Eastern Visayas flooding leaves 2 dead, displaces over 1,000 people

EASTERN SAMAR. Jipapad Municipal Police Station personnel, under Lieutenant Baltazar Cepeda Jr., lead a rescue operation in the flood-hit town on January 10, 2021. (Photo from Jipapad-MPS)

TWO persons were killed and 1,696 people were displaced after monsoon rains brought heavy flooding in 118 barangays across Eastern Visayas for the past four days.

The victims, who died due to drowning, were from Eastern Samar and Northern Samar, according to information from Police Regional Office (PRO) headquarters in Palo, Leyte on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

Lieutenant Colonel Ma. Bella Rentuaya, police regional spokesperson, said the heavy rains that triggered floods and landslides have destroyed an abandoned Mount Sinai Church in Barangay Abucay, Tacloban City and a seawall road in Barangay Dalakit, Catarman, Northern Samar.

Floods have affected 26 areas in Northern Samar, which include 10 barangays of Catubig, 15 barangays of Las Navas, and one barangay in Silvino Lobos.

In Eastern Samar, flooding occurred in 68 barangays, which include seven barangays of Jipapad, 23 upstream barangays of Dolores, 13 upstream barangays of Oras, two barangays of Maslog, nine barangays of Taft, and 14 barangays of Can-avid.

In Leyte, flash floods hit Barangay Canlingga in Dagami and Barangay Manloy in Carigara.

In Tacloban City alone, Mayor Alfred Romualdez extended the suspension of classes at all levels and work in government offices due to continuous heavy rainfall that triggered floods on Tuesday, January 12.

Flooding also hit 22 barangays in Southern Letye, with 19 barangays in Hinunangan and three barangays in Saint Bernard.

At least one passenger boat was stranded in Almagro, Samar.

The police regional command identified three roads that were not passable due to landslides, citing a report from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

These include the Sogod, Southern Leyte to Mahaplag, Leyte route, which is not passable to any four-wheel vehicles; Abuyog-Silago, Southern Leyte route; and road and bridges for Jipapad, Eastern Samar and Taft, Eastern Samar, per road advisory 1 of DPWH due to a possible landslide.

A total of 403 families or 1, 696 individuals have stayed in 760 evacuation centers across the region.

According to Rentuaya, the regional police command has deployed 2013 search and rescue personnel, while 1,389 others were on standby.

Heavy rains and flooding also brought minor landslide in Barangay Hindang, Borongan City, and two minor landslides along Maharlika highway of Barangay Pancho Villa and Barangay Kahupian, both of Sogod, Southern Leyte.

Areas without electricity were recorded in Silvino Lobos, 23; Catubig, 15; Jipapad, 13; and Maslog, all barangays.

No looting incident was reported, Rentuaya added. (SunStar Philippines)


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