UPDATED: ‘Zoraida’ triggers evacuations in Malitbog; Bukidnon under storm signal no. 1

As of 9a.m.  12 November 2013

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News/11 November)—Tropical Depression ‘Zoraida’ has triggered evacuations in Brgy. Sumalsag of Malitbog, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported as of 5pm Monday.

As of noon today, Bukidnon and 20 other provinces in Mindanao and Visayas had been placed under public storm warning signal no. 1. This means ‘Zoraida,’ with its sustained wind speed of 55 kilometers per hour, can break twigs and branches of trees and can unroof nipa and cogon houses, among others.

Ma. Leah V. Barquez, PDRRM office point person, told Bukidnon News that as of 3pm 18 families have fled their houses in an upland portion of the Sitio Patong (not Kapong as earlier reported), Purok 3 in Brgy. Sumalsag, Malitbog as strong winds and sporadic rains started to pound Bukidnon’s boundary with Misamis Oriental.

Delia Cabilla, local DRRM officer, told the PDRRMC Monday afternoon that two houses were already damaged in a small landslide in Sitio Kapong. Only one house was inhabited, Cabilla said.

Manuel Cachapero, a farmer, was covered with earth but was unhurt when strong winds downed a coconut tree in an elevated portion of their area. No one was reported hurt but the incident triggered evacuations of 18 families to Sumalsag’s barangay hall.

Cabilla clarified to Bukidnon News via telephone Tuesday morning the area is really prone to landslide with cracks already observed since months ago.

With the previous super typhoon Yolanda, a total of 62 families from seven of the town’s 11 barangays also fled their homes.

Arsenio Alagenio, PDRRMC operations officer, told Bukidnon News that the same alert level is observed in Bukidnon as when ‘Yolanda’ wreaked havoc in Visayas and Mindanao on November 8.

He said their rescue teams have continued their 24/7 standby alert status and that DRRMCs in the province’s 20 towns and two cities have been alerted for ‘Zoraida.’

Other Mindanao provinces placed under PAGASA storm signal no. 1 include the islands of Dinagat, Siargao and Camiguin, Agusan provinces, Surigao provinces, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Compostella Valley and Misamis Oriental. Also on storm signal were the Visayas provinces of Siquijor, Southern Cebu, Bohol, Negros provinces, Southern Antique, Iloilo and Guimaras.

In Bukidnon, PDRRM’s Barquez said they have relayed a radio message to the 20 towns and two cities to prepare like they did with ‘Yolanda.’

In an online post, Malaybalay LGU has already announced the cancellation of classes in pre-school tomorrow.

The center of tropical depression Zoraida was estimated as of 4pm to be at 634 km Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur and was forecast to move West Northwest. (Walter I. Balane/BukidnonNews)

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