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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

27 people died amid heavy rains, flooding

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At least 27 people have died in heavy rains and flooding across the Philippines this month, authorities said Sunday, as forecasters warned of continued downpours in the disaster-prone country.

FLOOD RESCUE. Firefighters from the Taft Fire Station of Taft, Samar assist motorists on Sunday stranded along the border of Barangay Malinao and Binalo-an due to flooding caused by heavy rains over the weekend. Calbayog City declared a state of calamity owing to the floods that have hit the Bicol Region, Visayas and Mindanao. BFP Photo

Calbayog City in Samar was the latest area to declare a state of calamity owing to extensive flooding, following eight cities and towns and a province across the southern half of the country.

Heavy downpours and flooding have plagued the Visayas and Mindanao since Christmas weekend, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The forecast for this week isn’t any drier, as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Southern Luzon including the National Capital Region, Visayas, and Mindanao will have cloudy skies until Friday, with rain showers and thunderstorms becoming frequent rains over Bicol region.

Since the start of the year, at least three storms have killed 27 people across the country, the civil defense office said in a report on Sunday.

In its latest bulletin issued Sunday morning, OCD reported more than 614,000 people—or over 151,000 families—were affected by the series of low-pressure areas and the shear line since Jan. 2.

Eleven people were reported injured and three are missing.

Another 112,000 people—or more than 31,000 families—were displaced by the flooding after being forced to flee their homes.

The affected and displaced population spanned 13 regions across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The state weather forecaster warned Sunday of heavy rains over the Bicol peninsula and Quezon province in the southern tip of the main island of Luzon.

“Under these conditions, flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely in areas that are highly… susceptible to these hazards,” PAGASA said in an advisory.

More than 83,000 people are sheltering in evacuation centers, according to the civil defense office, and over 1,200 houses have been damaged by floodwaters and heavy rains.

Agricultural damage was pegged at P258.3 million, while damage to infrastructure was estimated at around P171 million.

Some 1,281 houses were also damaged, the OCD said.

The government has extended assistance worth P31.6 million to affected residents.

The OCD added that local disaster authorities were also monitoring the situation, with search and rescue teams still deployed.

The two-week rains caused by a low-pressure area (LPA) in NorthernMindanao affected 59,000 individuals, left seven dead, and damaged more than P22 million worth of properties.

In the initial report by the Region 10 Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC-10) on Sunday, 15,812 families experienced flooding.

In evacuation centers throughout the region, only 4,432 individuals or 1,227 families have remained as of Sunday out of the 31,353 individuals or 8,621 families who sought shelter within the two-week period.

The LPA located northeast of Surigao del Norte will cause cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rain showers and thunderstorms over the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Quezon on Sunday, PAGASA said in its weather forecast.

Flooding or landslides may result due to moderate to heavy with at times intense rains.

Metro Manila, Mindanao, the rest of Visayas, Mimaropa, the rest of Calabarzon, and Aurora will have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms also due to the LPA. Moderate to heavy rains may lead to flooding or landslides.

At 3 a.m. on Sunday, the LPA was estimated to be located 80 kmnortheast of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, or 125 km east of Maasin City, Southern Leyte.

The rest of Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to localized thunderstorms. During severe thunderstorms, flash floods or landslides may result.

Coastal waters will be moderate to rough in the seaboards of Northern Luzon, and light to moderate in the rest of the country.

PAGASA said the LPA has still a slim chance of developing into a tropical storm but is expected to bring cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rain showers and thunderstorms in Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, and Quezon.

The Philippines is ranked among the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change, and scientists have warned that storms are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer.


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