80 families flee homes over Quinta

Over 260 Filipinos -- or 80 families -- evacuate, not celebrate, due to Quinta on Christmas evening

WEAKER 'QUINTA.' Previously a tropical storm, Quinta has weakened into a tropical depression. PAGASA satellite image as of 10:30 am

MANILA, Philippines – While most Filipinos joined their families for Christmas dinner, about 265 persons (or 80 families) had to flee their homes on Tuesday evening, December 25, to escape the wrath of then tropical storm Quinta (Wukong). 

Disaster officials on Wednesday, December 26, said these families had  to evacuate from Dapa, Siargao Island and Surigao del Norte. Local officials told Rappler that in some areas, evacuation began as early as 4 pm on Tuesday.

The evacuation helped prevent casualties from Quinta, which the state weather bureau has downgraded to tropical depression as of 11 am Wednesday. In his latest update on Wednesday, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Usec Benito Ramos said Quinta has not killed or injured anyone so far.

He said 5 people, however, had to be rescued in Barangay Corregidor in Dapa after Quinta damaged their boat.

Weaker compared to Typhoon Pablo that caused over P34-B in damages, Quinta is expected to lead to less damages, according to Ramos. “It’s slower and weaker and did not topple trees, but it dumped rain causing landslides and floods,” he explained.

Local officials also reported flooding in Buray, Western Samar and Taft, Eastern Samar, as well as a landslide in Barangay Kahupian in Sogod, Southern Leyte. “We have pre-positioned heavy equipment such as bulldozer and payloader and depending on the weather we will be able clear it in three to four hours,” Ramos noted.

The NDRRMC said up to 5,748 passengers remained stranded as of 7 am on Wednesday. – Rappler.com