No fatalities have been recorded by the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, but hundreds of families were evacuated to safer grounds in Dumaguete City and other flood-prone areas in Negros Oriental.
Initial reports from the DRRMC said 100 families near the Tiabanan River in Basay town were evacuated to safer grounds, along with another 100 families in Brgy. Mayabon, Siaton; 12 from Brgy. Puhagan, 43 families from Brgy. Palinpinon and 13 families living along Ocoy River in Dumaguete City.
The Banica River also overflowed, and spillways in Dumaguete remained impassable as of press time. Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria was in the area to assess the damage.
City evacuees also crowded Building 2 of the Dumaguete public market, while 47 persons were rescued from Brgy. Looc due to flashflood, the CDRRMC said.
In Siquijor, the DRRMC reported that a certain Helbert Daniel of Brgy. Cangomantong, Lazi town, was found dead at the national road in Brgy. Gabayan, yesterday. Investigation is still ongoing although officials said the victim may have been hit by fallen trees.
Meanwhile, strong winds also caused intermittent power failures in various parts of the province, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines said.
As of 4 p.m., the NGCP said it was still inspecting transmission lines and other power facilities affected by “Pablo”, and added that loss of power was caused either by the transmission facilities of NGCP or the lines of local distribution utilities.
It also said that the 69-kilovault Bindoy transmission line tripped at around 8:46 a.m. yesterday and affected portions of the franchise areas of the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative 1. Power resumed at 3:03 p.m.
A blown off coconut tree branch also tripped the Amlan-Bindoy 69kV transmission line at around 9:26 a.m. and restored at 11:12 a.m.; and affected the Bacong-Siaton 69kV transmission line at 12:35 p.m., with power restored at 2:14 p.m. yesterday, the NGCP said.
A tree branch also downed the Amlan-Dumaguete-Bacong-Siaton transmission line at 2:17 p.m. and affected the customers of NORECO 1 and 2. It was restored an hour after.
Gov. Roel Degamo called on the public to remain vigilant despite the latest PAGASA 7 report that “Pablo” has veered southeast of Dumaguete towards Sipalay City in Negros Occidental, though rains and winds are expected to persist due to amihan.
Capitol sources, on the other hand, said the state of calamity status in the province had not been lifted yet from devastations wrought by typhoon "Sendong" on December 17, 2011, and the 6.9-magnitude earthquake on February 6, 2012, so there is no need to declare another one for the onslaught of "Pablo".
The province still has around P6 million left of its calamity fund that can be used in case “Pablo” severely affects Negros Oriental.
Public storm signal no. 3 remains hoisted over the province and 13 other areas in the Visayas and Mindanao, and disaster management councils of various local government units are on standby alert.*JFP
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