1,300 families seek shelter at evacuation centers in Caraga

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/19 December) — At least 1,313 families or 5,801 individuals sought refuge in different evacuation centers in Caraga region as tropical depression ‘Onyok’ which eventually weakened into a low pressure area (LPA) late Friday night, continuously poured heavy rains in the region and the rest of Mindanao.

Eunice Montaos, regional information officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development told MindaNews that their office has 9,486 packs available relief goods stored at Department of Public Works and Highways which are ready to be dispatched.

In Surigao City, a total of 101 families or 432 individuals are sheltered at Barangay Canlanipa Multipurpose building as some areas in the village are prone to landslides. Several individuals were killed by landslides in the previous years.

“Surigao City is now experiencing moderate to heavy rains. We are intensively monitoring the rainfall including the level of waters in Surigao River. Everyone is advised to be vigilant and to take all necessary actions especially those residents living in vulnerable areas, to vacate their homes when necessary,” said Annette Villaces, information officer of Surigao City.

In Dinagat Islands, at least 215 families or 636 individuals are seeking refuge in four evacuation centers in villages of Luna, Sta. Cruz, Wilson and Justiania, all located in San Jose town, according to Inday Roxas, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Barangay Lemon, a riverside village in downtown Butuan is not passable due to flooding

Barangay Bataan in La Paz town and Barangay Taglatawan in Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur are also not passable due to flooding.

Tandag City including towns of Tago and Cortes in Surigao del Sur and General Luna town in Siargao, Surigao del Norte, also experienced power outages.

Crew members of cargo trucks secure their things while waiting for clearance to travel in  Lipata Port,  Surigao City on Friday afternoon, December 18, 2015. At least 119 rolling cargo vehicles have been stuck at the port since Thursday due to inclement weather. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto
Crew members of cargo trucks secure their things while waiting for clearance to travel in Lipata Port, Surigao City on Friday afternoon, December 18, 2015. At least 119 rolling cargo vehicles have been stuck at the port since Thursday due to inclement weather. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto

A total of 1,034 passengers, 142 of them children, were stranded at Lipata Port along with 119 rolling cargoes bound for Visayas and Luzon.

Michille Canete of Butuan City, was among those stranded since Thursday, along with her husband and six children. The Canetes were bound for Ormoc for the holidays.

“There are lots of people and we are are not comfortable sleeping on the floor in this building,” she said.

Another passenger, Hernan Inocencio from Madrid, Surigao del Sur, complained of budget constraints. Inocencio was bound for Manila for the holidays. (Roel Catoto / MindaNews)