‘Seniang’ triggers evacuation

STRANDED  Thousands of passengers were stranded at the Batangas City Port, were stranded as the Philippine Coast Guard prevented ships from leaving port due to storm ‘Seniang’ on Monday. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

Thousands of passengers were stranded at the Batangas City Port, were stranded as the Philippine Coast Guard prevented ships from leaving port due to storm ‘Seniang’ on Monday. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

AT least one person was confirmed dead while thousands in North Mindanao were evacuated to shelters on Monday as tropical storm ‘Seniang’ maintained its strength at 65 kilometers per hour, dropping heavy to intense rains in at least 28 areas in the Visayas and Mindanao islands.

As of noon on Monday, the entire Cagayan de Oro city was left without power as the main power grid was reportedly downed by strong winds. A bridge, which connects the city to Butuan and Misamis Oriental, was also destroyed and impassable.

In Manila, at least 18 domestic flights to Mindanao and Visayas were cancelled at noon. Thousands were stranded in seaports.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical ad Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) placed on Signal No. 2 (61-100 kph winds is expected in at least 24 hours) the following: Bohol, Siquijor, Southern Cebu, Negros Oriental, southern part of Negros Occidental, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, Agusan del norte, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, and Agusan del Sur. Pagasa cautioned that these areas will have stormy weather with heavy to intense rains and advised residents in low lying and mountainous areas of possible flashfloods and landslides.

Storm signal No. 1 (30-60 kph winds is expected in at least 36 hours) is hoisted over Leyte, Southern Leyte, Camotes Island, rest of Cebu, rest of Negros Occidental and Guimaras in Visayas; Northern part of Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Compostella Valley, and Dinagat Province in Mindanao. These areas will have moderate to heavy rains with occasional gusty winds. Residents in low lying and mountainous areas are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.

Fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are advised not to venture out over the eastern seaboards of Luzon and the seaboard of Visayas and over the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao.

The estimated rainfall amount is from 15–30 mm per hour (heavy to intense) within the 300 km diameter of the tropical storm.

In Butuan City, Barangay Chairman Fred Olaer said one of his constituents lost his life after the latter was pinned by a fallen tree.

In northern Mindanao, thousands flee their homes as Pagasa warned of flood and landslides.

A bridge connecting Cagayan De Oro and Butuan cities and some areas of Misamis Oriental became impassable after bridge’ midsection gave in to strong flood current.

Members of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion were already deployed to help families transfer to safer grounds in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon and in Malaybalay city, according to Col. Lennon Babilonia, the batallion’s commanding officer.

In Misamis Oriental, more than 100 families were evacuated in Tagolo-an town as the Tagolo-an River overflowed mid-Monday. The raging floodwaters also destroyed and carried away houses and farm animals. Flood also struck the towns of Salay, Talisayan, Gingoog, Medina, and Jasaan as the major rivers in these areas overflowed, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported.

The rivers in Cagayan De Oro City have also started to overflow as flash flood from the mountains in Bukidnon started to trickle down to the city’s downtown areas.

Tropical storm Seniang is forecast to be in vicinity of Negros Oriental by Tuesday morning and in Palawan by Wednesday.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also activated its quick response teams (QRT) in the Caraga region and pre-positioned more than 30,000 food packs.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said force evacuation has also been ongoing in at least three barangays of Veruela town in Agusan del Sur.


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