FLOODED ROAD. Portions of the national highway in Iba, Zambales flooded after moderate rains induced by Typhoon Ompong on Saturday (September 15,2018). (Photo Courtesy of PDRRMC Operation Center)

IBA, Zambales -- Some 1,605 families or 5,520 individuals from nine towns here were evacuated as the province felt the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong.

As of Saturday morning, gusty winds, with occasional moderate to heavy rains, were experienced in all of the northern towns of Zambales, with the provincial government placing its rescue teams on standby.

Data from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) indicated that nine of the province’s 13 towns were the most affected, especially the northernmost town of Sta. Cruz - where 992 families were affected.

Out of the number, 969 families or 3,279 persons were taken to 28 evacuation centers here.

In Candelaria town, 215 families were evacuated, and in Masinloc, 200 families.

A total of 122 families were evacuated in Botolan, 46 families in Palauig, 23 families in Castillejos, 19 families in San Marcelino, seven families in San Antonio and four families in Subic town.

The capital town of Iba and three other towns were not seriously affected.

Governor Amor Deloso said although the province was not at the center of the typhoon, the necessary preparations have already been made, including the pre-positioning of relief goods ready to be immediately delivered to those affected by the typhoon, from Sta. Cruz to Subic town.

The governor added that rescue teams are on standby in case the rivers rise.

“The provincial government of Zambales is always ready,” Deloso said.

A red rainfall alert was raised over Zambales and Bataan as of 12 noon Saturday, which means torrential rains may cause serious flooding in the two provinces. (PNA)