Thousands flee floods in Northern Luzon, Western Visayas
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Philippines — At least 716 families, or 2,278 people, remained in evacuation centers in Cagayan province as widespread flooding hit over 100 villages due to incessant rains dumped by Typhoon Goring (international name Saola).
On Monday, Gov. Manuel Mamba suspended classes during the school opening on Tuesday, which he ordered to continue on Wednesday after some schools suffered damage due to the floods.
As of Tuesday, data from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office showed that 2,611 families, or 8,547 people, in 105 barangays were affected by the floods.
In Cagayan’s capital city of Tuguegarao, the heavy downpour caused a major river in Barangay Capatan to overflow on Sunday, prompting Mayor Maila Ting-Que to caution villagers, especially motorists, against crossing the swollen river and inundated bridges after a car fell into a ravine while negotiating the flooded Capatan Bridge.
In Isabela province, the opening of classes was also postponed in the cities of Ilagan and Cauayan as some schools remained submerged in floodwater.
In Occidental Mindoro, Gov. Eduardo Gadiano also suspended classes at all levels in public and private schools and work in government and private offices on Tuesday due to the inclement weather caused by Goring.
The Western Visayas provinces of Negros Occidental and Iloilo, while not directly in the path of the typhoon, also experienced heavy rains caused by the “habagat” (southwest monsoon) enhanced by Goring, causing floods that affected 9,224 families, or 31,290 residents, in Bacolod City and other localities on Sunday and Monday.
Acting Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer canceled work in all provincial offices in Negros Occidental on Tuesday.
Classes were also suspended in 23 of the 26 localities in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, and in 43 towns and the two cities of Iloilo and Passi in Iloilo province due to floods spawned by the typhoon.
Badly hit was Iloilo City, where floods affected 82 areas in the city proper, Molo, Jaro, Mandurriao, Arevalo, Lapuz, and Lapaz, according to the City Emergency Operations Center.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) suspended sea travel on Tuesday for small vessels with 250 gross tons or less, like motorized passenger or fishing boats, in the provinces of Batangas, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon and northern Quezon due to rough sea conditions brought by Goring and the southwest monsoon.
In the 2 p.m. bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Tuesday, the center of the eye of the typhoon was located 175 kilometers northeast of Aparri, Cagayan, or 190 km southeast of Calayan, Cagayan.
Pagasa said Goring packed sustained winds of 155 km per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 190 kph while slowly moving northwest.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 3 was hoisted over the southern portion of Batanes province and the northeastern portion of the Babuyan Islands.
The rest of the Batanes and Babuyan Islands and the extreme northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan were placed under TCWS No. 2.
Under TCWS No. 1 were the northern and eastern portions of mainland Cagayan, the eastern portion of Isabela, the northern portion of Apayao and the northern portion of Ilocos Norte.
The heavy rains also destroyed some houses, triggered landslides, and caused a road to cave in.
Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian said he has directed his agency to send food packs to provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao affected by Goring and the southwest monsoon.
As of Tuesday, the department has already coordinated with the Cebu City-based Visayas Disaster Resource Center (VDRC) to prepare over 39,000 food packs to be sent to the Western and Eastern Visayas regions, as well as Northern Mindanao, by Thursday.
Based on the VDRC schedule, 11,700 food packs will be dispatched Tuesday to its field office in Western Visayas. At least 12,900 boxes of food packs are scheduled for delivery on Wednesday in Lanao del Norte, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon.