Urduja brings landslides, floods to Eastern Samar

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) on Thursday, December 14, caused landslides and floods in at least 3 towns in Eastern Samar, making some roads impassable for a good part of the day. 

As of 4 pm, landslides had closed sections of roads in the towns of Giporlos and Arteche, while some streets in Quenapondan were flooded, according to Jayson Espeso, an engineer at the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Tacloban City, Leyte.

By 8 pm, the DPWH had cleared roads in Barangay Paya in Giporlos for motorists.

Meanwhile in Tacloban City, Mayor Cristina Romualdez declared the suspension of classes at all levels in public and private schools for Friday, December 15.

Some low-lying areas in the city were flooded by evening, prompting city rescue officials to advise residents to evacuate.

Tropical Storm Urduja was expected to bring strong winds and the continous rains overnight, which could cause water levels to rise.

Social Welfare Director Restituto Macuto said food packs had been prepositioned for possible evacuees.

Road advisory

The Office of Civil Defense in Region 8 (OCD 8) has been monitoring the water level in Barangay Catalina to Barangay Camarubu-an, Jiabong Provincial Road, Barangay Old San Agustin in Basey and Barangay Osmena in Marabut in Samar; and Quinapondan in Eastern Samar.

The stretch from Barangay Lokilokon to San Jose de Buan town proper is impassable due to flooding, while the detour bridge at Barangay Paco, Paranas has been damaged, OCD 8 reported on Friday, December 15.

It also reported flooding in Barangays Lumatod/Burak, Mabuhay, San Pablo, Malinao, Binaloan, Bongdo, Gayam, Danao, Taft, in Eastern Samar.

Some residents of Barangay Binaloan were evacuated to safe zones already, while the Barangays Malinao-Binaloan area  is impassable due to flooding, causeing motorists and passengers to be stranded there.

The national roads along Malinao and Mabuhay in Taft town in Eastern Samar is not passable to all types of vehicles due to flooding, according to to Jayson Espeso, information officer of  the Department of Public Works and Highways regional office.

Motorists were advised to to use the Marabut-Lawaan-Buenavista road in entering Eastern Samar and in going to Tacloban. 

Urduja was expected to make landfall in Eastern Samar either Friday evening, December 15, or Saturday morning. – Rappler.com