17,000 in Negros Occidental welcome 2021 in shelters as flooding prompts evacuations
BACOLOD CITY—More than 17,000 people were moved out of their homes on Friday, New Year’s Day, as floods swamped some areas in Negros Occidental province.
Zephard Caelian, head of the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, said the floods that inundated the cities of Talisay, Silay and Victorias and the town of EB Magalona were brought by heavy rains and high tide.
Photos posted by the Talisay City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) on Facebook showed flood waters reaching waist to neck deep in some areas early Friday.
Some residents near the Catabia River were rescued by workers of the CDRRMO fire and rescue unit. At least 3,467 families were either evacuated or found their homes flooded.
The Talisay CDRRMO, in its post, said the operation to rescue the residents started as early as 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day until 8:30 a.m.
UPDATEHeavy rainfall hits Talisay City on New Year's Day.IN PHOTOSTCDRRMO Fire and Rescue Unit together with…
Posted by Cdrrmo Talisay City, Neg. Occ. on Thursday, December 31, 2020
It said the rains that caused the flooding were believed brought by the tail end of a weather system prevailing over Eastern and Central Visayas.
The “sudden rise” in water levels in two rivers—Catabia and Minuluan—worsened the flooding, the CDRRMO said.
In Victorias City, some residents sent out text messages for help from their rooftops as flood waters rose.
“We had a fireworks display to usher in the New Year at the city plaza. And here comes the flood that caught everybody by surprise after midnight,” Victorias Mayor Francis Palanca said.
“It was raining in the hinterlands for days. The soil has been soaked, so we were hit by runoff water,” he added.
An initial report showed that at least 1,508 individuals had evacuated in Victorias City.
In Silay City, floods hit the villages of I, II, V, Hawaiian, E. Lopez, Guinhalaran, Lantad, Mambulac and Rizal, displacing at least 403 people.
In Talisay City, floods displaced 3,467 families at the villages of Bubog, Zone 1, Zone 3, Zone 2, Zone 10, Zone 16 and Zone 12.
In EB Magalona, flooding hit 307 households at the villages of Tanza, San Jose, Santo Nino, Consing, Latasan and San Isidro.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) had warned of flash floods and landslides that several weather systems could bring—northeast monsoon, tail end of a frontal system and the easterlies which are now bringing rains to parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.
Edited by TSB
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