Floods drive thousands to shelters on Christmas | Inquirer News

Floods drive thousands to shelters on Christmas

At least 3,000 families evacuated as severe flooding hits Eastern Visayas, Mindanao provinces

Eastern Visayas has recorded a decline in crime volume from January to July 2022, according to police

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Philippines — Over 3,000 families in Eastern Visayas and in four localities in Mindanao had to spend Christmas in evacuation centers due to floods that inundated their villages between Friday and Sunday.


On Christmas Day, floodwater claimed the lives of two persons in Misamis Occidental while two fishermen from Misamis Oriental were confirmed to have died in the waters off Southern Leyte and five other fishers went missing in Northern Samar provinces due to incessant rains and strong winds that prevailed over Eastern Visayas over the weekend.

The heavy rains across many areas in Eastern Visayas and Mindanao also resulted in flooding and landslides in Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces that displaced at least 2,817 families, about 500 families in Zamboanga City and a number of households in Misamis Occidental’s Ozamiz City.


Fishermen Rowel Dialel, 50, and Amay Paglinawan, 49, drowned when their boat capsized in the waters off Pintuyan town, Southern Leyte, at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday. Their six companions

“Their families have already been informed about the incident.

We are just waiting for the weather to improve before we can send these fishermen back to [their hometown in] Misamis Oriental,” said Pintuyan acting police chief Pat. Alvin Erlano.

In Misamis Occidental’s Clarin town, Mayor Emeterio Roa Jr. said the two drowning fatalities in his town on Sunday were from Barangay Pan-ay where residents were evacuated, along with three other neighboring villages: Masabod, Canicapan, and Dolores.

Roa said the flood control dike in Pan-ay reportedly gave way, bringing rampaging waters to many of the town’s villages.

In Northern Samar, five fishermen from the towns of Palapag, San Roque, and Laoang were reported missing after they went out to sea despite the bad weather.


In Eastern Samar’s Jipapad town, 14,085 individuals from 2,817 families were evacuated to safer grounds after the flood reached the second floor of houses last Friday, forcing them to spend Christmas Eve in government shelters. The affected residents returned to their respective homes on Christmas Day after the floodwater subsided, said Vicky Abestros, municipal disaster risk
reduction management officer.


Jipapad, which has a population of more than 8,000 people, is a low-lying area that makes it vulnerable to flooding every time heavy rains occur.

“We hope we will have good weather during the New Year’s celebration,” Abestros said.

In the village of Hamor-awon of Guiuan town in Eastern Samar, 12 houses and four motor boats were destroyed by a whirlwind at about 7:10 a.m. on Dec. 24, according to barangay chair Benilda Godoy.

Blankets, food

In Zamboanga City, 500 families spent their Christmas in temporary shelters due to severe rains that started two hours before Christmas Eve.

Elmeir Apolinario, the city disaster risk reduction management officer, also confirmed that 10 houses were destroyed, one person was declared missing, and a 14-year-old girl suffered injuries.

Almost half of the city was still without power while several barangays have been without water on Christmas Day.

Zamboanga City Social Welfare Officer Maria Socorro Rojas said the displaced families with an estimated 2,636 dependents have been given food and water but were still in need of blankets, mats, and other items to keep them warm and dry during the ongoing heavy rains.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration on Sunday said that the shear line would bring moderate to intense rains over Eastern Visayas, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Island; and moderate to heavy rains over southern Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and the rest of Caraga region (Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Island) and the Visayas.

In Ozamiz City, residents in Barangay Maningcol were evacuated as floodwaters rose neck-high in some areas. Most of the city was underwater, reminiscent of the massive floods there in the morning before Tropical Storm Sendong (international name: Washi) struck on Dec. 16, 2011.

The province’s capital city of Oroquieta was also hit by floods, as well as the towns of Tudela, Aloran, and Jimenez where massive debris piled up the national highway, slowing the flow of vehicular traffic.

Misamis Occidental Gov. Henry Oaminal said in a social media post on Sunday that, in some areas, a forced evacuation was resorted to due to the imminent danger to residents.

The rains in the province started on Saturday afternoon and continued through Sunday morning, Oaminal added.

In Surigao del Norte, massive floods hit Clarin and Gigaquit towns, prompting Bureau of Fire Protection personnel to launch rescue operations across communities near rice paddies which virtually turned into a river due to the floodwaters.


Flash floods, landslides likely in Visayas, parts of Luzon amid heavy rain – Pagasa

Floods, landslides force hundreds to flee homes in Bicol

Malaysia floods force tens of thousands to evacuate

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