HEAVY RAINS. The murky water of Binahaan River in Pastrana, Leyte in this Jan. 3, 2023 photo. Work and classes have been suspended in 10 areas in Eastern Visayas as bad weather placed several areas in the region under red rainfall warning on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Pastrana, Leyte rescue unit)

TACLOBAN CITY – Work and classes were suspended in 10 areas in Eastern Visayas amid the bad weather which saw several areas in the region under red rainfall warning on Tuesday.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez issued the executive order on suspension of work and classes in all levels as heavy rains caused inconvenience to workers and students coming to the city from different areas of the region.

“Aside from bad weather, many people have not yet returned to the city due to glitches in Manila Airport. This is recommended by the city disaster risk reduction and management office as a precautionary measure,” the mayor said in a video message.

Same executive orders were also issued by the local governments of Palo, Alang-alang, San Miguel , Tanauan, Tabon-tabon, and Julita in Leyte province; Basey, Catbalogan City and Marabut in Samar province.

The weather disturbance may trigger flooding in major rivers in the Eastern Visayas region, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

PAGASA Tacloban station chief Mario Peñaranda said in a phone interview red rainfall warning has been raised in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar and Eastern Samar on Tuesday due to heavy downpours.

“A red rainfall advisory is issued when downpours constitute an emergency. This is raised when observed rainfall is more than 30 mm (millimeter) within one hour or if rainfall has continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm,” Peñaranda added.

When PAGASA raises a red warning, communities should be prepared to respond. It means serious flooding is seen and that residents should be ready to evacuate to safety, Peñaranda said.

PAGASA identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by the downpour -- Sangputan, Palo, Solano, Daguitan, Marabong, Cadacan, Bongquirogon, Salug, Pagbanagaran, Pagsangahan and Binahaan in Leyte; and Catarman, Bugko, Pambujan, Catubig, Palapag, Mano and Gamay in Northern Samar.

Other rivers include Oras, Dolores, Ulot, Taft, Borongan, Suribao, Llorente, Balangiga and Sulat in Eastern Samar; Basey, Silaga, Calbiga and Jibatan in Samar; Bisay, Himbangan and Pandan in Southern Leyte; and all river systems in Biliran province.

The heavy rain in the region is dumped by the low pressure area affecting Visayas and Mindanao and the northeast monsoon affecting Luzon.

In Antique in Western Visayas, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) urged commuters to take extra caution due to the presence of light to moderate rains.

“Commuters are being advised to be careful especially along the mountainous road from Hamtic, Antique to San Joaquin, Iloilo being slippery because of the rain,” PDRRMO chief Broderick Train said in an interview.

Train said road sections from Hamtic, Antique to San Joaquin, Iloilo are undergoing repair.

“Many Antiqueños, who came home for their Christmas and New Year holidays, are now travelling back to their workplaces in Iloilo City or in other places that we have to caution them,” he added. (With reports from Annabel Petinglay/PNA)