LANDSLIDES LIKE THIS as well the other behind it along the national highways in San Miguel and other towns kept heavy equipment and personnel of the DPWH Catanduanes District Engineering Office busy for four (4) straight days despite work suspension order issued Malacanang for Nov. 12 and 13. (DPWH photo)
Key sections of the Catanduanes Circumferential Road, as well as two other national secondary roads, were finally opened to vehicular traffic last weekend, four days after fheavy rains dumped by typhoon “Ulysses” triggered 116 landslides, toppled trees and caused flooding across the island.
DPWH District Engineer Gil Augustus A. Balmadrid told the Tribune that the rockslide at Marinawa, Bato, the other 115 landslides in the other towns rendered the Catanduanes Circumferential Road, the Bato-Baras-Gigmoto-Viga road and the Panganiban-Sabloyon road impassable to all kinds of vehicles.
Two other sections in Tubli Caramoran were likewise closed due to flooding while another in San Miguel, Panganiban was blocked by fallen trees, he added.
Along the circumferential road linking Virac to Pandan and back through the east and west routes, a total of 100 landslides were counted by DPWH road maintenance point persons who either hiked over the landslides or used motorcycles to verify the typhoon’s damage to the national roads.
There were 41 landslides along the highway in Caramoran, 33 in Pandan, 17 in Bagamanoc, four (4) in San Miguel, three in San Andres, and one each in Bato and Viga. Two of the slides along these sections had a volume of 12,000 cubic meters each.
But the biggest slide unleashed by Ulysses was in Villa Aurora in Gigmoto with an estimated volume of 15,000 cubic meters.
Along this road linking Bato to Viga via Baras and Gigmoto, there were 10 landslides: five (5) in Gigmoto, three (3) in Baras and two (2) in Viga.
It is claimed that the DPWH had some difficulty removing the earth and rocks blocking the road as the owner of abaca plantation near the landslide refused to allow the heavy equipment to dump the materials over the embankment into the abaca planted on the mountain slope.
As a result, the DPWH crew had to load the earth onto its dumptrucks, which unloaded the same some distance away, causing the delay.
In the Panganiban-Sabloyon road, there were six landslides let loose by the heavy rains, all of them in a five-kilometer stretch in barangay San Miguel, Panganiban.
All in all, the 116 major and minor landslides attributed to Typhoon Ulysses had a total estimated volume of almost 170,000 cubic meters, enough to fill 17,000 big dump trucks.
The report prepared by Engr, Samuel V. Tabuzo, acting chief of the Maintenance Section, calculated the preliminary cost of removing the landslides at P91,54 million.
While there were no casualties reported during the passage of the typhoon just north of Pandan, five towns were hit by flash floods.
In Pandan, the poblacion area and barangays near the river were flooded, along with the area of barangay Oga and the Pandan School of Arts and Trades (PSAT).
Panganiban also reported flash floods, with Cabuyoan isolated as a result. Flooding was noted in barangays Sapang Palay, Batong Paloway, Divino Rostro, Agojo, Asgad and Codon, all in San Andres.
Sixteen villages in the capital town went underwater again, as rivers and drainage canals overflowed.
Heavy flooding was reported in Hinipaan, Bagamanoc, with many houses submerged up to their roof’s eaves along the swollen river.
Meanwhile, a partial report from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) as of 8 A.M., Nov. 16, 2020 showed a total of 44,191 families consisting of 156,861 individuals affected by Typhoon Ulysses in the 11 towns.
A total of 15,163 houses were totally damaged while 28,615 were partially damaged, as follows (with partially damaged houses in parentheses): Bagamanoc, 122 (916); Baras, 1,976 (1,270); Bato, 2,112 (2,640); Caramoran, 258 (1,636); Gigmoto, 741 (1.458); Pandan, 127 (954); Panganiban, 149 (551); San Andres, 2,769 (5,235); San Miguel, 1,210 (2,450); Viga, 437 (2,783); and, Virac, 5,252 (8,722).
Relief operations were immediately initiated after the typhoon’s winds died down, with 14,898 food packs distributed to affected families.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) gave 4,516 food packs to typhoon victims in Caramoran (408), Panganiban (750) and Virac (3,358).
The other LGUs got a total of 5,938 food packs as allocations from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as follows: 300 for Pandan; 500 each for Bagamanoc, Bato and San Miguel 800 each for Baras, Gigmoto and San Andres; and, 1,738 for Virac.
The balance of 4,444 was distributed by private donors in the towns of Bagamanoc (858), Baras (400), Caramoran (1,000), San Andres (1,500) and Virac (686).