CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/08 November) — The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental have reported no casualties so far after storm signal no. 1 was hoisted in these areas as super typhoon “Yolanda” made landfall in the Visayas Friday morning.
Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Emano said they have ordered all residents who took temporary shelters in evacuation centers to go home Friday afternoon after making sure that Yolanda no longer posed a threat to them.
“We waited for four more hours to make sure that rivers and creeks will not pose any danger to the residents. We were told that waters from the mountains usually travel for four hours before it would reach the lowlands,” Emano said.
A total of 7,886 families or 37,055 persons have taken shelter in evacuation centers starting Thursday afternoon fearful that Yolanda might trigger flashfloods and landslides.
Emano said that when Yolanda made its landfall in Samar and Leyte Friday morning, they were “very concerned” that flash floods might occur in Lagonglong and Jasaan towns and in Gingoog City.
He said floodwaters in the Odiongan River in Gingoog had already spilled into its banks by Friday dawn prompting 2,174 residents or 10,153 persons to evacuate.
Charlito Manlupig, chair of the Balay Mindanaw Foundation said over 200 families that took shelter in their evacuation center in Gingoog went back to their homes by Friday afternoon.
Flash floods were also reported along Kabulig River in Jasaan and in a small creek in nearby Lagonglong.
In the port of Balingoan town, fishing boats took shelter near the shore as early as Wednesday night after the Philippine Coast Guard ordered that all vessels must not head out to sea.
Smarting from the 2011 tropical storm “Sendong” tragedy, some 9,045 families or 45,225 persons living beside Cagayan de Oro River voluntary went to the evacuation shelters as early as Wednesday night.
City Social Welfare Office head Teddy Sabugaa Jr. said all the evacuees were advised to return to their homes Friday afternoon.
Floods spawned by Sendong killed over 1,000 individuals and swept away communities beside the Cagayan de Oro River, on the first day of the traditional 9-day misa de gallo celebrated by Catholics as part of the Christmas season.
A similar tragedy hit parts of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley in December last year when typhoon “Pablo” barreled through Mindanao. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)