Storm Basyang triggers evacuation in Surigao del Norte

by Ria De Fiesta,

Posted at Feb 01 2014 02:23 AM | Updated as of Feb 01 2014 10:23 AM

SURIGAO DEL NORTE -- Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas said Friday that 800 families were evacuated by the provincial government before tropical storm Basyang made landfall.

Matugas told ANC that she ordered a forced evacuation of residents in high-risk and priority areas on Thursday.

Although a number of houses have been damaged by Basyang's winds, Matugas reported that her constituents are safe in the province's designated evacuation centers in the municipal building and town gym.

"Hindi ko pinayagan ang mga schools as evacuation centers," she said.

Matugas, however, said heavy rains have damaged farms in the province.

"Lumala ang problema sa farmlands, kasi nagkita si Agaton at Basyang. Si Agaton nagdala ng flooding at si Basyang, kahit short time lang, nag-iwan naman ng tubig. Lalong lumala ang flooding sa vulnerable areas," she said.

She said she had already sent a report to the Department of Agriculture, asking for help for farmers.

"Iyan ang kailangan namin sa ngayon," she said.

Asked if they need more relief goods, Matugas said: "Okay pa ang relief goods. Magre-release tayo ng bigas from our NFA bodega, and the mayors are ready with their counterpart provisions."

Meanwhile, provincial administrator Premolito Plaza confirmed that their supplies are on standby.

"Naka pre-position na po ang equipment namin para sa evacuation, pati na po yung pagdadala ng mga food packs and other food provisions para sa mga municipalties na prone to flooding, landslides at coastal areas na delikado sa storm surges," he said.