Water supply in Surigao City interrupted by rains

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/15 January) – Continuous rains since early morning today forced the water district to suspend water supply by mid-morning.

The Surigao Metropolitan Water District (SMWD) in a 10:30 a.m. advisory sent through the Philippine Information Agency-Surigao del Norte said it was cutting water supply from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “due to water turbidity at the Parang-Parang water source caused by continuous rains.”

Meanwhile, Quick Action Response Team (QART) head Ralph Rowan told MindaNews the risk of landslides would increase if the downpour did not stop in the next 48 hours.

He, however, added there was yet no cause for alarm.

“No alert level has been issued. This is just a normal rainy day for Surigao,” Rowan said.

QART is a member of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office that acts as one of the first responders during disasters and emergencies.

There were already no classes at the Surigao City Pilot School starting this afternoon.

City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Fidela Rosas clarified in a telephone interview that classes were not suspended but were merely shortened because of the examinations this week.

She said they received no alert, although she emphasized it would be up to the parents to let their children go to school or not if heavy rains occur.

Susil Ragas of the provincial PIA office said the Department of Education allows school principals to suspend classes during heavy rains if an area is prone to landslides or floods.

In another development, Rowan said the bodies of the three students of Claver National High School who went missing last January 12 after taking a swim at the Baoy River in Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte were already recovered yesterday noon.

The victims were identified as Rjay Cruz Bayeta, 18, Ralp Fernandez Esperon, 16, and Richard Gonia Peralta, 21, all residents of Purok 3, Barangay Daywan, Claver, Surigao del Norte.

The victims went swimming with two of their friends but strong currents swept them away.

Those who survived are Mark Clerrjep Adlao Sering, 14, and Vince Esperon Canion, 15, also of Daywan.

Rowan said two of the rescued bodies were recovered within the Daywan River network and the other one at an islet in Becebos Bay in Claver.

The search and rescue operations were undertaken by the QART and the Philippine Coast Guard. (Vanessa Almeda/MindaNews)