Floods continue to affect Eastern Visayas areas; LGUs suspend classes, work

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Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, November 20)—A town in Eastern Samar was flooded again on Monday due to the incessant rains brought by the shear line that has been affecting the region and other parts of the country.

Rivers in Jipapad town had already overflowed and the water reached the town proper.

Vicky Abestros of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRM) said residents living in flood and landslide prone areas were told to go to evacuation centers at the municipal building or at the town parish church. As of Monday's initial report, 15 families from the town proper were already evacuated.

An advisory was issued to motorists going to Jipapad to avoid Arteche-Jipapad-Las Navas road due to flooding in Bito village of Arteche town, the Eastern Samar District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said, adding that that motorists may use alternative roads in Imelda village in Lapinig town in Northern Samar.

Authorities also temporarily closed traffic at the Wright-Taft-Road due to possible landslides especially in areas with ongoing ground works. Motorists going to Eastern Samar from Samar were advised to take a longer route via Basey-Marabut-Quinapundan road.

The Simora-Palapag road was also temporarily closed to traffic on Monday morning due to a landslide but was opened again before noon.

In Dolores town, 12 villages were also flood-affected; 1,504 families or 5,604 individuals were affected but most of them stayed in their homes, MDRRMO said.

The local government unit (LGU) suspended classes in all levels and work in public and private offices.

In Pambujan town in Northern Samar province, 34 high school students have been stranded in their school campus due to bad weather conditions since Friday, according to Mark Brando Morales, teacher at the Froctuoso B. Regulacion National High School.

Schools also prohibited children from going home last Friday due to the flooding. The children would need to travel by boat along the Pambujan River to reach their respective homes in Brgy Tula, an interior village accessible only by boat. Teachers in the town said that the students are in need of clothing.

Suspension of classes in all levels have been issued on Monday in the provinces of Samar and Northern Samar, and towns of Salcedo, Sulat, San Policarpo, Arteche, Can-avid, Jipapad, Balangiga, Llorente, Quinapondan, Taft, San Julian, Dolores, and Arteche in Eastern Samar province, and towns of Jaro, Tanauan, Matag-ob, Alangalang, Tabon-tabon, Babatngon, San Miguel, and Leyte town. Several schools in Tacloban City also suspended class on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Catarman and Laoang municipal governments in Northern Samar province and Dolores in Eastern Samar have suspended work in government and private offices.

Tacloban-based journalist Wil Mark Amazona contributed to this story.