DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – Heavy rain in the Davao Oriental province forced local governments in Mati City and eight towns to cancel classes in public and private schools on Thursday, January 26.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial director Orly Cabaobao said heavy rain, which had been pounding parts of the province since Wednesday, January 25, caused flooding and landslides.
The state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued an advisory at 11 am on Thursday warning of a low-pressure area (LPA) that could cause downpours of up to 75,000 drums per square kilometer in parts of Camiguin Island, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, and the Dinagat Islands.
PAGASA, however, also warned that inclement weather would be experienced across several regions in Mindanao.
Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat and eight other mayors in Davao Oriental issued executive orders suspending classes from Thursday to Friday, January 26 to 27, as a precautionary measure.
Aside from Mati City, classes were also suspended in the Davao Oriental towns of Caraga, Baganga, Manay, Banaybanay, Governor Generoso, San Isidro, Cateel, and Lupon.
Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon sounded alarm bells as PAGASA raised the “yellow warning” over the province as early as Wednesday.
The province has started seeing widespread flooding. For instance, the Davao Oriental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said flood waters hit the village of Mahan-ub in the coastal town of Baganga on Wednesday.
The Coast Guard and the Baganga Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office deployed rescuers to help stranded villagers cross a swollen river.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned of an imminent landslide in the village of Dadong in the town of Tarragona in Davao Oriental.
Phivolcs said a community in Tarragona was facing the risk of being buried in a landslide unless the heavy rain stopped, and advised local officials to prepare to evacuate families.
PAGASA said moderate with occasionally heavy rain was being experienced over Agusan del Norte, Davao Occidental, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Agusan del Sur as of posting time.
It also forecast light to moderate rain in some areas in Agusan del Norte, Davao Oriental, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Cotabato, and Surigao del Norte.
Meanwhile, all classes in public schools in the Caraga region’s provinces of Surigao del Norte, Surigao City, and Siargao Islands were suspended by the Department of Education (DepEd) due to bad weather, said Gilbert Gonzales, the head for operations the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.– Rappler.com