15,600 evacuated in Quezon due to ‘Pepito’
LUCENA CITY –– Local governments in Quezon province evacuated over 15,000 people after Tropical Depression “Pepito” poured heavy rains along its path on Tuesday.
Melchor Avenilla, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in Quezon, said local authorities evacuated an initial 15,600 people on Tuesday.
“Most of them were temporarily relocated to evacuation centers while some opted to stay with their relatives and friends,” Avenilla said in a phone interview on Wednesday morning.
He said local health authorities have been strictly enforcing minimum health and safety protocols among the evacuees, who were sheltered in different schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Citing information from the provincial social welfare office, Avenilla said at least 70 percent of the evacuees were from the towns of Lopez and Calauag.
He said almost half of the evacuees have already returned home as of Wednesday morning.
Avenilla said the section of the Maharlika Highway in the Lopez-Calauag boundary remains flooded, and only big vehicles were allowed to pass.
On her Facebook, Calauag Mayor Rosalina Visorde described the flooded highway in the villages of Sumilang and Sumulong as “one big river” with its waist-deep water.
She dispatched local rescuers and social workers to assist the affected residents in their evacuation to safer grounds.
As of 5 a.m. Wednesday, “Pepito” has crossed northern Luzon and is now over Lingayen Gulf, based on the latest bulletin from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
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