Compostela Valley braces for ‘Auring’

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) in the province of Compostela Valley activated all its municipal-level disaster councils in preparation for tropical depression 'Auring' (TD Auring) which is expected to make landfall in the province of Surigao del Sur on Sunday.

Raul Villocino, head of PDRRMC in Compostela Valley, in a phone interview said pre-emptive evacuations were already facilitated by the provincial government since Thursday last week to ensure the safety of residents especially those living in flood-prone and landslide prone areas.

A total of 38 families were already evacuated in Magsaysay and another 38 families in Basak all in Nabunturan town.

In New Bataan, evacuations of families in the areas of Kahayag, Cogonan and Kalamokan will be facilitated once the alert will be heightened any time on Sunday, Villocino said.

In Montevista town, alert is already up in flood-prone areas in New Visayas particularly in Purok 5 and Banagbanag in Purok 4, he added.

"Rescue teams are on standby since Friday," Villocino said, adding that Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy is ensuring that rescue teams will be available when situations will worsen during the landfall of 'Auring'.

Relief operations were also conducted by the provincial government in various evacuation areas in the towns of Nabunturan, New Bataan and Montevista since Friday, he added.

"We are tracking the movement of TD Auring. We are also in constant communications with municipal level disaster councils for updates," he said.

Since Saturday afternoon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) placed Compostela Valley, as well as Davao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Province, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin under signal number one.

'Auring' with a maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph, is expected to make landfall over the Surigao del Sur between Sunday evening and early Monday morning.

Rescue and retrieval

Villocino also reported of the rescue and retrieval efforts being conducted in Montevista town on the report of a missing person when flooding started to affect the area on Friday afternoon.

The victim, Arnie Jose, 48 years of age, married, farmer and a resident of Purok 7, Banagbanag, Montevista was fishing in Magat River when swept away by raging waters.

His companion, Dodong Llamos managed to escape and reported the incident to authorities.

Barangay Captain Alex Antibo of Banagbanag said in a phone interview that search started on Friday evening but rescuers failed to find the victim as of press time.

Antibo also expressed gratitude to the PDRRMC and the members of the army, police and the local Red Cross for the support they extended to the search.

"We are now conducting search and retrieval," Villocino added, saying that all the search teams involved have already reached Agusan River in the areas of Montevista and Moncayo towns for the search efforts.

The worsening weather condition with the anticipated landfall of 'Auring' might affect the search and retrieval efforts of the teams, he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency