By Freddie Lazaro
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — Classes in all levels, both public and private schools, in the provinces of Cagayan and Quirino; and the local government units (LGUs) of Ilagan City, Cauayan City, and Echague, Roxas, San Pablo, Cabagan and Tumauini, all in Isabela province are suspended this Thursday due to the continuous heavy rains caused by the northeast monsoon enhanced by Typhoon Tisoy.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba declared immediately the suspension of classes in Cagayan province upon the recommendation of the Provincial Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PCCDRRMO) due to the swollen water of Cagayan river and its tributaries.
The temporary closure of schools was also issued to ensure the safety of the residents.
Cagayan Provincial Information Officer Rogelio Sending Jr. said that the officials in the provincial government are conducting close monitoring activities to anticipate the adverse affect of the heavy rains.
Meanwhile, the continuous occurrence of torrential rains in the Cagayan valley provinces had reportedly submerged at least 24 overflow bridges in Isabela and Cagayan provinces on Wednesday.
The local disaster teams had sent rescue teams for possible evacuation of residents living near the following 16 overflow bridges in Isabela province located in the following areas: Cabagan/Sto Tomas; Sta Maria/Cabagan; Alicaocao, Cauayan City; Brgy Sipat, Cauayan City; Turayong, Cauayan City; Brgy Cabisera 8, Ilagan City; Brgy Baculod, Ilagan Cit; Brgy Gucab, Echague; Brgy Annafunan, Echague; Brgy Sto Domingo, Quirino; Brgy Sinaoangan Norte, San Agustin; Brgy Colorado, San Guillermo; Brgy Dipacamo, San Guillermo; Brgy Palawan, San Guillermo; Brgy Fugu,Ilagan City; and Brgy Sta Isabel, Ilagan City. These overflow bridges are also not passable as of Thursday morning.
The eight bridges submerged and not passable due to floodwaters in Cagayan were the Pinacanauan Bridge in Tuguegarao City and those in barangays Bagunot, Abusag, Ibulo, Mocag, Taytay-San Isidro and Santor-Annayatan in Baggao town and Barangay Maguiling in Tuao town.
The water level at the Buntun River in Cagayan had reached 6.65 meters, almost nearing the 12-meter critical level.
Initial report from the Cagayan PCCDRRMO showed that at least 298 families composed of 1,637 person are currently staying in the evacuation centers in the towns of Lasam, Rizal, Baggao, Tuao and Pamplona.
The DSWD Region 2 had prepositioned 29,227 family food packs and 653 NFA/ Vacuum Rice worth P11,143,594.94; and non-food items worth P13,887,410.05 readied for relief operation. The agency had also a standby fund amounting to P3,537,163.35.