Over 500 families in Caraga flee from 'Basyang'

OVER 500 families from the Caraga region were evacuated due to the effects of Tropical Storm Basyang (international name Sanba), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tuesday, February 13.

In its update, the NDRRMC said a total of 528 families or 1,829 persons from several barangays or municipalities in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur are currently staying in 17 evacuation centers.

Tropical storm Basyang has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Sunday and made landfall over Cortez in Suriago del Sur on Tuesday morning with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It was moving northwest at 25 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 2 in the provinces of Bohol, Southern Cebu, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, Southern Negros Occidental, Southern Leyte, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental and northern section of Bukidnon.

The areas of Palawan including Calamian Group of Islands, southern section of Masbate, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, rest of Negros Occidental, rest of Cebu, Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar, Zamboanga del Sur, northern section of Zamboanga del Norte, northern section of Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, rest of Bukidnon, North Cotabato, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte and northern section of Davao Oriental was placed under tropical cyclone warning signal number 1.

The NDRRMC said 2,704 passengers, 366 rolling cargoes, 62 vessels and three motorbancas were stranded in the ports of Northern Mindanao and Eastern and Southern Visayas due to the bad weather.

The effects of tropical storm Basyang also resulted in the suspension of classes and cancellation of flights going to the affected areas.

The NDRRMC has placed its operations center in red alert status to ensure the 24-hour monitoring of the situation in the affected areas as well as the dissemination of necessary information and information sharing to concerned government agencies.

It also said the government, particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), have standby funds amounting to a total of P1.136 billion for food and non-food items.

Meantime, the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has also placed all its units on red alert and to prepare, plan and coordinate with different local disaster risk reduction and management council (LDRRMC).

"We have to coordinate with LDRRMC to mitigate the effects by assisting them in the conduct of evacuation. Likewise, we have to prepare for the after effect as it is expected to bring high level of rainfall which might cause danger to the different communities," said EastMinCom commander Lieutenant General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. (SunStar Philippines)
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