Casiguran Flash Flood

Note: the two local radio stations in Baler, DZRH-FM and DZJO-FM, are reporting the following information:

  1. The non-stop rains this week caused a major flash flood in Casiguran, Aurora. The entire Poblacion and most low-lying barangays are now under water with some areas under 5 to 10 feet of water. Some barangays in Dilasag and Dinalungan are also affected. Most rivers in the area have overflowed their banks. About 100 to 200 families are now in the different evacuation areas in Casiguran particularly Ermita Church, MCC building and the municipal hall. The road to Dicadi is unpassable and the area is currently isolated.
  2. There are also reports of minor floodings in Maria Aurora, San Luis (San Isidro area) , Baler (Pingit, Kinalapan and Sitio Pulo in Zabali) and Dingalan.
  3. Baler-Bongabong road is unpassable because of high water levels in Villa river. Canili-Pantabangan road is currently unpassable on account of a landslide near Brgy. Wenceslao in Ma. Aurora. The Maria Aurora mayor and the DPWH chief already dispatched heavy-equipment vehicles to clear the slide.
  4. Although the Aguang and Kinalapan rivers have overflowed, Baler experienced only minor floods in some area on account of recent flood control projects of the government and the opening of the Sabangan area so that waters going through the Pudok area can flow directly to the sea. (Thanks also to the rain for taking a break last night.)
  5. The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council and the different local government agencies are now on heightened alert and currently doing what they can to help the affected Aurorans.

Please note the date and time of this post. Some developments might have happened while this is being posted.

Reporters of DZRH Baler are constantly updating their mother station. DZRH can be heard online. Just go to http://eradioportal.com and click on the DZRH link. You should have Windows Media Player to stream the broadcast.

Elevated Alert

Baler is now on elevated status with regards to floodings. Two days of non-stop rains caused the swelling of the Kinalapan ang Aguang rivers. Local radio stations are reporting minor floodings in Pingit, Sitio Pulo in Zabali and othet parts of the town. Local government disaster agencies are now in action and advising residents in low lying areas to evacuate while it is still daytime and the waters are still low. Road to Casiguran and other northern towns are closed and passengers are stranded at the Baler Sports Complex. There’s an unverified news that a passenger jeepney on the way to Casiguran was covered with landslide. No news yet if the Baler-Bongabong and Canili-Pantabangan roads are still passable. There’s still electricity and the rain is still going on.

NPA, AFP Trade Accusations in Baler Fire

from ABS-CBN Interactive: NPA, AFP trade accusations in Baler fire. “Fire gutted the headquarters of a nongovernment organization in Barangay Buhangin in Baler, Aurora, at 4 a.m. on December 25, the military reported on Tuesday. The fire destroyed the headquarters of the Bahay Talakayan para sa Rekonstruksyon at Ikauunlad ng Sambayanan, or Bataris. Damage was estimated at P1 million. Lt. Col. Joselito Kakilala, battalion commander of the 48th Infantry Division, reported that a group of suspected New People’s Army guerillas allegedly planned the fire although some quarters blame the military for the blaze. read more.

Aurora Travel Journal – In German

This looks like a great read – if you know German. It’s an account of a travel or expedition in Dinalungan and Baler. the pictures are great, just click on them to open the bigger versions.

If you really want to read it, these tranlation websites might be useful: babelfish (just copy the url or web address of the site and choose German to English translation. It translated the entire page and the resulting English version is understandable but hard to read.). Google translate (do the same step as babelfish. I think this tool translates better but it only translated the first two paragraphs of the page. Check out the Google english version of the website.)

Aurora Catholic Group's Dorm Burned

from inq7.net: Aurora Catholic Group’s Dorm Burned. “Three men believed to be government soldiers burned the women’s dormitory of a Catholic church’s training institute in Baler town, Aurora province on Christmas Day, reports received by the Inquirer said. Alfonso van Zijl, executive director of the Bataris (Bahay Talakayan para sa Rekonstruksyon at Ikauunlad ng Sambayanan) based in Barangay Buhangin, said the fire that broke out at about 4 a.m. destroyed the institute’s wooden sleeping quarters and burned two motorcycles. He estimated the losses at almost P1 million.” read more.

Dingalan Housing Program Launched

from Manila Times Internet Edition: Dingalan housing program launched. “The groundbreaking for the immediate construction of 100 housing units in typhoon-ravaged Dingalan, Aurora, began Saturday through the initiative of Sen. Edgardo Angara. An initial 900 housing units will be built in Dingalan for the resettlement of those whose homes were destroyed by the typhoon. Most of the destroyed houses were built near rivers.” read more

NPA's Attack Globe Cellsite in Dinalungan

from the Mindanao Daily Mirror: NPAs attack Globe cell site anew. Suspected communist guerillas attacked yet another Globe telecommunications tower in the province of Aurora Monday, the 22nd on the Ayala-owned company since July. Police reports said the attack occurred 12:05 a.m. when about 20 New People’s Army strafed the Globe cell site compound in Poblacion Zone 1 village in Dinalungan town. read more.

Surf Report

Rimat Ti Aminian Surfing Invitational at La Union wrapped-up last Dec. 17 and 4 BalerBoys are in the winner’s list, Argie Hugo (2nd Runner-up Open Division), Jeff Dela Torre (2nd Runner-up Junior Division), Allan Derecho (3rd Runner-up Junior Division) and Allen De Vera (Champion, Grommet Division – the kids division). For a complete list of the winners, visit surfpinoy.

The La Union surfing competition was also the last leg of the inaugural Phillipine Surfing Circuit. From surfpinoy: ” The circuit was created to determine the Top 12 Filipino Surfers for the year. Each time a surfer (from the open division) reaches the finals he will a get points depending on how he placed for a certain leg. These points are then tallied at the end of the circuit to determine which 12 waveriders make it to the prestigious list.” Three Balerboys made it to the Top 12: Argie Hugo (#3), Edmund Mendoza (#6) and Joel Faraon (#7). Click here to see the complete list

Kage has pixes of the event.

Congratulations to all the winners! See you next year in Baler!

*****

balerboys

I have closeup shots of these surfer dudes in my busted PC at home. I’ll post them as soon as i can get the junk to run again. In the meantime, heres something for reference: Argie Hugo is 4th from left, Edmund Mendoza is 3rd and Joel Faraon is 6th. Badgirl must be jumping for joy.