Negros Occidental cities, towns suspend classes due to 'Falcon'

THE heavy rains brought about by Tropical Storm Falcon caused flooding in some parts of Negros Occidental and forced some local government units to cancel classes Tuesday, July 16.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) head Dr. Zeaphard Caelian said the towns of Murcia, E.B. Magalona, Moises Padilla, Hinoba-an, San Enrique, Pontevedra, La Castellana, Valladolid, Candoni, Binalbagan, Ilog and the cities of Himamaylan and Kabankalan have canceled classes in all levels in their locality Tuesday.

Caelian said flooding has been reported in seven barangays of San Enrique, while around nine families were evacuated in the town of Pontevedra due to rising water levels.

The PDRRMO head said Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has ordered all DRRMOs in the province on alert and activate their operation centers.

The governor has also ordered to conduct pre-emptive evacuations if necessary.

Caelian also noted the Office of Civil Defense-Western Visayas to place all disaster offices in the region to "Blue Alert" status.

Meanwhile, Philippine Coast Guard-Negros Occidental commander, Lieutenant Senior Grade Rockcliff Buling, said sea trips in the province remain normal throughout the day, but he noted that they will immediately suspend trips if the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issues a gale warning along the seaboards of the province.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, the center of Falcon was located at 335 kilometers east southeast of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, packing maximum winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center and gusts of up to 80 km/h.

The tropical storm is moving west at 30 km/h, said Pagasa.

Although the storm is located north of Luzon, a general flood advisory has been issued in Western Visayas as the storm is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat.


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