Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nov. 12, 2006

Aurora worst hit as storm topples trees, brings floods

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga-Two persons in Casiguran, Aurora, were hurt when strong winds brought about by Typhoon "Queenie" toppled a tree that pinned their houses on Saturday, provincial officials said.

Manila Asas and Nolasco Tapan, both of Barangay San Ildefonso in Casiguran, suffered bruises and fractured bones when uprooted trees pinned their houses before noon on Saturday, Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said.

Castillo said the victims, who were treated by medics in the town, could not be immediately taken to a hospital in the capital town of Baler because the Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag (Dicadi) segments of the provincial road in northern Aurora were closed due to landslides.

Strong winds toppled power posts in Maria Aurora town on Saturday.

Castillo said the winds damaged 96 houses in Dipaculao, 30 in Maria Aurora and seven in Baler.

She said flash floods were five feet deep in Barangay Esperanza in Dilasag town. Some 1,000 families moved to high grounds since Friday, she said.

Eight villages, including the town center of Casiguran, were also flooded.

Power was out for the second week in the three northern Aurora towns since Supertyphoon "Paeng" hit.

Castillo said Queenie's rains made it impossible to restore electricity.

On Saturday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Luzon placed on standby several truckloads of relief goods for Aurora, according to DSWD regional director Margarita Sampang.

In Nueva Ecija, Antonio Nangel, operations manager of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems (UPRIIS), said the water level at the Pantabangan Dam reservoir reached 219.7 meters on Saturday, just 1.3 meters from its spilling level.

Northern Luzon

In Nueva Vizcaya, Eva Liza Agamata, action officer of the provincial disaster management council (PDMC), said rescue teams were closely watching villages in upland areas, which suffered the worst damage in the previous typhoon that hit Northern Luzon, for what might be another occurrence of flash floods.

"It's not over. Now we have to anticipate flooding as rainwaters dumped by the typhoon flow down from the mountains," said Agamata.

PDMC reports said at least five villages in Quezon town were isolated as the river in Baresbes village overflowed.

Small landslides have also been reported along the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Baretbet in Bagabag.

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