Thousands of families evacuate in Visayas, Mindanao as Auring landfall nears

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2021 04:00 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2021 12:40 PM

Thousands of families evacuate in Visayas, Mindanao as Auring landfall nears 1
A flooded area in Tandag City, Surigao Del Sur. Courtesy of 4th ID, Philippine Army

MANILA - Thousands of families in the Visayas and Mindanao have fled their homes ahead of tropical storm Auring's projected landfall, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Sunday.

A total of 3,162 families or 10,911 individuals were pre-emptively evacuated in Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions, according to the NDRRMC's latest report.

The storm has affected a total of 1,410 families or 5,475 persons in 40 villages in Northern Mindanao and Caraga, the council said. Of this figure, some 1,297 or 5,054 persons are staying in 37 evacuation centers.

Strong winds and rainfall also damaged 44 houses in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, according to the NDRRMC.

Two roads and one bridge remain impassable in Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao, it added.

The local government of Calatrava, Romblon has announced suspension of work on Monday.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided initial relief stockpiles and standby funds worth P1.2 billion, Malacañang said in a statement.

The Department of Health has prepositioned P19.5 million worth of medicines, medical supplies, and health kits in its Centers for Health Development, it added.

"We ask the public, especially residents of affected areas, to remain vigilant, be prepared and ready for possible evacuation in case their local authorities advise them to do so as a precautionary measure," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Auring is forecast to make landfall between Sunday evening and early Monday over the areas of Dinagat Islands, Eastern Samar (southern portion including Homonhon Island), and Leyte, according to PAGASA.

It was last located 320 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur at 1 p.m. of Sunday, with maximum sustained winds of 65 km per hour and gusts of up to 80 kph, moving northwest at 15 kph.

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