TACLOBAN City Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin said the severe flooding in Leyte caused by heavy rains from Tropical Storm Urduja (international name: Kai-tak) brought back bad memories about Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
"Akala namin typhoon Yolanda ulit kasi the winds were very, very strong (We thought it was typhoon Yolanda again because the winds were very, very strong)," he said in a radio interview.
"This is really the second to super typhoon Yolanda. Parang nag-flash back sa amin lahat iyang super typhoon Yolanda," he added. Yolanda, which struck central Philippines in November 2013, flattened Tacloban and other coastal communities and killed over 7,000 people.
As of Sunday, December 15, tropical storm Urduja has affected a total of 221,953 persons, or 51,004 families, in 492 barangays in Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Caraga regions.
Three people have been confirmed dead while 19 were reported hurt by falling debris, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Sunday.
Of the affected families, 20,389 or 87,917 individuals were evacuated.
The disaster council also reported damage of P35.52 million to national roads in Eastern Samar and Compostela Valley.
A total of 19 road sections and two bridges in the three affected regions were not passable due to flooding, landslide or falling debris. There were no estimates yet on damage to crops and other infrastructure.
The council said 261 areas in Eatsern Visayas were reported flooded as of Sunday while floodwaters in 38 areas have subsided.
A total of 15 landslide incidents were logged while a boat was reported to have capsized.
As of Sunday, electricity in 39 areas that experienced power outages since Saturday has yet to be restored.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said a total of P719,995.16 worth of relief goods and non-food items were given to the evacuees.
Moderate to heavy rains have affected the three regions since Tuesday, December 12, due to the slow-moving tropical storm.
As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Urduja has slightly weakened to a tropical depression and was over Masbate province, state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.
Rains will continue over southern Quezon, Batangas, Mindoro Provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, and Northern Palawan including Cuyo and Calamian Group of Islands. Bicol and the Visayas regions, on the other hand, are expected to experience a respite from the rains.
The weather bureau warned residents of these areas against flooding and landslides.
Meanwhile, the tropical depression spotted outside the Philippine area of responsibility was estimated at 7 a.m. Sunday at 1,990 kilometers east of Mindanao with maximum sustained winds of 40 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 50 kph. (SunStar Philippines)