51 Luzon villages flooded

At least 51 areas in the provinces of Pampanga and Pangasinan were inundated by up to 2 meters of flood brought by a deadly mix of monsoon rains and high tide, according to officials.

In Pampanga, 27 villages in three towns — Macabebe, Masantol and Guagua — were flooded on Saturday, according to the provincial risk reduction and management office.

Water rose up to more than a meter at the village of Castuli and about a meter at the villages of San Francisco and Consuelo, all in Macabebe. Other villages in the town had floods of less than a meter.

At the village of Mancatian in Porac town, still in Pampanga, flash floods destroyed 35 houses and displaced 32 families. The residents were given food packs.

Water levels monitored in nine stations of the Pampanga River were still below critical levels.

4-meter deep

In Pangasinan, 14 villages in Dagupan City have been submerged in floodwater due to seven days of rain.

On Saturday, water levels ranged from a few centimeters to up to 4 meters deep at the villages of 1, 4, Pantal, Tebeng, Malued, Bacayao Norte, Pogo Chico, Lasip Chico, Poblacion Oeste, Caranglaan, Calmay, Mayombo, Bonuan Gueset and Bonuan Binloc, according to the Dagupan city disaster risk reduction and management office.

Flooding in some villages was aggravated by high tide at the Lingayen Gulf, which raised water levels of rivers and creeks crisscrossing Dagupan, according to Ronald de Guzman, city disaster risk reduction and management officer.

No Panatag trip

Despite the rains, reservoir level at San Roque Dam in San Manuel town was below normal, or 280 meters above sea level, said Avenix Arenas, spokesperson of the Pangasinan provincial disaster risk reduction and management office.

Arenas said fishermen in the province’s coastal towns had been advised not to sail to the West Philippine Sea after the state weather bureau issued a gale warning on Saturday.

Fishermen from Infanta town have been waiting for calm seas in the last five days, hoping to sail to Panatag Shoal (Scarborough) for a weeklong fishing expedition.

But the monsoon rains have been good for the province’s rain-fed agricultural areas, said Nestor Batalla, assistant provincial agriculturist. Farmers have begun preparing their farms for this year’s first rice cropping season, he said. —Reports from Tonette Orejas and Gabriel Cardinoza

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