Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(Update) Typhoon “Juaning” wrecked northern Aurora towns

BALER, Aurora, July 28, 2011-A close to 1,000 families were evacuated forcibly by the provincial government as heavy rains dumped by tropical storm “Juaning” Wednesday which caused flash floods in northern Aurora, stranding hundreds of commuters.

Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said that they are still assessing the extent of the damage to properties, infrastructures and agricultures by the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council who is out today exerting fullest effort to help Auroran’s.

“All relief goods were already pre-positioned to the affected families for the immediate response,” Angara-Castillo said.

Erson Egargue, chief of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, said that 942 families involving 4,635 persons were evacuated in the towns of Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag which have been isolated from this capital town after landslides struck the landslide-prone Sitio Pimpolisan, Barangay Dianed and Barangay Abuleg in Dinalungan.

Egargue said that Dilasag accounts for almost half of the number of families evacuated with 450, followed by Dinalungan with 340 and Casiguran (152 families).

Mud flowed and rocks littered the Baler-Casiguran-Dilasag national road which was closed to vehicular traffic. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has started road-clearing operations today morning.

Elmer Dabbay, DPWH district engineer in the province, said that they expect to open the road at the soonest time possible.

Some Portions of the Baler-Bongabon road in Barangay Villa, Maria Aurora town was also closed when a makeshift bridge was washed away by floods. Also destroyed was the approach of the Dimalang Bridge in Barangay Culat, Casiguran.  

Disaster officials have advised against traveling through the Pantabangan-Canili road, the main route to the province because of continuous heavy rains.

Toppled trees in Dinalungan, Aurora.
(Photo Courtesy: LGU Dinalungan)
In Casiguran, almost chest-deep floodwaters buried nine (9) barangays when the Minanga, Muntay and Tabas rivers overflowed Wednesday.  

Rommel Angara, chief of staff of Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara said that the flood affected barangays were Culat, Dibacong, Dibet, Esperanza, Estevez,  Poblacion 1, 2, 3 and 4 and Tabas.

Villagers from barangays of Culat, Dibacong and Esperanza were moved to higher grounds for safety with the help of Bravo Coy of the 48th Infantry Batallion, Philippine Army (PA) led by Captain Ronaldo Ferrer and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

LTC Kurt Decapia, chief 48th IB, PA said in a telephone interview that the soldiers are now helping our government in clearing the main route from Baler going to Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag, adding that they are now bringing the relief goods donated by GMA7 Kapuso foundation for the affected villagers who were whipped by ‘Juaning’.

Strong winds blew off the roof of 30 houses at barangay Estevez and toppled the town’s century-old tree at Ermita Hill, Poblacion.

Heavy rains and winds toppled electric posts and trees, cutting off power last Tuesday night. (Jason de Asis)

Typhoon Juaning wrecked northern Aurora towns

CASIGURAN, Aurora, July 28, 2011-Rommel Angara, District chief of staff of Congressman Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara revealed that continues heavy rains starting Tuesday due to typhoon Juaning which struck Wednesday resulted to the flooding of nine (9) barangays here.

The Tabas, Minanga and Muntay river overflowed and the latter’s drainage culvert was damaged that caused the flooding in the barangays of Culat, Tabas, Esperanza, Estevez, Dibet, Poblacion 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The strong winds blew off the roof of 30 houses at barangay Estevez, including the falling of the town’s century tree at Ermita hill, Poblacion here.

Villagers of the affected barangays in Dibacong, Esperanza and Culat yesterday moved to the hills to escape the strong river current and rising floodwaters at past 10 in the morning which reached chest deep in this town.

“Casiguran was battered by strong heavy rains, winds and the town’s coastline was struck by strong waves,” he said.

Strong winds toppled electric posts and fallen trees hit the power lines that resulted to total black out Tuesday night.

Heavy strong winds blew off the roof of the school building in barangay Lawang in Dilasag.

At least 340 families along the riverside of village zone 1 in Dinalungan were evacuated Wednesday morning.

Effect of Juaning in Poblacion Dinalungan, Aurora.
(Photo Courtesy: LGU Dinalungan) 
“The local government units, police, army are already in the place and exerting fullest efforts to evacuate families in the flooded areas,” Angara said, adding that the relief goods were prepared to distribute to the victims of typhoon that hit northern Aurora to include the municipalities of Dinalungan, Dipaculao and Dilasag aside from Casiguran.

Angara said that clearing operations are on-going to fix landslides at Brgy. Dianed, Dipaculao. “The DPWH is in-charge in clearing the mud and rocks that blocked various portions of the Baler-Casiguran road,” he added.

“The provincial government is ready to give assistance to the affected families and the military and police are there to rescue them including the reported hundred of stranded vans and bus passengers in the barangays of Dianed and Dinadiawan,” he furthered.

Retrieval operations in the affected villages are still on-going to include the assessment of the damages on crops, livelihoods, properties, buildings among others. (Jason de Asis)

PhilRice developed rice hull gasifier that reduces irrigation costs by 44%

SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija, July 28, 2011-To reduce irrigation costs by up to 44 percent and environmental hazards, a new rice hull gasifier engine-pump system was developed by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

PhilRice executive said that farmers who use gasoline to run irrigation pumps in their farmlands can now heave a sigh of relief.

The facility was developed by a PhilRice team composed of Arnold S. Juliano, Joel A. Ramos, Leo B. Moliñawe, and Dr. Eulito Bautista. The team, led by Juliano, said that running the engine-pump with rice hull will only cost farmers less than a peso to generate a cubic meter of water while using gasoline-fueled pumps costs about P2 where the local mobile gasifier engine-pump system reduces irrigation costs up to 37 percent when using gasoline and 44 percent when utilizing diesel.

“A four kilogram rice hull load could run the engine for 90 minutes at a maintaining speed of 2000 rpm and discharges an average of five liters per second water from a ground water table of 2.15 meters.  Field tests also showed the gasifier can run up to 100 hours with minimal problems,” Juliano said.

He said that during the 24th National Rice R&D Conference at the institute’s central experiment station here and during the 61st Annual National Convention of the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers in Zamboanga del Norte, the study on the development of a mobile ricehull gasifier engine-pump system won best paper.

PhilRice, a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), is in the forefront of  developing high-yielding, cost-reducing, and environment-friendly technologies as part of its mandate to ensure that farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

“The machine is designed to be compact, mobile, and affordable and reduces green house gases emissions as rice hull is converted to power the machine. The wastes produced after rice hull burning within the system can be used as soil conditioner in seedbed, mulching material, and ingredient in producing organic fertilizer,” Juliano explained, adding that the machine has been improvised to be more movable by reducing machine components to 40 percent, cutting its volume weight from 500 to 400 kilogram. More significantly, he said with less parts, the cost is reduced from P86,000 to P65,000.

He said that by continuously improvising the machine, we hope that more farmer cooperatives will invest not only to save, but to help reduce the contribution of burning rice hull in global warming.

“I advised farmers who will use the machine to clean and dry the rice hull load to produce quality gas that can run the engine with high speed and maintain good water pumping performance. After an 80-hour operation, oil should also be changed,” Juliano ended. (Jason de Asis)


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