‘Florita’ triggers flooding and suspension of classes in Cagayan Valley, Bicol

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LEGAZPI CITY—Heavy rains caused by tropical storm “Florita” on Monday triggered landslides and floods, and led to the suspension of classes in several localities in the provinces of Albay and the Cagayan Valley, at the same time where schools were resuming in-person sessions after being closed by COVID-19 two years ago.

But in most parts of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, in-person classes took place amid the usual problems associated with the opening of the school year: traffic jams on the roads leading to schools and lack of facilities. like classrooms and chairs in many public schools.

In Albay, Governor Noel Rosal ordered the suspension of classes at all levels in public and private schools.

Two elementary schools in the town of Polangui were also flooded following torrential rains, forcing the suspension of classes, Mayor Adrian Salceda added.

Elsewhere in Albay, flooding submerged San Isidro village in Libon town and parts of Ilawod, Tagaytay, Bariw and Libod villages in Camalig town.

In Cagayan province, classes at all levels were suspended in Tuguegarao town and the towns of Solana, Lal-lo, Enrile, Ballesteros and Aparri on Monday.

Governor Manuel Mamba has also imposed an alcohol ban and a “no sailing, no fishing” policy, with Florita expected to hit the province by Tuesday.

Local authorities were also preparing for the possible rise in the level of several rivers in Cagayan, warning residents in low-lying areas to be prepared for flooding.

In the province of Isabela, classes were also suspended in the cities of Tumauini and Cabagan, while the city of Ilagan only allowed classes at the college level.

In the province of Ilocos Norte, afternoon classes from preschool to primary have been suspended in the capital Laoag and in the towns of Solsona, San Nicolas, Paoay and Vintar.

Storm signals

Florita was located 215 kilometers east of the city of Casiguran, in the province of Aurora, on Monday at 11 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 75 km / h (km / h) near the center and gusts that can reach 90 km/h, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

At 11 a.m., Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 2 was raised over eastern part of Cagayan province, eastern and central parts of Isabela province, extreme northern part of ‘Aurora and the northeastern part of the province of Quirino.

The rest of Cagayan, Isabela and Quirino were placed under TCWS No. 1, along with the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, northern parts and central Aurora and the northern part of Polillo Island.

Safety assured

In earthquake-ravaged Abra, schools welcomed their pupils on Monday, but some pupils had to temporarily spend the day in makeshift learning spaces due to their damaged classrooms.

In Abra’s capital, Bangued, makeshift classrooms separated by bamboo walls and tarpaulins have been set up in a covered courtyard for the 92 students at Macarcarmay Primary School.

According to the Civil Defense Office, 233 Abra classrooms were destroyed by last month’s earthquake.

In the northernmost town of Itbayat, in the province of Batanes, 151 students from Itbayat Central School attended their classes in makeshift classrooms in the Alternative Learning Systems building in the town square. Their school is still being repaired after being hit by a magnitude 6 earthquake in 2019.

In the eastern province of Mindoro, 178 students from the Tugdaan Mangyan School in the city of Naujan started the school year with a planting ritual at the foot of Mount Halcon.

In the Calabarzon area, Ministry of Education (DepEd) officials welcomed 3,899,077 students as public and private schools opened, with police deployed to schools to provide security and maintain peace and order, said DepEd regional director Alberto Escobarte.

Dengue fever measures

Local health workers have also installed “Olyset mosquito nets” in school windows to protect children from the bites of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread dengue viruses.

Anti-dengue fever measures were also implemented in schools in Cebu City and Negros Occidental, and foggers were used before the opening of classes to destroy dengue mosquito breeding grounds.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, head of the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD), said the city’s dengue fever team will educate students on how to prevent dengue fever and other illnesses. waterborne. CCHD reported nearly 2,000 dengue cases, including 19 deaths, in the city from January to August 2022.

For the rest of the Visayas, opening day went well despite the perennial problem of lack of classrooms and other facilities.

—with REPORTS OF MA. APRIL MIER-MANJARES, MICHAEL JAUCIAN, VILLAMOR VISAYA JR., JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS, VINCENT CABREZA, VALERIE DAMIAN, YOLANDA SOTELO, NATHAN ALCANTARA, DELFIN MALLARI JR., MADONNA VIROLA, LEO UDTOHAN, CARLA P. GOMEZ and ADOR VINCENT MAYOL INQ

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