DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. While Eastern Visayas was not directly hit by tropical depression ‘Amang,’ local government units suspended classes and conducted preemptive evacuations to ensure the safety of their populace. Photo shows members of the municipal disaster risk reduction management council of Barugo, Leyte visited villages, especially those prone to flooding or landslide. (BARUGO MDRRMO)

Preemptive evacuations carried out by LGUs

TACLOBAN CITY- Classes across the region were suspended amid threat of tropical depression ‘Amang’ on Monday (Jan.21) as preemptive evacuations were carried out by several local government units to ensure safety of their residents.
Here in Tacloban City, Mayor Cristina Romualdez issued Executive Order 2019-01-001 suspending classes in all levels due to the threat of Amang, the first weather disturbance to hit the city and the rest of the region for this year.
The city governments of Ormoc and Baybay, both in Leyte; Maasin in Southern Leyte; Calbayog and Catbalogan, both in Samar; and Borongan in Eastern Samar.
The provincial governments of Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Northern Samar have also declared a one-day suspension of classes due to Amang.
Likewise, several towns in Biliran, Samar, and Eastern Samar provinces also suspended their classes.
In Northern Samar, which was severely affected by last month’s tropical depression ‘Usman,’ Rei Josiah Echano, its provincial disaster risk reduction management officer, said that about 62 families, consisting of 238 individuals, were evacuated due to threat of possible flooding and landslide incident.
The families were from the towns of Catarman (2 families or 10 persons); Palapag (39 families consisting of 149 individuals); Mapanas (14 families involving 58 persons) and Lope de Vega, 7 families comprising 21 individuals.
The town of Lope de Vega is still recovering from the onslaught of Usman which affected practically its more than 14,000 people and killed five others.
About 1,083 passengers were stranded in the ports of Bhalwarteco and Dapdap, and Santa Clara Jubasan, all in Allen town; and in San Isidro, all in Northern Samar.
The Coast Guard, on its report to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council(RDRRMC), said that about 2,083 passengers were stranded in the ports in Ormoc City, Isabel, Bato, Hilongos, all in Leyte; San Ricardo, Liloan, both in Southern Leyte; Calbayog City; and in Bhalwarteco, San Isidro, and Jubasan, all in Northern Samar.
The RDRRMC also reported that 162 families comprising 607 individuals from the towns of Maydolong, Eastern Samar; Catarman, Palapag, Lope de Vega, all in Northern Samar; Tomas Oppus in Southern Leyte; and Kawayan, Biliran, were preemptively evacuated due to possible threat of flooding or landslide.
In San Francisco town, Southern Leyte, a nine year old boy, Santino Alfreda who was reported to have been drowned in a river at their village in Bongbong Sunday afternoon, was found and rescued on Monday morning.
There was no details provided by the San Francisco municipal police station on how the boy was rescued.