4 dead as Basyang triggers flashfloods, landslides
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Four persons were killed as Tropical Storm Basyang (international name Sanba) dumped heavy rains in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, triggering landslides and flashfloods that forced the evacution of thousands.

Irene Benguillo, 33; her children AJ, 6, and MJ, 3, died in a landslide in Barangay Gamuton, Carrascal town in Surigao del Sur at around 5 a.m., local disaster officials said.

Benguillo’s husband, James, was injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.

In Surigao del Norte, 10-year-old Rosaline Gabeligno, a Grade 5 student, of Purok 3, Barangay Anislagan in Placer town, drowned after she fell into a canal.

The deaths have yet to be confirmed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“People living near the mountain slopes and low-lying areas are advised to take precautionary measures,” Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense administrator, said.

Basyang weakens

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned of scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains over Palawan today as Basyang moves toward the West Philippine Sea.

Basyang weakened into a tropical depression after making landfall over Cortes, Surigao del Sur at 9:15 a.m. yesterday.

Basyang is expected to make landfall over southern Palawan this afternoon.

PAGASA said intense rainfall (93 millimeters) was recorded over Surigao City.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 remained hoisted over Palawan, including Calamian and Cuyo groups of islands, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Bohol, Cebu, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and the northern section of Zamboanga del Norte.

The weather bureau said scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rains would persist over Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga and the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The agency warned the public against venturing into the seaboards of areas under cyclone signal as well as the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the Visayas, the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Mindanao and the eastern and southern seaboards of Southern Luzon due to big waves generated by Basyang and the surge of the northeast monsoon.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Basyang was spotted at 25 kilometers southeast of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, packing winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 65 kph. It was forecast to move west at 27 kph.

Basyang traversed the Bohol Sea, bringing heavy rains. It was forecast to cross Cebu then Negros before heading to southern Palawan.

It is forecast to be at 90 km south southwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan this afternoon.

If it maintains its present speed and direction, Basyang is likely to exit the Philippine area of responsibility tomorrow afternoon.

Classes in all levels were suspended in most parts of Mindanao, including Davao City, due to heavy rains spawned by Basyang.

Pre-emptive evacuations were done in flood-prone areas. – With Helen Flores, Gilbert Bayoran, John Unson, Edith Regalado, Rudy Santos

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