track the cleaning.

“Sa ngayon wala pang nalilinis masyado, nag-request na kami sa fire office ng Sofronio Española. Pahirapan din dahil wala pa kami makuha na katulong na maglinis at saka walang tubig, walang tubig na makunan ang fire truck (Nothing has been cleaned so far because we’re still requesting from the fire office of Sofronio Española for help. It’s hard because we can’t get help to clean up and the fire truck can’t get water anywhere),” she said.

She appealed to government officials for help to resume classes next week.

“Need sana namin na tulong kung pwede maipaabot sa ating municipal government or provincial government or kung kanino man na sana matulungan kami na matambakan ang aming school area. Tapos kung meron man building na itatayo, sana taasan na agad yong aming ground floor na lagpasan yong kalsada ng highway (We need help from our municipal and provincial governments or whoever can help us fix flooded areas with soil. And if there is any plan to put up a school building, I hope they elevate the ground floor, higher than the level of the highway),” she pointed out.