From Ondoy To Pepeng: Grief Upon Grief (Updated)
The emerging images and reports about overstaying storm Pepeng are both chilling and heart-rending: our brethren up northern Luzon experiencing what us city dwellers went through: dislocation from our homes, our streets turning into WaterWorld, and HELP NOT COMING.
It’s not only the Cagayan-C ordillera-Pangasinan –Benguet corridor that incessant rains are pummeling but also Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and a wide swath of Central Luzon.
The rains are filling the dams up to spilling level… making massive evacuation imperative.
Now, the giant San Roque dam has been spilling between 3,800 to 5,000 cubic meters per second of excess water, comnponding the flood downstream toi the towns in the dam’s path.
Across 30 towns in Pangsinan upwards of 25,000 people are now being evacuated and this figure will continue rising.
In Benguet alone at least 11 people have been reported dead.
What’s traumatic and thouroughly destructive are the mountain landslides that knock out the homes… bridges and main access highways: Kennon Road, Marcos Highway, and the Halsema Road.
Our Summer Capital and our major vegetable growing region, not to mention Baguio and La Trinidad Benguet’s prized Strawberry Fields are gone!!!
From Ondoy to Pepeng, this is such a woeful journey from grief to grief!.
ABS-CBN is now reporting at midday:
At least 40 bodies have been recovered and 150 people more feared dead after a massive landslide buried dozens of houses in La Trinidad, Benguet on Thursday night while tropical depression Pepeng (international codename Parma) was pouring heavy rains over northern Luzon provinces.
Senior Superintendent Loreto Espineli, Benguet provincial police director, said landslides have also taken place in other areas of La Trinidad. He said at least 11 more bodies have been recovered in three more villages, including Poblacion, Balili and Bineng.
Espineli added that 13 more people were reported killed in landslides in the municipalities of Mankayan, Buguias, Tublay and Sablan.
Over at Camp Aguinaldo:
The NDCC, which is traditionally more conservstive is say the death toll is now 25 and 39 others are missing.