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Hundreds of evacuated families in Southern Mindanao return home as weather clears

/ 08:35 PM December 20, 2015

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines — Over a thousand families who fled their homes in several Mindanao provinces ahead of an approaching storm last week have started to return to their residences as the weather improved in Southern Mindanao on Sunday.

Disaster officials credited pre-emptive evacuation for lessening the impact of the weather disturbance to the region.

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In Compostela Valley, more than 1, 000 families from four towns who had been displaced by flooding since Friday have already received assistance from the government in the form of relief goods, said Fe Maestre, provincial information officer.

At least 930 families came from nine villages in Compostela town alone, while dozens of families fled on Friday morning from Nabunturan, New Bataan and Montevista towns, authorities said.

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Despite the massive flooding, which submerged homes and vast rice lands in Compostela Valley, no death or injury was reported, Maestre said.

Landslides blocking the roads in the towns of New Bataan, Compostela and Nabunturan were already cleared by heavy equipment sent by the provincial government on Saturday, said Mastre.

“Pre-emptive evacuation plays a critical role as well as the early warning provided by Phivolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology help in alerting people,” said Raul Villocino, provincial

disaster chief.

The tropical depression, which weakened into a low pressure area (LPA) shortly after landfall in Manay, Davao Oriental, brought moderate to heavy rains as thousands in eastern and southern Mindanao hunkered down, on the edge as memories of the 2012 Typhoon Pablo, which struck and flattened Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, returned.

Some 862 families who were evacuted Friday in Davao Oriental, have started going back to their homes, said Karen Lou Deloso, Davao Oriental provincial information officer.

These villagers came from Baganga, Caraga, Tarragona and Mati City, said Deloso.

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Clearing operations of roads rendered impassable by landslides in the three provinces were on-going, disaster officials said.

Meanwhile, fresh evacuation was ordered in an upland community in Talaingod, Davao del Norte on Sunday after ground movements indicating an imminent landslide were observed.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Saturday night issued the advisory for residents in Sitio Lower Mesolong, Sto. Nino village to move to safer ground due to a very critical threat of landslide in the next two days, said Romulo Tagalo, provincial disaster risk reduction management council officer.

“(Phivolcs) issued Alert level 2 for Lower Mesolong as ground movements were detected which may trigger a landslide,” Tagalo said, adding six families were affected.

He said clearing operations have also continued for Mambing village in New Corella after it was cut off by rain-induced landslide on Saturday.  SFM

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TAGS: Compostela Valley, Cyclone, Davao Del Norte, Davao Oriental, disturbance, Evacuation, Fe Maestre, Landslide, landslide threat, News, Onyok, PDRRMC, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, preemptive evacuation, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Rain, Regions, Rehabilitation, relief, rescue, Romulo Tagalo, Southern Mindanao, Talaingod, Tropical storm, Weather
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