Classes suspended in Surigao due to LPA

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) — Classes for the pre-school and elementary were suspended as rains continued to batter the city due to an approaching low pressure area (LPA).

Vice Mayor Danilo Menor announced the suspension at 7 a.m. as rains continued without let up since late Wednesday afternoon.

In Dinagat Islands province, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) ordered a preemptive evacuation, relayed to residents through text messages written in the local language

The advisory urged residents to be on alert for landslides and to coordinate with barangay officials and their municipal DRRMCs.

The LPA nearing Surigao, estimated by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)  at 1,090 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 4 a.m. January 10 is different from the LPA southeast of General Santos City.

PAGASA in its 11 a.m. advisory said the LPA was estimated at 480 kilometers southeast of General Santos City while the LPA east of Mindanao had dissipated.

Engr. Marilyn Pono of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office told MindaNews that as of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, she was able to receive confirmation from the Philippine Army based in Malimono town in Surigao del Sur that the area is already passable. Earlier in the morning, reports indicated the town was isolated as the main river connecting it to the city had overflowed.

As of 5:30 p.m., Pono was still trying to contact the DRMMC of Malimono She acknowledged it is is difficult to phone the area due to bad network signal.

“We are still trying to contact them but the Army based there told us that it was able to pass the bridge this afternoon,” she said.

A text from Malimono Vice Mayor Dulmar Raagas confirmed the town is no longer isolated. He said the river that’s overflowing is Punta River and the wooden bridge leading to Mainit town is not passable.

“We are monitoring our towns and municipalities until now but we have not received reports (other than in Malimono) about rivers reaching an alarming level. Earlier, it said that the river in Gigaquit has risen but then the rain stopped. For now, we will still continue to monitor,” Pono said. (Vanessa L. Almeda/MindaNews)