Floods displace 443 people in 2 Zambo Norte towns

ZAMBOANGA CITY-- At least 443 people living near or on riverbanks in two Zamboanga del Norte towns have been evacuated to safer grounds as their homes were submerged by floodwaters, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) said on Friday.

Eric Castillo, OCD regional operations officer, said the bulk of the flood victims, or 265 individuals, came from at least three barangays in the town of Roxas, while 188 individuals were also rescued in another three barangays in Katipunan municipality.

"Emergency response teams have evacuated these people as the water was inching to waistline level," Castillo told the Philippines News Agency.

He said no one was reported killed or injured.

Castillo said the towns of Roxas and Katipunan are considered flood-prone in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (NDRRMO) earlier warned residents in the Visayas and Mindanao for possible floods due to heavy downpour.

"People living near mountain slopes and in low-lying areasand the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils concerned are advised to take necessary precautionary measures," the NDRRMO said in its bulletin.

The Zamboanga Peninsula had been experiencing heavy downpour in the past few days.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier issued a weather forecast saying that incessant rains will prevail over the archipelago as the tail-end of a cold front affects the eastern part of Visayas and Mindanao.

Meanwhile in Zamboanga City, Dr. Elmer Jade Apolinario, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head, said they continue to monitor the situation especially those flood-prone areas in this city.

"As of Friday, we didn't receive any reports of flooding. We are prepared 24/7," Apolinario added.

Source: Philippines News Agency