’Auring’ fury sends families fleeing homes

Thousands of families in the Visayas and Mindanao have fled their homes ahead of tropical storm “Auring’s” projected landfall, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Sunday.

Heavy rains brought about by Tropical Storm Auring (Dujuan) caused massive flooding in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, according to Gov. Ayec Pimentel, who showed photos of flooded houses near a swolen river. Forced evacuation (photo below) has been ordered and rescuers went to work to get residents to higher ground, although some tried to resist. Pimentel’s FB page; Tandag SRU

A total of 3,162 families or 10,911 individuals were pre-emptively evacuated in Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga, according to the NDRRMC’s latest report.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2 remains in place over several areas in Mindanao and in Eastern Samar where Auring, international name “Dujuan”, is expected to make landfall by Sunday evening or Monday morning, PAGASA said on Sunday afternoon.

Auring continued to maintain its strength as it began to move northwestward of the Philippines.

The Office of Civil Defense in Bicol on Sunday placed the region under a blue alert status in view of the anticipated effects of “Auring”.

OCD Bicol spokesperson Gremil Alexis Naz said the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is currently focused on the storm’s possible effects.

Under the blue alert status, Naz said, all local DRRMCs have been told to closely monitor and coordinate in their respective areas of responsibility.

“Auring” storm has affected a total of 1,410 families or 5,475 people in 40 villages in Northern Mindanao and Caraga, the council said. Of this figure, some 1,297 or 5,054 people are staying in 37 evacuation centers.

Strong winds and rainfall also damaged 44 houses in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, according to the NDRRMC.

Two roads and one bridge remain impassable in Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao, it added.

The Philippine Coast Guard monitored 4,246 passengers, drivers and cargo helpers stranded in different ports across the country due to “Auring.”

As of noon Sunday, 75 vessels, a motorboat and 1,804 rolling cargoes were stranded in Northern Mindanao, Northeastern Mindanao, the Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Bicol.

The local government of Calatrava, Romblon, has announced a suspension of work on Monday.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided initial relief stockpiles and standby funds worth P1.2 billion, Malacañang said in a statement.

The Department of Health has prepositioned P19.5 million worth of medicines, medical supplies and health kits in its Centers for Health Development, it added.

“We ask the public, especially the residents of the affected areas, to remain vigilant, be prepared and ready for possible evacuation in case their local authorities advise them to do so as a precautionary measure,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

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