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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesThursday, November 14, 2013
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Hundreds evacuated as
spillways overflow

Hundreds of residents were evacuated in Dumaguete City and other parts of Negros Oriental Tuesday night because of heavy rainfall brought by typhoon “Zoradida” that caused rivers and spillways to overflow.

The heavy rains started late afternoon and lasted for several hours although the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration had announced at noon Tuesday that “Zoraida” had weakened into a low pressure area, and public storm warning signal no. 1 hoisted over Negros Oriental and neighboring provinces that morning, had been lifted.

The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils of the towns and cities and the provincial government deployed rescue groups and personnel and pre-positioned resources in anticipation of its impact.

As early as 3 p.m. Tuesday, spillways in Valencia town had become impassable due to continuous rains, the Energy Development Corporation-Southern Negros Geothermal Power Plant said.

The Ticala and Malaunay spillways also became impassable when the river waters rose. Ticala spillway was opened to the public later but the Malaunay spillway was damaged.

In Dumaguete City, Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria and other officials ordered the pre-emptive evacuation of residents in low-lying areas and those living near the banks of the Banica River.

They were brought to pre-identified evacuation centers, like schools, barangay halls and churches or chapels.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office mobilized its personnel to provide food to the evacuees, who were reported to have returned to their homes yesterday morning.

Power outages were also reported Tuesday, and brownouts lasted for more than 12 hours in some parts of Dumaguete, with electricity still not restored as of press time.

The Negros Oriental 2 Electric Cooperative, whose coverage areas include the towns and cities from Pamplona down to Basay, or the southern half of the province, had said earlier it was implementing a rotating brownout schedule to supply the deficiency from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

The NGCP said it had to enforce manual load shedding that resulted in rotating brownouts, because of the deficit in power supply from generation companies that were affected by super typhoon “Yolanda”.

Other parts of Negros Oriental, like Siaton, Amlan and Sibulan towns, also undertook pre-emptive evacuation Tuesday.*JFP

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