By Mike U. Crismundo and Bonita L. Ermac
Butuan City – Provincial and city governments in Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Butuan City have instructed different team commanders of disaster risk reduction and management councils (DRRMCs) to conduct preemptive evacuations in danger zones, especially those along coastal villages, flood and land slide-prone areas ahead of the landfall of tropical storm Basyang in the country.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Basyang (international name Sanba) will be second tropical storm that will enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this year.
It is estimated to make landfall in Caraga region on Monday night or Tuesday morning.
Before noon Monday, PAGASA placed Surigao del Sur including its component cities of Tandag and Bislig under Storm Warning Signal No. 2.
Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 was also hoisted over Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Butuan City and Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Sur and Bayugan City and Dinagat Islands.
Classes from pre-schools to elementary were suspended in both government and private in Surigao del Sur and its component cities of Tandag and Bislig; Surigao del Norte and Surigao City and Butuan City.
It was also learned that all cargo and passenger vessels, as well as small seacrafts, were prevented from sailing out of all the seaports in Northeastern Mindanao effective Monday morning, as heavy downpour started to batter the five provinces and six cities in the region.
Close to 500 passengers bound for Cebu, Manila, Bohol, Dinagat Islands and Siargao were reported stranded in the different seaports in the region.
Four passenger vessels and 18 front and rolling cargoes were temporarily halted in different sea ports in Lipata Ferry Terminal and Macapagal Terminal Port, both in Surigao City and Nasipit International Seaport in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.
Several more boat and passenger sea crafts were also held in San Jose Port in San Jose, Dinagat Islands, Dapa Port in Dapa, Siargao Islands and other seaports in Tandag City and Bislig City.
Rescue teams from the different DRRMCs were mobilized Monday morning to focus on the possible preemptive evacuation of residents in all the coastal communities, especially those facing the Pacific Ocean and those residing along the side of the giant Agusan river.