TACLOBAN CITY — Thousands of families took shelter in different evacuation centers in various parts of Eastern and Northern Samar provinces due to continued heavy rain brought by the shear line affecting the Eastern Visayas region.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration advisory released at 8 a.m. Tuesday, at least 10 towns in Eastern Samar, 12 in Samar and eight towns in Biliran are under "red warning level."
A red warning level is raised when observed rainfall is more than 30 mm within one hour or if rainfall has continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm which means serious flooding is expected and residents should be ready to evacuate to safety.
The PAGASA Regional Services Division advisory, however, did not mention any warning level in Northern Samar province that is now experiencing unprecedented flooding where waters in some areas have reached the roof of many houses and the rainfall warning is based on current radar trends and all available meteorological data.
Meantime, Northern Samar Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer Josiah Echano stressed that the continuous flooding affected at least 370,000 individuals in the towns of Catubig, Lope De Vega, Bobon, Catarman, Rosario, Silvino Lubos, Mondragon, Pambujan, San Roque, Las Navas, Palapag, Gamay and Lapinig.
Echano added that many local government units were surprised by the degree of flooding that the shear line has brought to their respective localities.
"This one is one for the books. We are massively overwhelmed by a great flood brought by the Shear line. Unprecedented is an understatement," Echano told DAILY TRIBUNE, adding that rainfall volume is the highest ever recorded in Northern Samar at 618 millimeters as of Monday and still continues to rise.
"We pray for the help of the national government because certainly the magnitude of this calamity is unprecedented," Echano said.
Over at Eastern Samar, heavy flooding was also reported especially in the interior towns of Maslog and Jipapad.
Jipapad Mayor Benjamin Ver said he was surprised at the sudden rise of water on Monday due to the heavy rains. Many affected residents have sought refuge at the municipal building, evacuation centers and at the church.