Flooded compound of old Atimonan town hall in Quezon province. (Contributed photo from Quezon drrmc)
Members of the Philippine Army responded on Tuesday to rescue 25 passengers of a provincial bus and other people on board eight vehicles that were trapped in a flooded highway in Pitogo, Quezon Province, reports from Radyo Inquirer said.
Using ropes and improvised floating devices, members of the Army brought to safety the stranded passengers of the DLTB bus with plate number UYB 365 and other motorists on board different vehicles along the affected highway.
Lt. George Morana, of the Philippine Army’s 85th Infantry Battalion, told Radyo Inquirer that they immediately responded to the area after they received a report that a bus from Bicol going to Manila was stranded in a severely flooded Gumaca-Pitogo Road national highway or the Bondoc Peninsula Highway.
Half of the bus was already submerged in floodwater when authorities came to the rescue of the passengers, some of them children, Radyo Inquirer said.
The bus driver of the DTLB bus, whose name was not readily available as of this posting, told Radyo Inquirer he did not anticipate that the floodwater would rise quickly as they pass by the highway.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Eric Armamento, provincial director of Quezon police, said they also rescued people from eight other vehicles trapped in the area.
“Unfortunately, the bus was also caught by the rising water along the highway in Barangay Biga, Pitogo,” he said.
Henry Buzar, officer of the Quezon Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said several sections of the Maharlika Highway along Atimonan, Gumaca and Calauag towns were not passable to vehicles due to flood waters, fallen trees and landslides.