Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental
In Cateel town, where the severe tropical storm made landfall on Friday, over 1,000 people seek shelter in evacuation centers

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT. Members of the Davao Oriental Incident Command Post monitor the effects of Severe Tropical Storm Vinta as it hits the province. Photo courtesy of Davao Oriental Province Facebook account

MANILA, Philippines – At least 3, 363 families or 15,907 people were evacuated in Davao Oriental province due to Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the region said on Friday, December 22.

Local authorities earlier conducted preemptive evacuation in flood-prone and landslide-prone areas in the northern part of Davao Oriental, which includes the towns of Boston, Cateel, Baganga, and Caraga.

In Cateel town, where the severe tropical storm made landfall at 1:45 am on Friday, at least 263 families or 1,315 people have sought shelter in evacuation centers as of 5 am, OCD Davao Oriental operations officer Franz Irag told Rappler. 

“Stay in evacuation centers while it’s not yet safe to return to your homes,” Irag told the affected residents.

Irag also warned residents in Davao Oriental of landslides and flooding, asking them to continue monitoring updates on the tropical storm.

Pagasa earlier warned the public to take Vinta seriously, saying they should prepare and closely monitor updates.

It also warned that scattered to widespread rains will continue in the Visayas and Mindanao within the next 24 hours. (READ: What are the hazard-prone areas along Vinta’s path?)

After landfall, Vinta is expected to cross Caraga, Northern Mindanao, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and southern Palawan.

It will then leave PAR on Christmas Eve, December 24. –

 If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.