The Philippine Coast Guard rescued at least 276 individuals who were stranded in their homes in Cagayan and Isabela early Saturday morning.
The towns of the two provinces were submerged in floodwaters during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Communications Godses Hope Libiran also posted that vehicles were deployed to conduct rescue operations.
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo has coordinated with the Philippines’ Armed Forces to rescue those affected by floods in Cagayan.
Robredo tweeted that she had been assured that rescue teams from the Marines were on their way and that an air rescue was being coordinated.
“Our prayers for Cagayan and Isabela. Reading posts now of people asking to be rescued. We deployed our security team to coordinate with AFP all the calls for rescue we are reading now,” Robredo said on Twitter on Friday night.
“Pahupain lang nila ng konti para makalagpas mga truck nila with rubber boats. ‘Yung Air Force nag-deploy na din po rescue units sa Ilagan City na binabaha na din daw po,” Robredo said.
Isabela placed under state of calamity
According to the provincial government, 26,000 families were affected by the flooding.
“Ang malungkot dito ay hini gaanong handa na, ‘yung handang-handa na alam namin na magkakaroon ng ganito,” said Isabela Gov. Rodito Albano.
“Naghanda kami nung gabi, ininspeksyon ko ‘yung ano namin. Pero hindi namin akalain na nung gabing yun ganito kalaki yung daloy ng tubig ang bumaba sa Cagayan River,” he added.
The Magat Dam reached its spilling level and released water causing the Cagayan River to overflow.
“Nag-release pa ‘yung Magat dam. Magat Dam kasi is one of those causing ‘yung kuwan, ‘yung worsening ng aming kuwan. Nagpa-release din pos ila ngayon. Lahat po ‘yan papunta sa amin,” said Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba.
However, local governments did not expect water volume would affect more areas after the dam opened six gates.