TACLOBAN CITY – At least eight local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas declared a state of calamity due to massive floods caused by a low pressure area (LPA) and northeast monsoon last week, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council reported on Monday.
These are the Eastern Samar province, Calbayog City, Gandara, Basey, and San Jorge in Samar; San Miguel and Santa Fe in Leyte; and Catubig in Northern Samar.
The eight LGUs said several communities have been flooded and a considerable volume of crops have been damaged.
The declaration of a state of calamity would allow the use of the calamity fund to aid affected residents. It would also control the pricing of basic commodities in the affected areas.
In Jipapad, Eastern Samar, Mayor Benjamin Ver has expressed concern over depleting calamity funds due to floods that affected the town since the third week of December.
“Our immediate needs are food and drinking water since our local funds have been depleted,” he said.
In the past two weeks, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised a red rainfall warning in the provinces of Leyte, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Samar.
A red rainfall advisory is issued when rainfall is more than 30 mm (millimeter) within one hour or if it has continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm.
The heavy downpour has left seven people dead in the provinces of Leyte, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.
Weather disturbances brought about by an LPA and northeast monsoon have affected 778,422 persons in the region.
In the agriculture sector, some PHP145.47 million worth of damage has been reported with 9,237 hectares of rice farms destroyed by floods. (PNA)