More rains from Amang as thousands flee


Posted at Jan 21 2019 08:14 AM | Updated as of Jan 21 2019 12:01 PM

MANILA - Tropical depression Amang will dump more rains in large swaths of the country on Monday as the threat of possible floods and landslides prompted thousands to flee to evacuation centers, the state weather bureau said.

The country's first storm this year was 70 kilometers north of Surigao City, Surigao Del Norte at 4 a.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour and 60 kph gusts, said PAGASA.

Amang will stir moderate to heavy rains over Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and Bicol Region, the agency said in an advisory.

The same rain intensity will lash Eastern Visayas, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon and Masbate on Tuesday, it said.

A yellow rainfall warning, the second highest in a 3-step alert system, was raised at 6 a.m. in Dinagat Islands, Surigao Del Norte and the southern portion of Surgao Del Sur.

Residents in these areas should be on the lookout for possible floods and landslides, said PAGASA.

The agency also raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 over Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern Bohol Northern Cebu, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands.

These areas will be whipped by 30 to 60 kph winds in the next 36 hours, said PAGASA.

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Amang made landfall in Siargao Island on Sunday night, but the disaster agency has yet to receive any report of significant damage or casualty, said its spokesperson Edgar Posadas.

There was also no report of resistance against orders to evacuate, he said. Residents may have learned the cost of rejecting preemptive evacuations after Christmas storm Usman, he added.

The disaster agency was validating up to 156 deaths due to floods and landslides spawned by Usman. Some fatalities refused to leave their homes after the storm was downgraded into a low pressure area, the agency earlier said.

Ahead of Amang's onslaught, some 7,900 individuals evacuated in Bicol, 2,800 in Caraga, and 300 in Eastern Visayas, said Posadas.

"Nagpapasalamat tayo na nagiging mas popular at mas katanggap-tanggap sa ating mga mamamayan iyung konsepto ng preemptive evacuation," he said.

(We are thankful that the concept of preemptive evacuation is becoming more popular and acceptable among the public.)