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2 killed as hundreds flee homes in Visayas due to flooding caused by ‘Agaton’

Logoc house flooded

Several houses were submerged as the famous Loboc River started rising on Monday night, Jan. 1, 2018. (Photo by LEO UDTOHAN / Inquirer Visayas)

CEBU CITY — Two persons were killed as hundreds of people fled their homes due to flooding after Tropical Depression “Agaton” dumped heavy rains in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.

Flora Basadre, 64, was sleeping inside her house in Barangay Looc, Malabuyoc town in Cebu, when it was hit by a mass of earth that cascaded from the mountains about 4 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Julius Regner, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PRRMO) in Cebu.

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A 39-year-old man died of head injuries he got after jumping through a window when he woke up in panic that it was dark and raining.

“He jumped off the window in panic,” Regner said. “His neighbors were shouting at him that there was a brownout, but he didn’t hear them.”

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Landslides were also reported in the towns of Alegria and Ginatilan while flashflood occurred in the towns of Carcar, Sibonga, Dumanjog, Barili, and Boljoon.

At least 23 families, or 123 people, were evacuated in Barangay Upper Beceril in Boljoon because of a flashflood that washed out two houses.

In Eastern Visayas, 3,583 passengers were stranded after the Coast Guard barred 23 vessels from sailing from Eastern Visayas because of Agaton.

Also affected were 129 buses and cargo trucks that were heading for Luzon and Mindanao from the ports of Southern Leyte, Leyte and in Northern Samar, according to the report from the Philippine Coast Guard in Eastern Visayas.

In Leyte, 10 vessels took shelter from the storm.

Five of these dropped anchor off Palompon town, two in Isabel town, two in Hilongos and another in Isabel, all in Leyte province, said Cmdr. Laurence Roque, Coast Guard Eastern Visayas spokesperson.

More than 250 people were evacuated in Biliran, Eastern Samar and Leyte due to flooding.

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These included 14 families, or 215 people, from Barangay Tucdao, Kawayan town, Biliran.

Flooding also destroyed the spillway in the village, according to Jessie Victorioso of the Kawayan’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).

An undetermined number of families were also evacuated in the towns of Palo and Tanauan, both in Leyte, said Arvin Monge, officer of DRRMO in Leyte.

At least 55 families in Jipapad town in Eastern Samar were evacuated because of flooding, according to a report from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) office in Borongan City.

In Bohol, 25 families or 126 individuals evacuated their homes about 10 a.m. on Monday after the Loboc River overflowed due to the incessant rains.

They were evacuated to Camaya-an High School.

By Tuesday morning, water level in the town’s Poblacion Ondol had risen waist-high, making the streets impassable to vehicles.

But some residents waded through te flooded street to continue their daily activities.

Liza Dalagan tried to cross the heavily flooded highway of Barangay Ondol to give the medicine for her husband, Danilo, 52, who also had an asthma attack.

The 31-year-old Liza came all way from the neighboring Bilar town to bring the medicine to Danilo, a driver of the bus used by the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band.

Some houses in Barangays Villaflor and Jimilian were also submerged.

When the water rushed into her house, Marites Jala, 43-year-old resident of Barangay Villaflor, moved most of their belongings to the second floor.

Still, many residents preferred to stay since they noticed that there was no sudden rise in the water level.

Operations of Loboc Riverwatch Floating Resto, the Rio Verde Floating Resto, and the Village Floating Resto and Cruises were canceled on Tuesday due to strong currents of Loboc River.

The worst flooding experienced by Loboc was in 2014 when thousands of residents were forced to leave their homes when floodwater covered the rooftops of homes.

In Candijay town, 20 families in Barangay Cambane and 15 families in Barangay Cadapdapan were pre-emptively evacuated on Monday night as the town experienced moderate to occasional heavy rainfall.

Jeryl Lacang-Fuentes, Candijay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, said that on Tuesday dawn, another 10 families in Sitio Tabunok in Barangay Panadtaran were evacuated for possible flooding and landslides.

They temporarily sought shelter at Tambongan National High School, Cadapdapan Elementary School and Panadtaran Elementary School.

Cambane, Cadapdapan and Panadtaran are landslide prone barangays, according to Fuentes.

In Batuan town, 10 families were evacuated according to Batuan Vice Mayor Yes Tirol-Dumagan when the water reached knee-level.

In Sevilla town, 17 individuals were evacuated due to flood in Barangays Guinob-an, Lagtangan, Calinginan Sur and Poblacion. /atm

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TAGS: Pagasa, Philippine weather, Tropical Depression Agaton, Visayas flooding
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