Disaster czar warns vs. flash floods

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BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The disaster chief here warned residents against flash floods as Typhoon Ursula continues to bear down on the country.

But what bothers Joemarie Vargas, executive assistant of Mayor Evelio Leonardia and disaster cluster head, is the looming probability of heavy rains tonight, Christmas eve.

“Rescue is difficult to conduct at night, people are more vulnerable to danger,” the seasoned disaster official told DNX.

Tonight, for example, the biggest problem is when the rains would be heavy over Don Salvador and Murcia towns that could contribute to flashfloods in several portions here.

Second, he said, when rains are heavy and the volume of rainwater is high and it occurs during high tide, there is a high probability of flooding.

Vargas identified the villages of Banago, Bata, Tangub, Singcang Airport, and Pahanocoy – the so-called name barangays that have comparatively bigger populations – and the number villages of 8, 10, 12,16, and 35.

Vargas said barangay-based disaster councils have already been briefed about actions to be taken in case of flash-floods.

Tonight, however, Joemarie and his staff will be having noche buena at their office.

“That is what the job requires; I can only ask everyone to celebrate tonight but also be vigilant,” he added.

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