More than 100 families in Caraga region have been evacuated from their homes on Christmas Day so they can avoid possible effects of tropical storm Quinta (international name: Wukong), a disaster official said.

“Pre-emptive evacuation” was carried out in Surigao City, Dinagat Islands, and Siargao Island, Blanche Gobenciong, director of the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said in a phone interview.

The areas are still under storm warning signal no. 2 as of Tuesday afternoon, although rains have abated as the storm moved north, Gobenciong said.

“We hope that this will stop soon so the evacuees can immediately return to their homes,” she added.

Meanwhile, some parts of Tacloban City, Leyte, experienced floods on Christmas Day due to heavy rains brought by “Quinta,” a police official said.

Ankle-deep waters rose in V&G Subdivision early Tuesday after heavy rain started pouring around 1 a.m., Tacloban City Police director Senior Supt. Romulo Cleve Taboso said in a separate interview.

The rain stopped hours later and the flood subsided, but thick clouds were still hovering above the city Tuesday afternoon, he said.

“We will carry out a forced evacuation if this rain continues and causes more floods. We are all in uniform and are on SAR (search and rescue) mode this Christmas Day,” Taboso said.

Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said the force put on standby 35 ships and several disaster response teams in different parts of the country due to “Quinta.” (John Roson)

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