Calls for aid were made for victims of flash floods in several parts of Mindanao due to heavy rains over the Christmas weekend.
Thousands of Filipinos spent the holidays displaced from their homes and in evacuation areas across Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and other provinces.
The state weather bureau reported a weather system called “shear line” that swept over Eastern Samar and Eastern Visayas on December 24.
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) defines a shear line as a “line or narrow zone across which there is an abrupt change in the horizontal wind component parallel to this line.”
It is a point where the warm air and cold air meet.
This weather system dumped heavy rains on more provinces in Mindanao and Visayas on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Affected areas include Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental, Surigao Del Norte, Palawan and the Dinagat Islands.
Due to the destruction caused by the floods, Misamis Occidental and the municipality of Gingoog in Misamis Oriental were placed under a state of calamity.
Calls for help, donation drives
Several affected residents, meanwhile, took to social media to call for assistance and donations. They also shared photos and videos of their tragic situation.
Local radio 95.7 Brigada News FM Koronadal also reported that an old hanging bridge in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental was not spared.
To help affected communities recover, here are donation drives that some volunteers and groups launched last weekend in response to this natural calamity.
According to the latest situational report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recorded a total of 44,282 families or 166,357 persons affected by the torrential rains.
Thirteen were also found dead, six were injured and 23 were reported missing.
Regions that bore the brunt of the shear line are as follows:
- Region 5 (Bicol)
- Region 8 (Eastern Visayas)
- Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula)
- Region 10 (Northern Mindanao)
The NDRRMC, provincial government units and other related bodies are still assessing the extent of the damage to livelihood, houses and infrastructure as of writing.
Rescue and relief operations are also still ongoing.
In the latest weather advisory, PAGASA warned that the shear line will still bring moderate to heavy rains in Eastern Visayas, Palawan, Bohol, the Zamboanga peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and the Caraga region.
“The public and disaster risk reduction and management offices concerned are advised to take all necessary measures to protect life and property. PAGASA regional services divisions may issue local heavy rainfall warnings, rainfall/thunderstorm advisories, and other severe weather information specific to their areas of responsibility as appropriate,” the advisory reads.