More than 18,000 in evacuation centers
(UPDATED) Only 10 areas remain under storm signal no. 1

BASYANG. A handout satellite image made available by the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Adminstration (NOAA) shows Tropical Storm Basyang (Kajiki) approaching the Philippines, Jan 31, 2014. File photo from NOAA/EPA

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Saturday, February 1, that 3,698 families or 18,518 persons were displaced by Tropical Storm Basyang (Kajiki).

Evacuees fled to 74 evacuation centers in Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and the Caraga region, the agency said in its Saturday morning report.

Basyang weakened into a tropical depression as of 11 am Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA said, with only 10 remaining areas under storm signal no. 1.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development already prepositioned P104.30 million for emergency relief resources, which include standby funds (P54.91 million), 48,044 famliy food packs (P11.67 million), and other food and non-food items (P37.72 million).

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) also suspended sea trips in all ports in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor. A total of 9,541 passengers were reportedly stranded.

Meanwhile, at least 45 flights have been cancelled since Friday evening, January 31. (READ: Cancelled flights: Saturday, February 1

Tent cities, hospitals

In Cebu, Saturday classes in all levels have been suspended. The provincial DRRMC said residents living in the tent city at South Road Properties evacuated at the Department of Engineering and Public Works building. 

The tent city houses survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) who fled Tacoban and other parts of Eastern Visayas. The world’s most powerful typhoon flattened entire towns and cities, and left million homeless when it hit the Visayas on Nov 8, 2013.

Pre-emptive evacuations before Basyang were also done for at least 550 families in Cebu.

In Bohol’s Loon Hospital, 2 ambulances, 7 medics and 1 generator set were sent to assist in the evacuation of patients who are currently staying in tent hospitals.

Loon Hospital is one of the 14 hospitals in the province that were damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last October 2013. (READ: New hospitals to rise in Bohol after quake)

The tropical depression is expected to to be either 521 km northwest of Puerto Princesa City or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Sunday morning. – Jee Geronimo/