Forced evacuations ensue in 10 of 31 Valencia villages due to ‘Vinta’

(Updated as of 1010a.m. Friday, 22 December 2017)

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/22 December) “Code Red” is declared in Valencia City, said Samuel Langub, public information officer of the local government unit.

This means forced evacuation is implemented in all 10 barangays along the Pulangi River out of the city’s 31 barangays, namely Lumbayao, San Isidro, Sinabuagan, Kahaponan, Sugod, Batangan, Pinatilan, Maapag Catumbalon and Poblcation.

Langub said no estimates are available for the number of evacuees yet as of 9:05a.m. Evacuees in the Poblacion proceeded to the second floor of the New Terminal in Brgy. Hagkol.

Evacuees in Brgy San Isidro proceeded to Brgy. Vintar as their designated evacuation site was also flooded. Those in the other eight barangays are sheltered in their own village’s evacuation sites, he added.

Meanwhile, two vegetable farmers bringing products to Poblacion Valencia City figured in a pump boat accident as they were crossing Pulangi River in Tugop, San Fernando, Bukidnon. The boat overturned.

Langub said they were rescued in Liloan, Brgy. Lumbayao, Valencia City, about 15 minutes later. No other details were available yet. He added that they were reported to be alive but they are awaiting field report from medics sent to the site for actual conditions.

Langub said as of 9:10a.m. water level in Lumbayao Dam is “Level 9”. He told this reporter earlier that during the wrath of typhoon Pablo time in 2012, it was monitored at “Level 11”. In January last year, when a local occasion of heavy rains occurred it reached “Level 10,” he added.

As of 7:10a.m, Valencia City has implemented enforced evacuations in four villages along the Pulangi River today, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported.

The CDRRMO cited that the Lumbayao Dam Staff gauge is now at Level 5, the critical level for evacuations, as severe tropical storm Vinta passes by Bukidnon, among 15 provinces Mindanao placed under Storm Signal no. 2.

Bukidnon is on red warning level for serious flooding, according to the Pagasa advisory as of 5.a.m. Friday morning, along with Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur,  Agusan del Norte,  Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Misamis Oriental and DavaoCity

Residents have been evacuated in barangays Sinabuagan, Kahaponan, Vintar and San Isidro.  No estimates of number of families are available as of 7:27a.m.

As of 6:27, Samuel Langub, public information officer of Valencia City told this reporter preemptive evacuations have been enforced in barangays along the Pulangi River. By then the water level was “Level 4”.

For the rest of Bukidnon, Israel Johann Damasco, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, said landslide alert level 1 was also raised in Brgy. Sumalsag, Malitbog, Bukidnon as of 4a.m. Saturday.

The University of the Philippines Dynascope monitoring in the area announced possible landslides in the area due to the continuous rains, Damasco said. They have implemented preemptive evacuation of at least 30 families.

Malaybalay CDRRMO reported the evacuation of 100 families from Sitio Panamucan in Brgy. San Jose as a preemptive action, as of 11pm Thursday, Allan Comiso, the Malaybalay CDRRM coordinator, said.

City Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri suspended classes in all levels in the city. Asst. City Administrator Romeo Lapiceros said work has already been suspended in the city, too, although no formal announcement has been released yet.

Damasco said residents from one barangay each in Sumilao, Impasug-ong and Libona have been evacuated as a preemptive action. But he could not provide details yet as of 7a.m. Friday. (Walter I. Balane/Contributor)