TACLOBAN CITY — The weather bureau warned of possible flooding in 34 major river systems in the Eastern Visayas region due to heavy rains brought by Severe Tropical Storm Ursula.
In an advisory issued Tuesday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by the heavy downpour.
These water courses are in 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 affected rivers are the 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.
People living in low-lying areas near these river systems have been advised to be on alert for possible flash floods.
Those settled near mountain slopes have been told to watch out for signs of landslides.
Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government has identified 2,433 villages in the region as highly susceptible to flooding. The department urged local governments to conduct appropriate preparedness and disaster risk reduction measures as needed.
The PAGASA said in its advisory on Tuesday noon that “Ursula” continued to intensify as it moved closer to Eastern Visayas.
In its 11 a.m. advisory, the bureau reported that the center of the storm was estimated based on all available data at 185 km. east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 110 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph. The storm was moving west-northwest at 20 kph. Sarwell Meniano /PNA – northboundasia.com