Classes suspended in parts of NorMin as ‘Basyang’ nears

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Feb) – Authorities in parts of Northern Mindanao have suspended classes in all levels and stockpiled food and water as tropical storm “Basyang” approached Mindanao’s eastern seaboard and is expected to make landfall in neighboring Caraga Region on Tuesday morning or afternoon.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Management technician Cindy Sabanal gives an update on tropical storm Basyang at the Emergency Operations Center in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

In Cagayan de Oro City, officials said they fear that the forecast 300 millimeters of rain that Basyang would be dumping will cause flooding in the city and serious damage in coastal areas.

“This is not Vinta. We expect our city streets to be flooded and some damages to coastal barangays,” City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief Mario Verner Monsanto said.

Tropical storm Vinta, which dumped most of its rains behind Mt. Kitanglad, caused the Cagayan de Oro river to spill from its banks and flooded parts of the city before Christmas last year.

Mudflows and landslides caused by Vinta killed over 100 persons in Lanao del Norte.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, in its 5pm bulletin on Monday, said Basyang is expected to make landfall over Caraga region Tuesday.

Basyang, the second storm to hit the country this year, is expected to dump 300mm of rain in the Visayas, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga peninsula and the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Lanao del Sur.

In Misamis Oriental, Gov. Yevgeny Emano suspended all classes in the provinces starting Tuesday.

In nearby Iligan City, City Hall spokesperson Joe Pantoja said Mayor Celso Regencia also ordered all classes in all levels suspended Tuesday.

Monsanto said they have ordered classes to be suspended in pre-school and kindergarten levels.

Cagayan de Oro CDRRMO monitoring specialist Cindy Sabanal said Basyang is expected to start dumping heavy rains by 2am Tuesday.

She said they will monitor the situation in the city streets, Limketkai area, barangays Gusa and Tablon, where flooding occurred during past typhoons.

The CDRRMO had ordered the stockpiling of water and food near these areas. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)