Classes suspended in Surigao City due to ‘Wilma’

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/04 November)—Classes in the elementary level were suspended today after tropical depression “Wilma” made landfall in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur this morning.

City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas on Monday morning declared a suspension of classes after the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) hoisted storm signal No. 1 over the Caraga Region and four other provinces in Mindanao.

Caraga comprises the provinces of Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

The provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental Camiguin Island, and the northern part of Zamboanga Del Norte were also placed under storm signal No. 1.

Rain has poured since Sunday night but the water level in Surigao River has remained low, Ramil Escamillan, a resident at the riverside in Barangay San Juan said.

“Rains are moderate but we are ready to evacuate anytime if rains would pour hard today,” he said.

Zenmond Duque, station commander of the Philippine Coast Guard Surigao City Station, told reporters that no vessels have been allowed to leave port.

Passengers were stranded at the ports here and in Lipata.

In Dinagat, Rosario Roxas of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said classes in the pre-school level were already suspended.

She said classes in the elementary level were expected to be suspended too on Monday afternoon.

Wilma has weakened into a low pressure area (LPA), Pagasa said in an advisory issued at 5:00 p.m.

“At 2:00 p.m. today, the center of the LPA was estimated based on all available data at 32 km southeast of Tagbilaran City,” the state weather bureau said.

“With this development and unless re-intensification occurs, this is the final bulletin on this weather disturbance,” it added. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)