January 8, 2017
The Philippine government has been monitoring some 4.9 million individuals who could be affected by Tropical Depression “Auring”, the first weather disturbance to affect the country for 2017 and which made its landfall in Surigao del Norte province, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Sunday.
The social welfare department said some 976,704 families or 4,883,546 persons are exposed to areas that are "highly to very highly susceptible" to landslide or flooding in the regions Caraga, X, VIII, VII, Negros Island, XII, ARMM, XI, and VI of which, 420,456 families are poor.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Auring, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 55 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 70 kph, made a landfall over Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte at 3pm on Sunday.
Tropical cyclone warning signal No. 1 was hoisted in Cuyo Island, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros provinces, Southern Leyte, Cebu Guimaras, southern part of Iloilo, southern part of Leyte, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island, Dinagat province, Misamis Oriental, and Camiguin.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo urged these families in the danger zones to be aware of announcements from their local authorities, especially the call for evacuation, for their own safety.
“Once again, preparation is the key to everyone’s safety in times of emergencies. Please do not ignore the announcements of your local authorities,” she said.
She noted a total of 402 families or 1,699 persons from the Caraga region have been displaced and are staying in 12 evacuation centers set up by the local government units.
DSWD-Caraga prepositioned 6,100 family food packs to geographically hard to reach areas. Each family pack contains six kilos of rice, eight canned goods, and six 3-in-1 coffee.
The regional warehouse has a continuous repacking activity for additional stockpiling of food packs, DSWD said, adding there were 3,594 standby family food packs.
The Philippine Coast Guard reported over 6,000 passengers, 233 rolling cargoes, 106 vessels, 24 motor bancas, and nine vessels taking shelters were stranded in the different ports in Visayas and Mindanao "due to the unfavorable sea condition" brought by “Auring”. Celerina Monte/DMS
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