Flash flood hits Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 November) – Flash floods brought about by a heavy downpour struck this city Friday afternoon, causing a heavy traffic jam.

Floodwaters rose ankle- to knee-deep along Navarro, Borromeo San Nicolas, Diez, Sarvida, Roxas and Narcisco streets and Kilometer 1, national highway, Gemina and Vasquez streets were impassable as floodwaters rose from knee to waist-deep and, according to Nards Go, some vehicles conked out.

“It’s been two and a half hours and we remain at a standstill here in Rizal Street,” said Wilma Clave.

Kathleen Palma, a resident in Villa Corito in Barangay Washington said she witnessed the worst flood in Surigao City.

“Commuters braved the knee-deep floodwaters along the highway instead of being stuck in the heavy traffic,” she said.

Surigao City experienced light to heavy rain since Friday dawn.

Annette Villaces, information officer of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said their rain gauge recorded 15mm per hour as of 4 p.m., prompting them to declare an alert level 1.

“We alerted all Barangay Risk Reduction Management Councils in the city,” Villaces said.

At 6 p.m., the alert level rose to number 2 as the rain gauge measured 26.7 mm per hour with a total of 82 mm from 3 to 6 p.m.

“It’s the first time that the floodwaters came inside our store and this is unprecedented,” said Charles Cambaya, son of the owner of Ocean Bounties, a seafood restaurant along Diez Street. 

Villaces said they also alerted landslide-prone and flood-prone areas in the city.

She said Surigao River swelled, endangering residents along the riverbanks in Barangays Togbongon, Rizal, Washington and San Juan. 

“We advised residents in these areas for pre-evacuation. We had vehicles ready to pick them up and bring them to the nearest evacuation sites,” she said.

As of 4 pm Friday, the weather bureau reported that the low pressure area is spotted in the vicinity of Sorsogon City (13.0°N, 124.2°E) embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)