‘Ramon’ triggers floods in Surigao City; threatens NE Mindanao

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/11 October) — Ankle- to knee-deep floodwaters have submerged several streets in Surigao City as rains spawned by Tropical Depression Ramon that started 7pm last night continued until late afternoon Tuesday.

Borromeo, Navarro, Amat and Narciso Streets were still flooded as of 5pm today.

Late this morning, Vice Mayor Danilo Menor, chair of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, ordered the suspension of classes in all levels.

A boy wades through a flooded street in Surigao City on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Tropical depression "Ramon" is expected to make landfall either in Surigao del Norte or Leyte tomorrow. MindaNews photo by Roel CatotoAccording to Constantino Arpon, chief meteorologist of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in Surigao, “Ramon” will hit Surigao by 12 midnight.

Ginebabe Chua, Mines and Geosciences Bureau information officer, advised people living in hilly areas like in Sitio Bonotan, Barangay Washington to evacuate immediately.

Reports said waters in low-lying areas have begun to reach streets like in Barangay Mat-i. Motorists to and from the barangay as well as from the villages of Togbongon, Sema and San Roque were stranded by the rising floodwaters.

In an advisory posted 7pm Tuesday, the National Risk Reduction and Management Council said floods also occurred in Barangay Amoros of El Salvador City and Opol town in Misamis Oriental, as well as in Barangay Canitoan in Cagayan de Oro City.

The NDRRMC said 150 families from Amoros and 74 others from Canitoan have evacuated to higher grounds along the highway.

Residents of Barangay Bulua and Sitio Calacala of Barangay Macasandig in Cagayan de Oro were preparing to evacuate as the water level in Cagayan de Oro River was rising, it added.

Public storm warning signal 2 has been raised in Surigao del Norte including Siargao Islands, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Island.

Public storm warning signal 1 has been raised in Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin Island.

The NDRRMC advisory said “Ramon” was intensifying into a storm and threatened to hit Eastern Visayas and Northeastern Mindanao. (with reports from H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)