CEBU, Philippines – Thousands of families in Northern and Eastern Samar headed to temporary shelters on Friday, October 28, as governors ordered forced, preemptive evacuation to prevent loss of life from Tropical Storm Paeng.
As the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised the possibility of Paeng making a landfall in Northern Samar on Friday evening, October 28, Governor Edwin Ongchuan ordered disaster teams to take out residents of the province’s high-risk coastal areas.
The governor, who placed all frontline disaster units on red alert, asked the mayors of the towns of Lapinig, Gamay, Mapanas, Palapag, and Laoang to bring folk facing the threats of storm surge, flooding or landslides to evacuation centers selected for their safe locations.
Northern Samar information officer Allen Berbon said the governor had ordered provincial government vehicles to be used in the evacuation efforts.
Tropical Storm Paeng also left 1,468 passengers of watercraft and vessels stranded in several ports in Eastern and Central Visayas on Friday, October 28.
In a maritime safety advisory, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) announced that at least 1,402 were stranded in Eastern Visayas with 384 rolling cargoes and 5 vessels as of 12 noon.
The ports covered by the PCG’s monitoring include the Balwharteco Port, Dapdap Port, San Isidro Port, Maguinoo Port, and Naval Port—hailing mostly from the province of Northern Samar.
Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone canceled work in private and public sectors around noon of October 28 as ordered forced evacuations in coastal communities.
In Maasin City in Southern Leyte, Mayor Nacional Mercado said 220 evacuees had arrived at the designated evacuation center
The province reported minor landslides in the towns of San Ricardo, Hinundayan, Limasawa, and Liloan but reported no casualties.
The OCD in Eastern Visayas reported on October 27 an inventory of 289 units of 100-watt solar lights, 12 units of 200-watt solar lights and 609 units of 300-watt solar lights to give to communities if a blackout occurs.
The region has more than a thousand blankets, 839 family backs, 1,416 boxes of hygiene kits, 471 portable stoves and more than 4,700 of fuel canisters, 1,370 pieces of malong, 979 bags of shelter repair kits, 45 units of chainsaws and 602 rolls of tarps.
The DSWD in Eastern Visayas also reported on the pre-positioning of disaster relief aid across provinces.
The Coast Guard District Eastern Visayas said more than 1,300 passengers and 120 trucks, 10 buses, and 31 light vehicles were stranded Friday morning, October 28 in Sta Clara Port, Balwharteco Port, Dadap Port, and San Isidro Port in Northern Samar.
In Central Visayas, the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) identified 61 passengers that were stranded at the Hagnaya Port in the Municipality of San Remegio, Cebu.
Port Police Officer Grace Malanog of the Port Management Office (PMO) in Negros Oriental told Rappler that there were five passengers stranded at the Dumaguete Port at around 11 am. They have yet to receive any updates from ports in Siquijor.
Rappler also tried contacting the PMOs of Biliran and Bohol but has yet to receive any reply.
As of 3 pm, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) ordered the suspension of voyages going to and from select ports in Eastern and Central Visayas:
Bohol – Base port Tagbilaran, and the ports of Loon, Getafe, Talibon, Ubay, Jagna, Biliran; Base port Ormoc, and the ports of Baybay, Hilongos, Naval, Marpipi, Isabel, Maasin, Palompon;
Samar – ports of Borongan, Calbayog, Catbalogan, Guiuan, San Isidro;
Negros Oriental/Siquijor – Base port of Dumaguete (Siquijor, Tagbilaran, Dapitan, Siquijor), and the ports of Guihulngan (Bound for Tangil, Cebu), and Larena (Bound for Dumaguete) –Rappler.com