Tropical Storm “Vinta” Leaves No Casualty in Davao Oriental

A meeting called by Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang convening all key offices to assess damages of TS Vinta

DAVAO ORIENTAL – As Tropical Storm Vinta made unexpected landfall over the vicinity of Cateel at dawn today, the province had eased through the calamity with minimal damage and with no reported casualty.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, who called for an emergency meeting early this morning, said he is thankful for the favorable result of the provincial government’s massive preparation for the disaster.

As Governor Dayanghirang activated Davao Oriental’s Incident Command System on December 20, he ordered the pre-emptive evacuation of residents living in areas prone to flooding and landslides and those that are close to the coastlines. Heavy equipment and emergency vehicles were also deployed to aid in the evacuation of residents. Troops from the Philippine Army, military reservists, and police are seen helping in the evacuation of the residents.

Per the ICP’s latest record, a total of 3,379 families in the whole province were evacuated to safer grounds. Most of them, however, have chosen to remain at the evacuation centers after the landfall.

Incident Commander Ednar G. Dayanghirang, suggested that the pre-emptive evacuation becomes part of the disaster response operations manual.

Packed with a maximum sustained winds of up to 90 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 125 kph, tropical Storm Vinta made landfall in Cateel at 2 o’clock this morning, bringing with it heavy rains and strong winds causing two houses in Cateel town to be totally damaged while roofs made of light materials of some houses in Baganga town were blown away.

A storm signal warning number 2 was raised in the Northern parts of Davao Oriental that covers the towns of Boston, Cateel, Baganga, and Caraga while signal number 1 was raised over the rest of Davao Oriental.

Aside from the heavy downpour, residents in many parts of the province have experienced power interruption that was immediately restored. However, there is still power outage in northern Davao Oriental due to damaged transmission lines. The province’s power service provider vowed to promptly repair damage to restore power within the day in the affected areas.

Although there were no reported casualties, the ICP recorded two fishermen who had been missing in San Isidro town. Efforts to look for them are still ongoing.

In today’s meeting, Governor Dayanghirang ordered a Rapid Damage Assessment Needs Analysis (RDANA). Key offices and agencies are being mobilized this morning to do an ocular assessment on the affected areas. Aside from concerns about providing residents food packs and basic necessities, the assessment aims to identify urgent needs of the communities that are still not evident as of the moment.

A forced evacuation of residents was ordered in Barangay Aragon and the neighboring villages of San Alfonso and Baybay for fear of an overflow of a dam. Although the dam’s water level had steadily increased overnight, its water level has subsided to 18 meters this morning, which is at a normal level. By Karen Lou Deloso

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