Over 35,000 evacuated as massive floods hit Samar

Flooding situation in Catubig town in Northern Samar as of 8:47 a.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Flooding situation in Catubig town in Northern Samar as of 8:47 a.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 (Photo by Andy Estudillo Caceres via Catubig Now)

MORE than 35,000 people were brought into safer grounds as floodwaters engulfed large areas in the provinces of Northern and Eastern Samar in Eastern Visayas region on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.

Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan suspended the classes in the province since November 20 "as a precautionary measure aims to prioritize the safety and well-being of students, teachers, and staff" due to severe weather conditions over the weekend.

As of Tuesday, roads that were not passable to all types of vehicles include the Catarman-Laoang road; Pangpang-Palapag-Mapanas-Gamay-Lapinig-Arteche boundary road; and other barangay roads in Nipa, Maragano, and Cabatuan, all in Palapag town in Northern Samar.

In the information released by the Police Regional Office-Eastern Visayas, a total of 1,082 evacuation centers were set up across the affected areas.

The total of occupied evacuation centers were 54 in Northern Samar, while three in Eastern Samar.

The total number of evacuated families reached to 6,038, with 5,843 in Northern Samar and 195 in Eastern Samar.

In terms of individual counts, 34,723 were evacuated in Northern Samar and 655 in Eastern Samar, the police regional command said on Tuesday afternoon.

However, no flights were cancelled despite the weather conditions brought about by shearline.

There were 26 areas with no electricity, covering the entire 24 towns of Northern Samar and two municipalities in Eastern Samar, namely Jipapad and Maslog.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the region had P3,445, 286.03 total cost of assistance to the affected areas, with 4,785 total family food packs already released as of Tuesday.

Family food packs were requested from the towns of Arteche (1,187), Dolores (1,500), Jipapad (2, 715),

Maslog (227), and Oras (3,000).

Meanwhile, Samar towns who requested food packs were Gandara (2,000), Sta. Margarita (1,613), and San Jorge (2,193), among other affected towns in the region.

A family food pack is comprised of two cans of sardines, four cans of corned beef, four cans of tuna flakes, five sachets of instant coffee, five sachets of choco malt, and six kilos of rice.

As this developed, Tacloban-based humanitarian group Angels on Wheels, along with other concerned citizens, also launched their relief efforts to the flooded towns in the two provinces.

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