Pepito triggers 'unexpected' first-time floods in Quezon town, 147 families evacuated

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2020 06:20 PM

Motorists navigate a flooded street caused by the overflowing Talolong River in Lopez, Quezon, Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Donald Daria]

The provincial government of Quezon on Tuesday evacuated a total of 147 families in the town of Lopez due to unprecedented flooding brought by Tropical Storm "Pepito," which has intensified as it moved towards Aurora province. 

Quezon Gov. Danilo Suarez did not say where the families were moved but told Teleradyo that Lopez was the only municipality so far where they had to conduct evacuation operations. 

He said it was the first time the town was flooded. 

“[Nasa] 147 families in-evacuate sa Lopez. [‘Yong baha sa] Calauag at... Gumaca manageable, ito lang tinamaan nang husto, Lopez. Gawa ng biglang baba ng tubig from the mountain. Ngayon lang nagkabaha diyan sa bayan eh. Siyempre unexpected 'yan sa kanila, ngayon lang nangyari.”

(There were 147 families evacuated in Lopez. The [flooding] in Calauag and Gumaca is manageable. Lopez was hit hard due to the unexpected rainwater that washed down from the mountain. This was the first time that Lopez was flooded. It’s unexpected.)

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Continuous rains also swamped the national road between Lopez and Gumaca. Only big vehicles could pass through the road, he said. 

The provincial governor also blamed the destruction of watersheds for the unexpected flooding in the area. 

"May ginawang diversion road doon, mukhang 'di nalagyan ng line canal. Bumaha. Dating watershed ginawa mong kalsada… Nawala na 'yong water control mo, watershed eh. Sana nilagyan ng kanal 'yong kalsada. Kaya bumaba yung tubig dire-diretso sa [bayan],” he said. 

(It seemed like the recently-constructed diversion road did not have a line canal so it got flooded. That was a watershed before that they turned into a road. You lost your water control as well. They should have included a line canal, so the flood could have been prevented.) 
 
Suarez added that there’s nothing they could do but to prepare for the onslaught of floods in the next coming months as the weather phenomenon La Niña, marked by persistent rains, begins

“We know that La Niña is this year and next year. So inevitable ang flooding, wala na tayong magagawa. Magkakaroon tayo ng from time to time, areas below water level ay magkakaroon ng flooding. Wala tayong magagawa doon,” Suarez said in an interview on TeleRadyo. 

(We can’t do anything. Some areas will be flooded from time to time.)