TACLOBAN CITY – The low pressure area (LPA) near Eastern Samar may trigger flooding in major rivers in the Eastern Visayas region, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has warned.
In an advisory issued Thursday(Dec.29), Pagasa identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by the downpour — Sangputan, Palo, Solano, Daguitan, Marabong, Cadacan, Bongquirogon, Salug, Pagbanagaran, Pagsangahan, and Binahaan in Leyte; and Catarman, Bugko, Pambujan, Catubig, Palapag, Mano, and Gamay in Northern Samar.
Other rivers include Oras, Dolores, Ulot, Taft, Borongan, Suribao, Llorente, Balangiga, and Sulat in Eastern Samar; Basey, Silaga, Calbiga, and Jibatan in Samar; Bisay, Himbangan, and Pandan in Southern Leyte; and all river systems in Biliran province.
People living in low-lying areas near these river systems have been advised to stay alert for possible flash floods.
Those residing near mountain slopes have been told to watch out for signs of landslides.
Several areas in the region have been experiencing rain showers since noon on December 27 due to this weather disturbance.
As of early Thursday, the low pressure area was estimated 100 kilometers southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
The state weather bureau released the advisory as several low-lying communities suffered the impact of flooding due to a shear line that affected the region since last week.
At least five persons died while nine others remained missing due to a shear line that affected Leyte and Samar provinces during the holidays, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said in its December 28 report.
The PNP regional office reported that two were confirmed dead in Pintuyan, Southern Leyte, two in Laoang, and one in San Roque, both in Northern Samar.
The two fishermen in Pintuyan died on Dec. 25 when their fishing boat capsized off the coast of Manglit village. Six of their companions survived.
The other three fishermen in Northern Samar perished after their boat capsized due to rough seas.
Missing persons were logged in the towns of Dolores, Quinaponda, and Sulat in Eastern Samar; Palapag and San Roque in Northern Samar; and San Francisco in Southern Leyte province.
Most casualties and missing persons are fishermen who left their communities days before the issuance of notice to mariners prohibiting small sea vessels from venturing into the sea.
Pagasa Tacloban station chief Mario Peñaranda said rains will prevail until February next year.
“The rain today is dumped by LPA, but shear line usually lasts until February or early March,” Peñaranda added.
A shear line is the convergence of northeasterly and easterly winds that forms rain clouds.
(ROEL T.AMAZONA with PNA)