THE state weather bureau issued on Monday, January 15, a flood warning over Eastern Visayas due to heavy rains caused by the tail-end of a cold front.
In its flood advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by heavy downpour.
These water courses are Sangputan, Palo, Solano, Daguitan, Marabong, Cadacan, Bongquirogon, Salug, Pagbanagaran, Pagsangahan, and Binahaan in Leyte; Catarman, Bugko, Pambujan, Catubig, Palapag, Mano, and Gamay in Northern Samar; Oras, Dolores, Ulot, Taft, Borongan, Suribao, Llorento, Balangiga, and Sulat in Eastern Samar; Basey, Silaga, Calbiga and Jibatan in Samar; Bisay, Himbangan, and Pandan in Southern Leyte; and all river systems in Biliran province.
(The Bangon River in Palo, Leyte, overflowed, flooding nearby villages.)
“Flooding in low-lying areas is highly possible because soils are saturated due to heavy rains over the past days,” said Mario Peñaranda, chief of Pagasa Tacloban station in a mobile phone interview.
The Department of Interior and Local Government has identified 2,433 villages in Eastern Visayas as highly susceptible to flooding.
The agency urged local governments to conduct appropriate preparedness and disaster risk reduction measures as needed and ensure preemptive or forced evacuation in possible affected areas.
The incessant rain prompted the City Government of Tacloban to suspend classes in public and private elementary and secondary schools and work in the government in the regional capital on Monday, January 15.
Classes have been suspended in several towns in Leyte, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Northern Samar.
Also on Monday, Pagasa said the northeast monsoon is affecting Luzon while the tail-end of the cold front will bring rains over the provinces of Sorsogon, Masbate, Romblon, and Palawan.
The northeast monsoon is affecting the Cordillera region, Cagayan Valley, the rest of Bicol, Aurora, Quezon, Metro Manila, and the rest of Luzon.
In Metro Manila, isolated light rains and light to strong winds coming from northeast to southeast will prevail.
Pagasa also issued a gale warning due to the surge of the northeast monsoon. Fishing boats and other small seacraft were advised against going out into the sea as the sea condition in the seaboards of northern Luzon, the eastern seaboard of central and southern Luzon, and the eastern seaboard of Visayas and Mindanao, is rough to very rough. (PNA/SunStar Philippines)