Landslides, floods isolate most of Eastern Samar

Landslides, floods isolate most of Eastern Samar
By Vicente Labro, Joey A. Gabieta
Visayas Bureau
First Posted 02:03:00 02/19/2008

TACLOBAN CITY – Landslides and floods caused by nine days of incessant rain have isolated most of Eastern Samar.

Gov. Ben Evardone on Monday said the province became isolated on Sunday night after landslides blocked the Wright-Taft road section in the middle of Samar island, which links his province to Samar.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development said the continuous days of rain, brought by the low pressure area in Northern Mindanao and the cold front, have affected 8,973 families in the towns of Dolores, General MacArthur, Jipapad, Maslog and Borongan City.

Rep. Teodulo Coquilla of the lone district of Eastern Samar also reported that farmlands in his hometown of Oras and nearby Dolores, Can-avid, Jipapad and Taft in the northern part of the province were flooded after big rivers in these areas overflowed.

Coquilla said he also learned that Borongan City and Llorente were hit by floods.

Many villagers in far-flung areas, especially those residing near rivers, had moved to higher ground or to the mountains, he said.

“The situation is very bad,” he said in a radio interview.

As of Monday, Coquilla said heavy rains continued to pour.

Initial reports received by Evardone’s office showed that about 20,000 hectares of farmlands in four villages of Balangkayan town were flooded.

A farm-to-market road was washed out while two wooden bridges in Llorente were damaged.

In Giporlos town, Mayor Mateo Biong reported that the flood destroyed crops worth about P500,000.

Elsewhere in Eastern Visayas, the continuous rainfall caused flooding in Silvino Lubos town in Northern Samar and in the towns of Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, Alangalang and Dagami in Leyte.

Leyte Gov. Jericho Petilla said there were no reports of major evacuation in the province except that some people were stranded due to floods in areas near rivers.

The flooding affected nearly 400 families from Tacloban City, Palo and Dagami towns in Leyte.

Angel Sia, maintenance engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways regional office, reported that as of 11:30 a.m. on Monday, the Macabot Bridge in Gen. MacArthur town, the Wright-Taft road and the Tacloban-Catbalogan route remained impassable.

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