Motorists cross a flooded street in Barangay Orosite, Legazpi, Albay yesterday. Celso Amo

Floods, landslides hit Bicol provinces
Celso Amo (The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2017 - 12:00am

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Heavy rains spawned by the tailend of a cold front have triggered massive flooding and landslides in the Bicol region.

Some 2,262 families or 9,322 persons  were affected in eight towns in Camarines Sur, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reported yesterday.

The affected barangays are San Rafael in Ragay; Poblacion, Barrera Jr., San Pedro, Naplida, San Ramon, San Jose, Polantuna, Belwang, San Isidro and San Rafael in Lupi; Ason in Garchitorena; Ginorangan and Panaya in Lagonoy ; Salvacion Poblacion in Tinambac; Tres Reyes, Sta. Cruz, and Manga in Bato; Tabga in Caramoan and Kilantaao and Sibaguan in Sagñay, Clyde Yucot, OCD-Bicol director, said yesterday.

Landslides were reported along the provincial road in Barangay Manga, Bato and Sibaguan, Sagña. The Ginorangan river in Lagonoy   overflowed.

In Catanduanes, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council passed a resolution placing the province under a state of calamity amid continuous rains and flash floods.

Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara ordered the evacuation of residents  at risk to flooding, flash floods and landslides.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council placed the province under red warning due to continuous heavy rains.

Several streets in Legazpi were submerged in floodwaters and closed to traffic. A landslide was also reported along Rizal street. 

In Daraga, floodwaters about two-feet deep snarled traffic along the highway in Barangay Kimantong.

European Union gives P34 million for Vinta victims

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) is providing 570,000 euros or around P34 million in emergency relief assistance to families affected by Tropical Storm Vinta. 

“This…contribution underlines our commitment to the people of the Philippines, many of whom have suffered great losses as a result of Tropical Storm Vinta and are in dire need of immediate assistance. My thoughts are with the victims and all affected by the catastrophe,” said Christos Stylianides, said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. 

The EU aid will be used for the provision of emergency shelter, essential household items, access to clean water and hygiene promotion.

Vinta left more than 200 people dead and over 170 missing in Mindanao alone.

The OCD in Mimaropa said 13 fishermen drowned when their boats capsized off the coast of Mangsee island in Balabac on Saturday.

The Department of Agriculture said the storm also damaged 31,753 hectares of agricultural land in the Zamboanga peninsula.  – Jaime Laude, Pia Lee-Brago, Roel Pareño, John Unson 

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