At least 90 families evacuated their homes as rains spawned by tropical depression “Auring” caused floods in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, authorities said.

The families were evacuated to higher grounds after the Lubungan River in Brgy. San Jose overflowed, Office of Civil Defense administrator Benito Ramos said.

Other affected areas in Zamboanga del Norte include the municipalities of Katipunan and President Manuel A. Roxas.

In Katipunan, a portion of the National Highway had knee-deep floods while high water level was recorded at the Dicayo Bridge.

In President Manuel A. Roxas, high water level was recorded at the Piao and Tangian Bridge, as well as in Brgys. Irasan and Langatian.

Floods left at least two houses in Purok Malinggay, Lower Irasan, totally damaged while neck-deep water level was recorded in Purok Tubo, Ramos said, adding that no casualties have so far been reported.

Zamboanga City experienced light to moderate rains and gusty winds around 12:30 p.m. but local authorities have yet to submit reports of any damage, Ramos said.

Ferry runs aground

Meanwhile, a ferry from Zamboanga ran aground in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, amid strong waves Thursday morning.

The ferry, which was carrying 228 passengers and 14 crew members, was manuevering to dock at the Dumaguete Port around 10 a.m. when it ran aground, Coast Guard spokesman Cmdr. Armand Balilo said.

“Wala pang PSWS (public storm warning signal) nung ma-aground pero malakas ang alon,” Balilo said when asked if the incident was caused by tropical depression “Auring.”

As of 2 p.m., Coast Guard, police, and port personnel were still bringing the ferry’s passengers to land via rubber boats, he said.

Palawan alerted

Around 12 noon, the center of “Auring” was located 370 kilometers east of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Ramos said the weather disturbance was heading towards southern Palawan and could make a landfall Thursday night or early Friday.

“Ngayong gabi baka lalakas dahil ang ugali ng bagyo, pag nag-travel sa dagat, Sulu Sea for this matter, lalakas ito at magbabago ng direksyon,” he said.

Ramos said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has already alerted its units and allied agencies in southern municipalities of Palawan, including Aborlan, Narra, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Quezon, and Rizal.

“They still have 18 hours to go, kaya binigay na natin sa local disaster management units ‘yung discretion kung sila ay magpi-preemptive evacuation. Ang low-lying area lang naman na identified ay isa, yung sa Narra,” he said. (John Roson)

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