FLOODING. Some 24 barangays in Pangasinan province experience flooding caused by severe tropical storm Florita. The Pangasinan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is still on red alert status as of Aug. 25, 2022. (Photo by Hilda Austria)

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – The Pangasinan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) is still under red alert status due to flooding in some 24 barangays of the province and in anticipation of flooding in other areas if rain continues in the uplands.
 
In a phone interview on Thursday, PDRRMO emergency operations center director Ron Castillo said two river systems in the province have already overflowed while some are at critical level following the onslaught of severe tropical storm Florita that brought heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday.
 
“Sinocalan River and Marusay River in Santa Barbara and Calasiao towns, respectively, have overflowed. We are still closely monitoring as water from the upstream still goes down to our river systems, which might bring flooding in some more areas,” he said.
 
As of Thursday, there are three barangays flooded in Santa Barbara town, eight in Lingayen town, one in Alaminos City, eight in Calasiao town, and four in Binmaley town, Castillo said.
 
There are also flooded areas in Dagupan City but as a component city, its report goes directly to the Office of the Civil Defense, he said.
 
“The flooding in these barangays was recorded at four inches to four feet high,” he added.
 
Some seven families or 26 individuals were evacuated in Alaminos City due to the flooding.
 
San Carlos City, Dagupan City, and Calasiao town still suspended classes from preschool to high school both public and private, while Lingayen town also canceled classes from preschool to high school in public schools only on Thursday, he said.
 
Gale warning is still up in the province prohibiting small boats from sailing while there were no reported injuries or casualties due to the typhoon.
 
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture Ilocos regional office (DA-1) said initial damage to agriculture in the Ilocos Region has reached PHP3 million.
 
“Palay incurred the highest production loss pegged at PHP2.9 million equivalent to 627 hectares of partially-damaged agricultural land. The volume of lost production is estimated at 216.70 metric tons,” it said in its statement on Wednesday. 
 
The DA-1 has assured that agricultural interventions would be released to typhoon-affected farmers when the need arises.
 
“To date, the office has a buffer stock of 20,000 bags of rice seeds, around 2,700 bags of corn seeds, and 520 kilograms of vegetable seeds ready for distribution,” it said.
 
The reported damage is still subject to validation by the DA-1 team to draw more accurate data to determine appropriate needed intervention, it added. (PNA)