By Mark Francisco and Edwin Iyo
RAGING floodwaters brought about by bad weather forced hundreds of families to evacuate to safer in Camiguin yesterday.
One of the most badly hit parts of Camiguin in the flooding which struck at dawn was Barangay Hubangon in Mahinog, the same town which was the site of a deadly rainstorm that claimed hundreds of lives in November 2001.
No one was reported killed in yesterday’s floodings but sketchy reports reaching the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here stated that panic-stricken residents in Hubangon who feared a déjà vu of the 2001 tragedy rushed to the Hubangon church which is located in relatively higher ground. Some 86 families crammed there.
As of 12 noon yesterday, some 200 families were adversely affected throughout the island province.
Parts of the towns of Sagay and Guinsiliban were also hit with floodwaters and 106 families from the center of Mahinog town evacuated to the municipal gym in the wee hours of dawn for their safety.
The bad weather resulted in a power interruption. Some roads were impassable.
The extent of destruction remains unclear.
Classes at all levels in the three towns were suspended the whole day but ferry trips from Balingoan, Misamis Oriental, and Bohol to Camiguin continued.
Many parts of the country would continue to have cloudy and rainy weather this weekend as a result of a tropical depression, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Weather Forecaster Lenny Ruiz said people in Mindanao, Visayas and the Bicol regionshould be on alert for possible flashfloods and landslides.
He said that although the predicted cyclone is not expected to make a landfall in any part of the country, it would still enhance the southwest monsoon that would induce rains in the country this weekend.
Ruiz said the forecasted tropical depression would likely pass near Northern Luzon’s landmass.
He said the cyclone-enhanced southwest monsoon is expected to bring cloudy skies with light to moderate rains in the western sections of the country, including Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, the other low pressure sighted at 600 km East Northeast of Aparri, Cagayan (19.5°N, 128.0°E) has a chance of becoming a cyclone.
“May chance itong maging bagyo dahil nasa karagatan ito pero papalabas naman ito na ng bansa patungong Southern Japan kung maging ganap itong bagyo tatawagin itong ‘Helen,’” Ruiz said.
In its advisory, Pagasa said the Mindanao, Southern Luzon and Visayas would experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms becoming widespread rains over Bicol Region and over the eastern section of Visayas and Mindanao which may trigger flashfloods and landslides.
“Residents living in low-lying areas and along mountain slopes are advised to be alert for possible occurrence of flash floods and landslides,” the state weather bureau said.
The rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest will prevail over the Northern and Central Luzon and coming form the southwest over the rest of the country.
The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough. (with reports from PNA)