Kabayan displaces 7,000 residents in Mindanao

Inquirer.net December 19,2023 - 10:54 AM


Passengers started flocking to Pier 1 in Cebu City on Monday evening, December 18 as several sea trips have resumed after the state weather bureau has lifted all storm signals in the country. Kabayan has further weakened into LPA after bringing heavy rains in Mindanao and Visayas on Monday. | Photo from Cebu Port Authority / Facebook

Tropical Storm Kabayan (international name: Jelawat) caused floods that displaced nearly 7,000 people in the Caraga region, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage but a total of 2,190 families (6,723 people) had been evacuated so far. Power interruptions were also reported in three areas in the region, the NDRRMC said.

Kabayan was already downgraded into a Low Pressure Area (LPA) on Monday afternoon.

At Manila North Port Passenger Terminal, 5,400 passengers were left stranded as four vessels bound for the cities of Cebu, Butuan, Tagbilaran, and Cagayan de Oro were barred from leaving due to bad weather in their destinations.

READ: Several flights, all sea trips in Cebu cancelled due to ‘Kabayan’

A total of 2,641 passengers, truck drivers, cargo helpers, 39 vessels, and two motor bancas were also stranded in Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and northeastern Mindanao due to Kabayan, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

In Manay, Davao Oriental, where Kabayan made landfall in Barangay Concepcion on Monday morning, a man gathering coconut heads in the river was reported missing. Franz Irag, operations chief of the Office of Civil Defense in Davao region, said they were validating reports the man was swept away by floodwaters.

Class suspension

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that a total of 411 families (1,833 people) were affected by floods and landslides in the Davao region. Of these, 209 families (924 people) were staying in two evacuation centers while 63 families (284 people) were staying with relatives.

At least 63 families in the villages of Kahayag and Magangit in New Bataan town, Davao de Oro, had to be preemptively evacuated to safer grounds because of possible landslides and heavy flooding in the area.

Anticipating heavy rains from Kabayan, classes at all levels and work in both public and private offices in parts of Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental provinces were suspended.

In Cagayan de Oro City, Mayor Rolando Uy also ordered the cancellation of all classes at all levels in private or public schools due to heavy rainfall.

Uy said he wanted to avoid a repeat of Tropical Storm “Sendong” (Washi) which devastated a large swath of the city’s riverside communities in 2011 and left close to 700 people dead.

In Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, some 3,173 families displaced by the Dec. 2 magnitude 7.4 earthquake were forced to seek shelter in 39 evacuation centers due to Kabayan.

Hours before the storm made landfall, a magnitude 4.4 quake struck off Cagwait town although there was no damage or aftershocks expected.

READ: ‘Kabayan’ strands over 1,200 passengers in Central Visayas

In its 4 p.m. bulletin on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said that Kabayan was spotted in the vicinity of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon province, moving northwestward at 25 kilometers per hour. It was expected to head generally northwestward or west-northwestward in the next two days before moving across to Sulu Sea south of Cagayancillo Islands.

Contingency measures

It is forecast to make another cross on Tuesday morning or afternoon over central or southern Palawan where officials have started implementing contingency measures.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, the towns of Narra, Quezon, Rizal, Sofronio Española, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza and Balabac, including the island town of Cagayancillo east of Palawan, were under Signal No. 1.

In a statement, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Brooke’s Point said that emergency responders had already prepared their equipment “for any possible eventualities tomorrow.” The Emergency Operation Center would also be activated.

Local governments in the Visayas were also on full alert amid the threat posed by Kabayan. In Bohol, work in government offices and classes at all levels were suspended on Monday due to bad weather.

“The suspension of classes and work in government offices is a preventive step for all Boholanos, primarily to ensure their safety and for them to be with their respective families during this weather disturbance,” Bohol Gov. Aris Aumentado said in a memorandum.

READ: Shear line, storm Kabayan affect about 6,000 persons, says NDRRMC

In Southern Leyte, Gov. Damian Mercado directed all mayors and residents to remain alert.

“We urge everyone to take precautionary measures. Continue to monitor information from authorities and be ready to follow instructions,” he said in a social media post.

In Baybay City, Leyte, Mayor Jose Carlos Cari ordered the city disaster risk reduction management office to monitor water levels in major waterways to address flooding.

Kabayan, coupled with the shear line — an area where cold and warm air converge — is expected to affect weather conditions in different regions. Cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms and rainfall are forecast in provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, in the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) and Bicol regions, and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon until Tuesday afternoon.

READ: Kabayan further weakens into low-pressure area; Signal No. 1 lifted

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TAGS: Kabayan, LPA, weather

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