PARTS of the Davao and Caraga regions in southern Philippines were flooded since Wednesday following persistent rains brought about by a low pressure area, local authorities reported.  

The town of Trento in Agusan del Sur province was among the worst hit with 15 out of its 16 villages affected, prompting the municipal government to declare a state of calamity.   

Work in both public and private offices and classes in all schools were suspended on Wednesday, and remained in effect on Thursday as rains were expected to continue in the coming days.  

The municipal disaster management office reported that more than 2,600 families have been affected while damage to agriculture was initially assessed at P87 million.  

Landslides in some areas also cut off power supply.  

The provincial government of Agusan del Sur, meanwhile, said response teams from the different local government units as well as police, military, coast guard, and fire bureau have been deployed for response measures and continued monitoring.  

“As of today, floodwaters have generally subsided,” the provincial information office said, “However, moderate rain is expected to continue through the next 2-3 days.”  

As of Thursday 10 a.m., the low pressure area was estimated at 215 kilometers east-northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur in Mindanao, the country’s southern mainland, according to state weather agency’s bulletin.    

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the low pressure area moving in a northwest direction “remains less likely to develop into a tropical depression in the next 24 hours.”   

The weather disturbance is embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), bringing moderate to heavy rains over Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula and the Visayas in central Philippines.   

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains are also expected in the rest of Mindanao, and the regions of Mimaropa and Bicol. 

“Under these conditions, scattered flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely,” PAGASA warned, especially in high-risk areas as identified in official hazard maps and in areas with significant rainfall in previous days.  

In Davao City, residents along Davao River were preemptively evacuated Wednesday night.   

The city disaster management office reported on Thursday morning that several sections of the river overflowed and were “gradually increasing.”  

“The rest of the river channels are still monitored within safe levels,” it said.   

Flooding and landslides were also reported in other areas of the region, including parts of the provinces of Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro. — MSJ