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Evacuations continue as ‘Auring’ approaches Caraga

February 21, 2021 - Sunday 1:02 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image EVACUATION. The local government unit of Gigaquit in Surigao del Norte, with the support of the local police office, conducted a preemptive and forced evacuation of residents in the coastal area of Sitio Poctoy, Barangay Ipil on Saturday (Feb. 20, 2021) as Tropical Storm Auring approaches Caraga Region. (Photo courtesy of Gigaquit MPS FB Account)

BUTUAN CITY – After the local government units (LGU) activated their respective emergency response centers and teams, preemptive and forced evacuations are now being implemented in most areas in Caraga Region as Tropical Storm Auring (TS Auring) approaches.  

As of 12 noon on Saturday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Caraga Region (DSWD-13) said Auring already caused the displacement of 3,858 families, or 14,233 individuals in the region.  

“These families and individuals are now temporarily staying in 28 evacuation centers situated in the different municipalities in the region,” the DSWD-13 said. 

 A total of 142 houses have been damaged, including one which was totally destroyed, due to the tropical cyclone. 

As of Saturday, the DSWD-13 has 6,423 available family food packs (FFPs) amounting to PHP2.9 million that are ready for distribution.  

Non-food items such as kitchen kits, hygiene kits, laminated mats, and blankets amounting to PHP13.4 million are also available for distribution.  

The agency added it has an available standby fund of PHP3 million as of Saturday.  

In Dinagat Islands, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported the preemptive evacuation of 790 persons due to strong winds brought by “Auring”.  

The evacuated residents are mostly from the coastal areas in the towns of Basilisa, Loreto, San Jose, and Tubajon.  

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in Dinagat Islands also suspended Saturday the trips of all types of vessels and watercraft in the province.  

The PCG said only vessels that intend to take shelter shall be allowed to sail through a written request.  

Dinagat Islands Governor Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao earlier assured the residents that the provincial government and its instrumentalities are closely monitoring the approaching storm and have already activated all the emergency response units in the area.  

“Our offices concerned with disaster preparedness and response, food security, health, and information dissemination continue to operate to ensure your safety during this time. We are also in constant coordination with your municipal local governments and the national line agencies, including our public safety and law enforcement personnel,” Bag-ao said.  

In Surigao City, the CDRRMO said a total of 1,173 families or 1,780 individuals were already evacuated from flood-prone and low-lying areas as of 3 p.m. Saturday.  

The preemptive evacuations were implemented in Barangay Canlanipa with 61 families, San Juan with 265, Taft with three, Washington nine, Day-asan 539, and Cagniog with 57.  

The evacuees are now taking temporary shelters in the different designated evacuation centers in the city.  

Preemptive evacuations were also implemented in the coastal areas of Gigaquit town in Surigao del Norte.  

In the municipality of Bayabas, Surigao del Sur, a total of 432 families or 1,679 individuals from the coastal villages are now temporarily sheltered at the designated evacuation centers as of Friday. 

As of Friday evening, the LGU of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur reported the evacuation of 848 families or 5,214 individuals that are now sheltered in eight identified evacuation centers in the area.  

Preemptive evacuations continue as of Saturday in the towns of Tago, Cortes, and Tandag City in Surigao del Sur. Alexander Lopez