Residents flee homes in N. Samar, Albay due to 'Bising'


Posted at Apr 18 2021 02:34 PM | Updated as of Apr 19 2021 12:18 AM

Residents flee homes in N. Samar, Albay due to 'Bising' 1
A house in Mapanas, Northern Samar is submerged in flooding due to rains brought by Typhoon Bising, April 18, 2021. Photo from Joe Louis Gajutos

(3rd UPDATE) A number of families in the provinces of Northern Samar and Albay left their homes as Typhoon Bising dumped rains since Saturday evening.

In Northern Samar, Governor Edwin Ongchuan ordered a forced evacuation of families living in the province's coastal areas.

Josh Echano, the disaster response head of the province, told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo that 489 families or 1,771 individuals have been evacuated in the entire province, as of Sunday afternoon.

Around 32 families living in the villages (barangay) of Del Norte, Manaybanay and Santa Potenciana in Mapanas town were brought to evacuation centers due to flooding, a local disaster official said.

Residents in the towns of San Roque and Mondragon were also evacuated.

Echano said relief aid for evacuees are sufficient as local government units have prepared well for the calamity.

"Lagi pong naka-in place yung health protocols, yung minimum health standards dahil alam naman natin, though kahit hindi mataas yung bilang - yung positive cases namin ngayon, umabot lang ng 29 province-wide - may consideration pa rin sa protocol na yan," Echano said when asked about precautionary measures against COVID-19 in evacuation centers.

(Health protocols are always in place, even though we only have 29 active COVID-19 cases in the entire province.)

He said occupants in one classroom used as evacuation center have been reduced by half the normal capacity.

Parts of Barangay Guibwangan in Gamay town, also in Northern Samar, were submerged in floods Sunday afternoon. Seventeen families or 55 individuals have evacuated from their residences.

Residents flee homes in N. Samar, Albay due to 'Bising' 2
Parts of Barangay Guibwangan in Gamay, Northern Samar were submerged in floods. Photo courtesy of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office - Gamay

Strong winds due to the typhoon were also felt in the province's Catarman National Airport.

Heavy rains and powerful winds have also cut off power supply in Barangay Tangbo, Catubig town.

Echano said more than 1,000 people are stranded at the port of Allen town. 

In Tiwi, Albay, residents in the coastal Barangay Lourdes fled their homes after strong waves reached their houses.

Residents have also anchored their fishing boats in Gigmoto town, Catanduanes as big waves came in as shown in a video sent by Bayan Patroller John Emmanuel Tayo.

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According to the Office of Civil Defense in Region 8, a 79-year-old man from St. Bernard in Leyte died after he sustained severe head injury caused by a fallen coconut tree.

A 40-year-old man from San Jose, Northern Samar, meanwhile, was declared missing after venturing into sea.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said pre-emptive evacuation has been carried out as well in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Eastern Samar, quoting the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"Our concern is the safety of everyone. We therefore ask our people to remain alert and vigilant, cooperate with authorities and continue to observe minimum public health standards for protection against COVID-19," Roque said in a statement.

As of 7 p.m., a total of 15,852 families, or 57,793 individuals have been displaced due to the typhoon, according to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Of this number, 9,833 families (35,054 individuals) are from Albay, 835 families (3,251 individuals) are from Camarines Sur, 5,109 families (19,119 individuals) are from Catanduanes and 75 families (369 individuals) are from Sorsogon.

There are also a total of 851 passengers, 11 buses, 176 trucks, 103 light vehicles and 7 sea vessels stranded in seaports.

All national roads are still passable, NDRRMC added.

According to the state weather bureau's 5 p.m. bulletin on Sunday, Typhoon Bising slowed down as it continued to move over the Philippine Sea, bringing rains to the Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions.

The typhoon has a low probability of making a landfall in the country.

The following areas were placed under tropical cyclone wind signal no. 2, where winds of up to 120 kph may be expected in at least 24 hours, which may cause old wooden electric posts to be tilted or downed:

  • Catanduanes
  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar

Storm signal no. 1, which may cause slight damage to some houses of very light materials or makeshift structures in exposed communities, was hoisted over the following areas:

  • Eastern portion of Camarines Norte (San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, Vinzons, Talisay, Daet, Mercedes, Basud)
  • Camarines Sur
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands
  • Biliran
  • Leyte
  • Southern Leyte
  • Northern portion of Cebu (Tabogon, Borbon, San Remigio, Bogo City, Medellin, Daanbantayan) including Bantayan and Camotes Islands
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Siargao Islands
  • Bucas Grande Islands
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"Bising" was last estimated 290 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, moving northwest at 20 km per hour (kph). It is packing 205 kph maximum winds near the center and gusts of up to 250 kph, according to PAGASA.

It was forecast to turn northward between Sunday evening or early Monday and continue moving in this direction until Tuesday, PAGASA said.

It will then turn north northwestward while over the Philippine Sea east of Cagayan Valley and then go northeastward away from the Luzon landmass by Wednesday evening or Thursday early morning, PAGASA said.

As part of the government's preparation for the second storm to hit the country this year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has placed on standby 370,058 family food packs, amounting to over P188.6 million, as of April 17, and standby funds of over P556.4 million, Roque said.

Aside from dedicating teams to monitor the implementation of COVID-19 protocol in evacuation centers, the Department of Health also prepositioned assorted medicines and pandemic supplies in regional offices, he added.

— with reports from Sharon Evite, Ranulfo Docdocan and Karren Canon


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