• Continuous downpour brings floods to Negros Oriental city

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    DUMAGUETE CITY—At least 13 barangays in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, after two of its largest rivers overflowed following more than 12 hours of heavy rains.

    Search and rescue operations were under way in Bayawan, where some areas are under waist high water, OIC provincial police director Supt. Alet Virtucio reported Sunday.

    No casualty has been reported although an undetermined number of residents have evacuated to the basketball court at the city hall, Virtucio said.

    Landslides have been reported in the barangays of Villareal and Pagatban.

    Bulldozers and payloaders from the Department of Public Works and Highways cleared the highway in Barangay Alangilan in the adjacent town of Sta. Catalina after it was blocked by landslides Saturday evening.

    Initial reports said all poblacion barangays of Suba, Banga, Villareal, Pagatban, and Maninihon in Bayawan were knee-deep in floodwaters.

    Some residents were reported to have climbed rooftops or the second floor of their homes while waiting to be rescued. A lone rubber boat has been rescuing people there, said Virtucio.

    He said heavy rains in Negros Oriental swelled major rivers.

    In Siaton, the Canaway and Siaton Rivers were being closed watched. In Barangay Nagbalaye, Sta. Catalina, fallen trees blocked the road.

    The Philippine Army sent two trucks and two squads from the 79th Infantry Battalion to help in rescue operations in Bayawan, said Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade.

    People living on river banks in Valencia and Dumaguete City have been alerted for preemptive evacuation.

    Many parts of Negros Oriental have been flooded for the past three days following a steady downpour. PNA

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