Heavy rains trigger landslide, flooding in Eastern Visayas

DAYS of non-stop rain brought by weather disturbances has caused landslide, flooding, and displaced thousands of residents in Eastern Visayas on Tuesday, January 17.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reported that at least 1,169 persons have been affected in Tacloban City, Leyte, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar. Nearly half of them were forced to flee their homes due to inundation.

In the regional capital and nearby town of Palo, Leyte, where regional offices of government agencies are located, local government units declared a non-working day on Tuesday as government workers struggled to leave their homes due to flooding.

Classes have been suspended in Tacloban and in the entire Leyte province, and Southern Leyte. Suspension of classes has been directed by local government officials in some parts of Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar provinces.

“The two low pressure areas in the Visayas have already dissipated, but rainy weather will prevail until Jan. 23 due to the tail end of a cold front,” said OCD Eastern Visayas Regional Director Edgar Posadas.

The tail end of a cold front is a weather system formed when the cold air mass dominates the warm air mass.

No single casualty has been reported by local government units so far, according to the official, who also chairs the regional disaster risk reduction management council.

On Monday night, three villages in Barugo, Leyte -- Can-isak, Hiagsam, and Pongso -- were isolated by raging flood waters, affecting nearly 2,000 individuals, according to the local government.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has reported landslides along national roads in Abuyog, Mahaplag, and Baybay City in Leyte; San Isidro, Northern Samar; Sogod, Padre Burgos, and San Ricardo in Southern Leyte.

Flooding also affected traffic flow along the Allen-Catarman Road in Northern Samar.

All road sections are passable except sections in Kahupian village in Sogod, Southern Leyte and Polahongon village in Mahaplag, Leyte.

These road sections are vital link from Luzon to Mindanao as part of the nautical highway’s eastern seaboard route.

The gale warning raised over Leyte and Samar provinces prohibited the sailing of light sea vessels, but no stranded passengers have been reported so far.

On Monday, the weather disturbance dumped 30 millimeters of rain per hour or eight gallons per square meter per hour, which is 10 times over the three millimeters average rainfall during normal days. (PNA)

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