DISASTER RESPONSE. Rescuers in Pudtol, Apayao brave the floodwaters as they respond to a distress call from stranded residents of Barangay Alem on Sunday (Dec. 13, 2020). Incessant rains since Saturday night caused flash flood in the area. (Photo from the Facebook page of the Municipal Government of Pudtol)

PUDTOL, Apayao – Search and rescue teams from the Bureau of Fire Protection and the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office on Sunday rescued eight persons, including one with disability, who were trapped on the other side of a river due to a flash flood that affected low-lying villages here.

A spot report of the municipal government unit of Pudtol said incessant heavy rains since Saturday night caused sudden flooding in Barangays Cabatacan, San Mariano, Alem and Imelda.

While checking on their farm animals, two residents from Cabatacan and one from Imelda got stranded on the other side of Malunog River when it suddenly swelled.

A distress call reached Mayor Hector Ruel Pascua and the search and rescue team immediately proceeded to the area with their motorized rubber boats.

Barely five minutes after rescuing the three persons trapped on the other side of the river, another distress signal from Barangay Alem reached the team. A family of five, including a person with disability, was evacuated from their flooded house before the water rose to dangerous levels.

Residents said they are thankful for the swift action of the responders, who were armed with life-saving equipment.

“Glad to see Pudtol having those equipment and people involving themselves as they respond to natural calamities,” said a netizen upon seeing the actual footage of the rescue operations posted on social media on Sunday. (PNA)