TACLOBAN, Philippines – The Office of Civil Defense in Eastern Visayas (OCD-8) called a meeting of disaster response clusters after it monitored floods in more than two dozen villages across the region on Wednesday, January 4.
OCD 8 Assistant Regional Director Rey Gozon said the agency wanted to see how preparations by local government units (LGUs) could be improved.
Gozon called on all municipal disaster risk reduction offices to conduct preemptive evacuation on Wednesday afternoon as reports came in of floods in 19 Leyte barangays, 12 barangays in Samar province, and four in Catarman, Northern Samar.
As of 8 pm, the meeting was ongoing and Gozon said any data on evacuation would be released later.
The OCD issued an 8 pm yellow rainfall warning on the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, and Eastern Samar.
“Flooding is possible in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas,” the OCD said.
The OCD 8 said 11 LGUs in Leyte, four in Biliran and six in Samar province had declared work suspension due to heavy rain.
The same number of LGUs in Leyte and Samar, and two in Biliran also called off classes on Wednesday.
Mayor Remedios Petilla of Palo town, 12 kilometers north of Tacloban and host to regional and provincial offices, said floods in several areas prompted her work suspension order, except for disaster response agencies.
The biggest number of flooded barangays were recorded in Dulag town, Leyte, with 12. Tabon-tabon had 3; Albuera, 2; while San Miguel and Matag-ob each had one flooded village.
Calbiga in Samar reported eight barangays flooded, Catbalogan City, 2; and Motiong and Pinabacdao, one each. – Rappler.com