TACLOBAN CITY – Several local government units in Eastern Visayas have suspended classes and work in the government sector on Monday due to threats of tropical depression “Auring” in the region.
Since Sunday, local authorities have been issuing executive orders as precautionary measures in anticipation of strong winds and heavy rains.
Among the local governments that suspended work and classes are Tacloban City, Jaro, Tanauan, Tolosa, Carigara, Tabontabon, Mahaplag, and Matalom in Leyte; Naval, Almeria, Kawayan, Cabucgayan, Culaba, and Caibiran; Macrohon, Sogod, and Silago in Southern Leyte.
Exempted from work suspension are those involved in the maintenance of peace and order, disaster risk management, health and sanitation, and traffic management.
Local governments have decided to suspend work and classes after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised tropical cyclone wind signal no. 2 in some parts of Leyte and Samar provinces.
It was downgraded to signal no. 1 late Sunday as the weather disturbance weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.
As of 7 a.m., the center of the tropical depression was estimated at 205 kilometers east northeast of Maasin City, Southern Leyte or 85 km. east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
It has maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 55kph. It is moving north-northwestward at 20 kph.
The weather bureau warned early Monday that heavy rains brought by “Auring” may trigger flooding in major river systems in the Eastern Visayas region.
In an advisory, PAGASA identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by the downpour.
These rivers are 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 in 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.
People living in low-lying areas near these river systems have been advised to stay alert for possible flash floods.
Those residing near mountain slopes have been told to watch out for signs of landslides. (PNA)