138 BARANGAYS IN PAMPANGA, BULACAN INUNDATED, 1 DEATH

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA, September 4, 2003 (STAR) By Ding Cervantes  - Floodwaters again rose in low-lying parts of Central Luzon, drowning a woman whose house was washed away by strong currents at a subdivision here and inundating at least 138 barangays in this province and Bulacan.

Daryll Sanchez, of the Pampanga disaster coordinating council, identified the drowning victim as 56-year-old Virginia Guevarra, whose concrete house at Phase 3 of St. Jude Village in Barangay Dolores here was swept away by strong currents from the Gugu creek Tuesday night.

At least 101 barangays were reported under floodwaters as high as four feet in the towns of Masantol, Macabebe, San Luis, Lubao, Sto. Tomas, Sta. Rita, Apalit, Candaba, Minalin, Guagua and Floridablanca, and this city.

Thousands of workers reached their offices here on foot as trees felled along the MacArthur Highway caused a massive traffic jam. Traffic was also heavy along the Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road.

Many schools across the province suspended classes yesterday even as the weather improved.

Sanchez said Guagua is the worst-hit by flash floods with 24 of its barangays inundated. The town is situated on the banks of the Guagua-Pasac River where the Department of Public Works and Highways is carrying out massive dredging projects costing some P2.5 billion provided by the Japan International Bank of Cooperation.

As of noon yesterday, the Mancantian Road linking Angeles City and Porac, Pampanga was closed to traffic due to strong currents of the Pasig-Potrero River, while only heavy vehicles were allowed to negotiate the MacArthur Highway in Apalit.

Evelyn Manalo, information officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Luzon, said flash floods have also affected 6,390 families or 33,567 people in 37 barangays in seven towns in Bulacan.

She said 89 families in Barangays San Jose, Makinabang and Tibag in Baliuag town have evacuated to safer areas as floodwaters swelled.

Also inundated were villages in the towns of Marilao, Meycauayan, Bocaue, Baliuag, Bulacan, Balagtas and Guiguinto.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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