ILAGAN, Isabela – Three people were added to the number of fatalities here after floods caused by incessant rains continue to rise in Cagayan and Isabela towns.The casualties has brought the number of those who died to six, including one-year old Joshua Barceliano, who was reportedly swept away by raging waters in Claveria, Cagayan.The other flood-related casualties were identified as Leuterio Badajos, 54; and a certain Ama Cawilan, both from Cagayan while one unidentified victim was recorded in San Mariano town.
Danilo Tumamao, Isabela’s agriculture chief, said the floods have already inundated more than 20,000 hectares of farmlands in the province. An estimated 50,000 metric tons of rice, corn and other high-value crops worth approximately P110 million were also lost.
The continuous rains, which hit the region in the last five days, have affected nearly 30,000 families or 100,000 individuals in Cagayan and Isabela.
In Cagayan’s capital city of Tuguegarao, officials have declared the city under a state of calamity after reports disclosed that 39 of its 49 villages went under water with about 7,000 families or more than 20,000 individuals being affected or displaced due to the continued rains.
City officials, however, said they can immediately utilize some P6 million from the remaining P17 million calamity funds to aid the families badly hit by the disaster.
More villages in Cagayan were submerged as waters along the Pinacanauan, Abuan and Cagayan rivers swelled while two villages in Solana town were already isolated.
Earlier, local officials led by Mayor Jose Mari Diaz of Ilagan declared Isabela’s capital town in a state of calamity after nearly 71 of its 91 barangays having 3,000 families were severely affected by the floods.
Cabagan tops the numbers of affected families in Isabela with 4,522, other hard hit areas were San Pablo, 1,518; Tumauini, 1,988; Santo Tomas, 1,875; Santa Maria, 1,252; Delfin Albano, 1,116; Mallig, 149; Santa Maria,1,252; and Cauayan City, 22.
Benito Soliven, Angadanan and Roxas all in Isabela, are also among the areas affected by continuous rains
Relief operations and evacuations are being made round the clock by volunteers from disaster coordinating councils and personnel from the local government units to accommodate the increasing number of affected families.
Meanwhile, personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways have advised motorists coming from the northernmost parts of the region to take the Tuguegarao-Mallig road as the national highway connecting Cagayan and Isabela remain impassable.