The extent of damage due to flooding following the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses in the province of Isabela is far worse than what Metro Manila has sustained, according to Isabela Governor Rodolfo "Rodito" Albano III on Saturday.
“Malaking malaki... Mas malaki pa sa Metro Manila ang pinsalang nangyari,” Albano said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.
The Isabela governor was describing the extent of flooding after an aerial inspection.
The Philippine Coast Guard posted video of the aerial inspection of Isabela and Cagayan showing rice fields and residential areas flooded.
Albano said the entire District 1 of the province — composed of Ilagan City and the towns of Cabagan, Delfin Albano, Divilacan, Maconacon, Tumauini, San Pablo, Sta. Maria and Sto. Tomas — is flooded.
He added that speedboats were already deployed to rescue affected residents.
The provincial government reported on Saturday that 54,944 families or 142,241 individuals from 322 barangays are affected by the flooding.
Isabela has been placed under a state of calamity.
Albano on Friday said they did not foresee the widespread flooding that would occur.
"Ang malungkot dito ay hindi gaanong handa na, 'yung handang-handa na alam namin na magkakaroon ng ganito," he said.
"Naghanda kami noong gabi. Ininspeksiyon ko 'yung ano namin. Pero hindi namin akalain na noong gabing 'yun ganito kalaki 'yung daloy ng tubig ang bumaba sa Cagayan River," he added.
The water from Cagayan River came from the Magat Dam, which is located in the town of Ramon.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson Mark Timbal on Saturday said more than 3,700 personnel have already been deployed to rescue stranded individuals in Cagayan and Isabela who were affected by floods. —KG, GMA News