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FLOOD WARNING RAISED IN EAST VISAYAS DUE TO ‘USMAN’



One of the major rivers in Palo, Leyte regularly monitored through automatic warning systems for potential flooding. (PNA file photo)

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issued on Friday a flood warning over Eastern Visayas provinces as Tropical Depression Usman threatens to dump heavy rains.

In its flood advisory, Pagasa has identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by heavy downpour.

These water courses are in Sangputan, Palo, Solano, Daguitan, Marabong, Cadacan, Bongquirogon, Salug, Pagbanagaran, Pagsangahan, and Binahaan in Leyte; Catarman, Bugko, Pambujan, Catubig, Palapag, Mano, and Gamay in Northern Samar.

Other affected rivers are Oras, Dolores, Ulot, Taft, Borongan, Suribao, Llorento, Balangiga, and Sulat in Eastern Samar; Basey, Silaga, Calbiga and Jibatan in Samar; and Bisay, Himbangan, and Pandan in Southern Leyte; and all river systems in Biliran province.

People living in low-lying areas near these river systems are advised to be alert for possible flash floods. Those settled near mountain slopes are told to watch for signs of landslides.

The Leyte provincial disaster risk reduction and management has been on alert for potential overflow of Binahaan River in Pastrana town since it would affect highly-populated communities near the regional capital.

Binahaan watershed, which has its source in the upstream of Pastrana, flowing downstream to Dagami, Tanauan and Palo towns has been disrupting normal routines of 36,932 residents in Leyte during flooding, according to German Technical Cooperation Agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit.

In the region, public storm warning signal number one was hoisted since Thursday over Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, and Samar provinces.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has identified 2,433 villages in Region 8 as highly susceptible to flooding. The agency urged local governments to conduct appropriate preparedness and disaster risk reduction measures as needed.

As of Friday morning, the center of the tropical depression was estimated at 230 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 65 kph. It is moving west northwest at 10 kph. (PNA)

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