Northern Samar declares state of calamity

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration reported that from 18 to 21 November, the rainfall volume reached 654.9 millimeters
Northern Samar declares state of calamity

TACLOBAN CITY — The provincial government of Northern Samar has declared a state of calamity on Tuesday afternoon following the flood waters that submerged parts of the province due to nonstop rains brought by the shear line.

Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan said the declaration is based on the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office with the approval of the provincial board.

"This declaration is in response to the severe impact of heavy rainfall, resulting floods, and extensive damage to infrastructure and crops," Ongchuan said.

With the declaration of state of calamity, Ongchuan also announced the suspension of classes in all levels as well as work in government offices on Wednesday except those involved in disaster management, health services, and public safety.

Work in the private sector was also suspended except for those in banking, financial, health and food supply institutions.

"These measures prioritize the safety of residents and aim to address the current situation effectively," Ongchuan said.

The Northern Samar Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported that 370,000 individuals or 74,500 families were affected by the flooding due to the overflowing of rivers are tributaries particularly the Catarman, Bugko, Pambujan, Catubig, Palapag, Mawo and Gamay rivers.

To recall, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration reported that from 18 to 21 November, the rainfall volume reached 654.9 millimeters.

In the provincial capital of Catarman, over 3,000 individuals took shelter at the gymnasium and Sumuroy Hall due to the flooding in many villages.

The 803rd Infantry Brigade, based in Catarman, convened the Search, Rescue and Retrieval Cluster to discuss tactical decisions related to the ongoing rescue operations in Catarman.

B/Gen. Efren Morados, commander of the 803rd Brigade, said the primary focus of the rescue operations is on Barangays Narra, Ipil-ipil, Molave and Yakal, with additional cases emerging in nearby barangays.

Rescue efforts involved the combined efforts of uniformed personnel from the Philippine National Police Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, Red Cross and other volunteer groups.

Meantime, P/Col. Alfredo Tadefa, NSPPO provincial director said that they deployed PNP personnel to ensure law and order and police visibility in the central business districts of Catarman, as well as near the Dancalan Bridge to prevent unauthorized vehicle crossings.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development regional office has announced that they will have 14,000 family food packs ready for distribution to the heavily affected local government units.

On Wednesday morning, DSWD unloaded 1,800 family food packs in Sular, Eastern Samar intended for the town of Mapanas, Northern Samar. Each food pack contains two cans of sardines, four tins of corned beef, four tuna flakes, five sachets of instant coffee, five choco malt drinks and six kilos of rice.

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