‘Seniang’ crosses to Visayas
MANILA, Philippines–A man and a woman were killed, another man was reported missing and 17 others were hurt as Tropical Storm “Seniang” (international name: Jang-mi) dumped heavy rains on large parts of Mindanao and the Visayas, triggering floods and landslides, authorities said on Monday.
Thousands of families have been evacuated because of flooding.
Packing winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of 80 kph, Seniang made landfall in Barangay (village) Bakulin, Hinatuan town, Surigao del Sur province, on Monday morning. It veered away from Mindanao and toward provinces in southern Visayas, crossing the Bohol Sea.
The storm had a 300-km cloud cover.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised storm warning signals over 13 provinces in the Visayas and maintained the signals over 14 provinces in Mindanao.
If it kept its west-northwest track, the storm would continue to batter Visayas provinces, including Negros Oriental, from Dec. 30 to Dec. 31, forecaster Manny Mendoza said.
The risk of flooding has worsened with the slow movement of Seniang at 11 kph.
In Monkayo, Compostela Valley province, Cipriano Mik Sr. was swept away by rampaging waters on Sunday as he tried to cross the swollen Naboc River in search of feeds for his swine, said the municipal information officer, Joan Pintal. His body was recovered a few hours later.
In Compostela town, Chris Retiza fell into the swollen Agusan River while trying to gather coconuts, said provincial disaster response officer Raul Villocino.
Rivers swelled, bringing floods to highways in several areas of the province, Villocino said. At least 100 families fled from the floods in Monkayo, Compostela, Nabunturan, New Bataan and Montevista, he added.
Two landslides were reported in barangays (villages) San Jose and Mt. Diwalwal in Monkayo, destroying or damaging over a dozen homes but causing no injuries.
In Tagum City, Davao del Norte province, a bus skid and fell into a ditch in Barangay Canocotan on Sunday afternoon, killing one woman and injuring 17 others. The fatality was identified as Emelita Marquez, whose family owns Gold FM Radio in the city.
Rains raised water levels in Saug, Libuganon and other major rivers.
At least 63 families were moved to an elementary school due to knee-deep floodwaters in Barangay Mesaoy in New Corella town, the provincial disaster risk reduction management council (PDRRMC) reported.
Also flooded were the villages of Sagayen, Napungas, Camansa, Sta. Felomina and Buclad, all in Asuncion town.
In Surigao del Sur, 2,428 families, or 12,140 people, were evacuated from the towns of Hinatuan, Bayabas, Cagwait, Carrascal, San Miguel, Lanuza and Marihatag, and Tandag City.
The floods damaged the Buhisan detour bridge in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur, according to Abel de Guzman of the PDRRMC.
In Agusan del Norte province, the road in the Lingayao-Maningalao area in Las Nieves town was submerged in knee-deep floodwaters, municipal information officer Emmalinda Bajao said. At least 200 families were evacuated.
In Agusan del Sur province, rescuers were trying to save about a dozen people—some of them children—who were trapped in at least two villages of Prosperidad town and in Bayugan City, Vice Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. said.
Some of them had climbed coconut trees to avoid the strong current, Cane said.
Surigao City and the neighboring towns in Surigao del Norte province were hit by power outages, according to the Philippine Information Agency.
In Misamis Oriental province, officials said at least 2,080 families, or 8,951 people, were evacuated due to the floods. Several houses were reportedly swept away in Tagaloan town.
Officials in Cagayan de Oro City ordered a preemptive evacuation in flood-prone areas. All flights from and to Laguindingan International Airport were canceled.
As of noon on Monday, 7,400 passengers were stranded in seaports in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijior and Negros Oriental provinces, said Cmdr. Weniel Azcuna, chief of staff of the Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas.
In Bohol, 369 people, or 78 families, were evacuated in the coastal village of Poblacion in Talibon town.
Robiseto Artiaga, an officer of the municipal disaster risk reduction and management council, said more families were moved in the villages of San Isidro, San Francisco and San Pedro.
In Cebu City, rains triggered a landslide in in Barangay Cansomoroy in Balamban town, said Jules Regner, information officer of the disaster council. No casualties were reported.–Reports from Dona Z. Pazzibugan in Manila; Frinston Lim, Allan Nawal, Karlos Manlupig and Chris Panganiban, Inquirer Mindanao; and Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Carmel Loise Matus and Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas
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