650 families flee homes in flooded Palawan towns

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY–Heavy rains submerged three municipalities in Palawan in waist-deep floodwaters, forcing about 650 to flee their homes.

One fishing vessel carrying 37 crew capsized.

In the southern town of Narra, waters reached the roofs of houses in Barangay El Vita and Taritien. Residents were evacuated by the quick-response teams of the Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.

Rope lifelines were installed by the personnel of Department of Public Works and Highways and the Bureau of Fire Protection along the national highway to ensure safety of the people wading through flooded streets.

The municipal gymnasium served as the evacuation center for the residents of the affected barangays of Poblacion, Panacan, El Vita, Taritien, and Malatgao.

In Aborlan, a few century-old acacia trees were knocked down by strong winds. Two hundred families, especially those in the coastal areas and living by the riverside, were brought to the municipal evacuation center.

North of the capital in the town of Roxas, about 300 families were evacuated to the barangay and municipal evacuation centers after floodwaters began to rise and the threat of overflow of the Caramay River became imminent. A newly-reconstructed footbridge connecting the different areas of Caramay was damaged by floods.

There were five affected barangays in Roxas – Nicanor Zabala, Caramay, Magara, Abaraoan, and Tagumpay. The municipal DRRMC provided for the immediate needs of the evacuated families.

The strong northeasterly winds caused F/V Jonathan 1 to capsize in Linapacan waters. The fishing vessel, registered in Mindoro Occidental, came from Cuyo Island and was bound for Camaron Island in Linapacan when it overturned in rough seas and high waves. Of the 37 fishing crew, only 26 have been accounted for as of this writing.

Teams of the Western Command and the Philippine Coast Guard were conduting are search and rescue operations in the vicinity were the vessel capsized.

Pagasa said that the bad weather condition is an effect of the tail-end of a cold front that is affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.

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