By Emil G. Gamos
MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, (PNA) — Rampaging floodwaters cascading from the Sierra Madre mountains submerged the entire town of San Miguel while 20 villages in nearby San Ildefonso town were also inundated as heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Santi pounded the eastern part of the province early Saturday morning.
Residents in San Miguel town were caught flatfooted as raging floods swept through their villages as Typhoon Santi made land fall in Aurora, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported Saturday.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado dispatched police rescue teams equipped with boats and jet skis to rescue residents affected by rampaging flashfloods that swept through the entire town of San Miguel and at least 20 villages in the neighboriong town of San Ildefonso as Typhoon Santi made land fall in the eastern section of Luzon Saturday morning.
Alvarado said that based on reports received by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, all 43 villages in San Miguel were submerged under 5 feet of rampaging flashfloods while at least 20 villages in San Ildefonso were inundated under 3 to 4 feet of flashfloods that cascaded from the Sierra Madre mountains.
Alvarado said that familes affected will be evacuated to different evacuation centers where government teams will provide foods and medical needs of the flood victims.
The governor is also closely coordinating with engineers and officials of Bustos, Ipo and Angat dams.
He said he told dam operators in Bustos to make gradual releases in order to expand the water carrying capacity of the dam so that it can still hold when Ipo dam releases their excess waters.
As of 7:00 a.m. Saturday, the water elevation at Bustos dam was 17.40 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters) while the water elevation at Ipo dam was 100.32 meters (spilling level 101 meters).
Bustos dam opened its rubber gate 4 and discharged a total of 492.345 cubic meters per second after the water level reached 17.78 breachiong its spilling level by 8 meters.
“I told the operators of Bustos dam to made dradual discharge kasi kaya pa ng Angat river at makakabuti ito kapag nagpawala naman ang Ipo dam dahil makakaya na ng Busto ang papawalang tubig ng Ipo,” Alvarado said.
He also thanked God for sparing many parts of the province from the wrath of Typhoon Santi.
PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal said that heavy rains and strong winds have destroyed play plants ready for harvest in the towns of Plaridel. Baliuag, Bustos, Balagtas and Guiguinto.
She said they are still assessing the damages wrought by the typhoon.