TENS of thousands of residents started to flee to higher ground Saturday as flood waters continued to rise due to torrential rains spawned by a low-pressure area in Northern Mindanao.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration raised “Code Red” in Northern Mindanao, including the hardest-hit province of Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City Saturday afternoon as heavy rains continuous to batter the region.
Pagasa official Luz Mercado based in Misamis Oriental said “Code Red” means that forced evacuation can be employed among residents along the river channels due to rising flood water.
Supt. Surki Serenas, spokesperson of the police regional command, said that about 1,000 police personnel from the regional police were deployed Saturday afternoon to augment the disaster officials.
He said that the police contingent and four six by six trucks were deployed in Misamis Oriental and the city to assist in the evacuation of flood victims and stranded residents.
In Misamis Oriental, more than 600 families in the town of Medina and the component city of Gingoog had been evacuated to safer grounds, provincial Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano said.
He said that the provincial social welfare and development had also prepared food packs and relief goods for the flood-stricken residents in Misamis Oriental.
In Cagayan de Oro City, the military has also deployed army personnel to assist the city’s disaster officials in the evacuation of residents and in the distribution of relief goods to flood victims.
So far, disaster officials in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City reported no casualties but around 80,000 families have already sought emergency assistance.
Aside from Northern Mindanao, the weather bureau has also issued warning late Saturday for possible landslides and flashfloods in parts of Eastern Visayas, the Caraga, Davao and the provinces of Bohol, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Lanao del Sur.
At least 50 families remained trapped along the highway of Carmen, Davao del Norte, failing to move out due to high rising flood waters measuring shoulder-deep and still rising brought by weeklong rains.
Pagasa said the trough of a low-pressure area south of Mindanao and the tail-end of a cold front are bringing moderate to occasionally heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorms over parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.
Evacuees in jampacked temporary shelters are already suffering colds and other respiratory ailments due to chilling temperature brought by continuous rains, officials said.
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