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Northern Samar placed under state of calamity due to heavy flooding from ‘Urduja’

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The provincial government of Northern Samar has placed the entire province under a state of calamity Thursday night as heavy rains dumped by Tropical Storm Urduja flooded several villages.

Provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer Rei Josiah Echano said flooding has affected 131 villages and forced 10,669 individuals to flee.

“With the way the storm was traversing the place, it would take two to three days before evacuees would be allowed to return to their homes,” Echano said.

Severe flooding has been recorded in the towns of Catubig, Gamay, San Jose, Laoang, Lope de Vega, Las Navas, and Mondragon.

The local government also reported that 1,797 passengers have been stranded in the ports of Allen and San Isidro in Northern Samar as of Thursday night.

Earlier, the town of Catarman and Catubig also declared a state of calamity as the storm intensified and dumped more rains in Eastern Visayas.

The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 defines a state of calamity as “a condition involving mass casualty and/or major damages to property, disruption of means of livelihoods, roads and normal way of life of people in the affected areas as a result of the occurrence of natural or human-induced hazard.” (Roel T. Amazona/PNA)