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Thousands displaced as floods hit Eastern Visayas

MANILA, Philippines — The shear line and a low-pressure area (LPA) have caused massive flooding in parts of Eastern Visayas, affecting 14,775 families or 57,606 people in Samar and Leyte, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The NDRRMC said 54 barangays in Eastern Samar, 28 in Samar, 11 in Northern Samar, nine in Biliran and one in Southern Leyte were submerged in floodwaters.

Flooding has subsided in only three areas as of yesterday afternooon.

The NDRRMC said landslides were reported in Northern Samar, Samar, Leyte and Eastern Samar.

It said 16 road sections and three bridges were affected. Nine houses were damaged in Southern Leyte and Samar.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Eastern Samar public information officer Eson Gachalian said a national road in Barangay Bigo in Arteche remained impassable to all types of vehicles due to flooding.

A portion of the road in Barangay Cag-Aguingay in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar was closed due to a landslide.

“We have been regularly issuing advisories to inform the public about road closures and the alternative routes to their destinations,” DPWH-Eastern Visayas regional director Edgard Tabacon said in a phone interview.

Classes in all levels in Eastern Visayas were suspended on Monday.

Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Onchuan extended the suspension of classes in all levels in public and private schools in the province until yesterday as heavy rainfall continued to batter the province.

The national government has provided more than P1.4 million in food packs to affected families.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) station in Catarman said the LPA and shear line dumped 619 millimeters of rain, which is more than the normal November rainfall of 457.8 millimeters.

Floods reached the second floor of some houses in Catarman, Lope de Vega and Catubig in Northern Samar as well as in Jipapad in Eastern Samar.

A red warning for heavy rain was hoisted over Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Biliran and the northern portions of Samar and Eastern Samar.

An orange warning level for intense rains was raised over the rest of Samar and